Category Archives: shopping

A Well-Stocked Pantry: Final Thoughts

Smiling at a pantry full of fruit and veggies for snacks. Priceless!

Smiling at a fridge full of fruit and veggies for snacks. Priceless! iclipart photo

By donR 3/31/15

Okay, every pantry will be different. And when I say pantry I’m talking about cupboards, refrigerator, freezer, back room, or any place where you store food.  In parts one through four we have shared some ideas on stocking ingredients for healthy salads, soups, vegetables and sauces. Today, I will give you our final list of what we keep in our pantry for baking, desserts,and a few odds & ends. Of course yours will look different but here are 10 general guidelines for you to consider. Continue reading

Choose Items Carefully For Your Pantry

This spicy veggie patty is the centerpiece  of a $10 family meal.

This is an example of a $10 family meal. All the ingredients were sitting in our pantry just waiting to nourish our family.

We all know it is important to have a well-stocked pantry for emergencies. But more than that, it lays the foundation for assembling hundreds of different meals. It is important to take care in choosing the food in order to save space, money and the nutritional value of the food.

There are many things to consider so we’ll post our ideas in three segments, Here are some tips and tricks for you to think about. Continue reading

Healthy Eating On A Tight Budget

picture of vegetables

Having fruit and vegetables readily available for snacks is healthy and saves money.

Want to eat healthier foods? Webmd featured a slide show today titled “Healthy Eating Resolutions.” It is well done and their Tips and Tricks echo FMP  principles. Webmd and Mayo Clinic sites  are among my daily reads  because they usually offer nutritional remedies along side of medical interventions.

The 13 slides look at ways to add more fruit and veggies to your meals and snacks, plan ahead, savor the meal, eat out less and eat healthy foods when at work. But the slide show message is more than just about nutrition.

Many of their suggestions will also be money-savers. Eating out less, slow cooking, shared meals, eliminating costly sugar-laden soft drinks and processed foods add up to huge savings each month.  If you want proof, try this experiment just for snacks:

  • go to your favorite grocer and wheel 2 carts around the store.
  • In one cart place a week’s supply of your favorite snacks like chips and dip, cookies, Fritos®, ice-cream, juice and chocolates.
  • In the other cart put an assortment of fruit, celery, carrots, restaurant corn chips, humus, green tea bags, water, Greek yogurt and other natural foods you would munch on.
  • Compare the prices and see whether processed comfort foods are money-savers.
  • Please share the results on our forum.


Things the Grocer Won’t Tell You

Ship with a list and stick to it.

Shop with a list and stick to it.

Thanks to an article in the Reader’s Digest, the ‘net has been swamped with posts about grocer’s marketing practices. I must ask “where has everyone been all this time.” My brother-in-law told me years ago that vendor’s compete for prime shelf space, bakery smells are noticeable from everywhere in the  store and high mark-up items find their way on the end-caps. These are obvious advertising ploys to increase sales. But, there is a way to avoid these temptations. Continue reading

Meal Planning: Choosing Ingredients Wisely

Choosing Ingredients Wisely  by Don R

picture of quick soups

(L-R) home-made lentil, Progresso, Coop Mix, Bear Creek, Healthy choice.

Food advertisements are often misleading. Cereal boxes claim their product is healthy because it is “High fiber”. Soup labels claim it’s “low sodium” and  flavored rice packages say “0g trans fats” to give the impression that they are healthy. You need to squint to read the ingredient label and realize they may be full of corn sugar (natural sweetener), preservatives (maintains freshness) and fillers (spices.) How do you know if it’s really healthy? It’s not as complicated as you think and here is a list to help you decide: Continue reading

We Have No “Do Not Eat List”: But Think Twice At Malls.

Think Twice At Malls. by Don R

Weight watchers and dietitians generally agree that “Do not eat lists” act like red flags to a bull. Of course, we all indulge ourselves once in a while.  Even my daughter, who is a macrobiotic instructor, will succumb to sugar-packed cookies once in a while. But it seems like food vendors at malls compete with each other to offer the most decadent foods on the planet as described in “The Daily Meal.’

Today’s article in The Daily Meal “The Unhealthiest Foods in the Food Court” reminded me that It’s common to look at vendor’s nutritional information and see items with 75 grams of fat. Healthy diets allow for about 25 grams per day. So we are recommending that when you feel the urge to splurge, just cut back on other high calorie foods later in the day. Try to achieve balance in your weekly food choices.

kojoFortunately, our local mall has two vendors offering quality steamed or grilled food. Kojo of Japan and the Mongolian Grill cook vegetables and lean meat while you watch. With a side of steamed rice, the meal is a good choice for people on the go.