Thursday, October 29, 2009

Eat Healthy and Save Money With the Mediterranean Diet

( Guest Article)

Saving money today is more popular than ever. Eating more meals at home is something more people are doing. Of course, it is still possible to spend a lot of money at a supermarket, but with wise and frugal shopping, your grocery bill can be minimal and you still eat healthy.

There are many resources available to help you become a frugal shopper while paying attention to nutrition. A ‘thrifty plan’ has been created by the Department of Agriculture. It feeds a family of four members with two adults and two children. The cost of the plan is only $135 a week and does meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The tips within the thrifty plan help you save money and still eat healthy. An additional benefit is that eating healthy also prevents expensive future medical bills. A healthy diet, like the Mediterranean diet, which includes food rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes and limits red meat while emphasizing good fat is able to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and other conditions.

Before you leave for the supermarket, it is important to check your staples and make a plan:
1. Check the pantry for unused items to prepare meals.
2. Plan ahead by making a menu and then only buy what you need for that.
3. Change the focus away from meat. Not every meal has to have a meat.
4. Weight your time versus money. Many times preparing foods can cost less than if already done for you.
5. Look for coupons on items that you regularly use.
6. Sign up for shopper cards where you do your shopping.
7. Join clubs to get the discounts when you buy in bulk.

While you are in the supermarket, consider
1. Staying away from the junk food. Sweets are empty calories and cost more.
2. Look in the bakery. Often times the bakery has goods that are less expensive that commercial brands.
3. Try store brands. Other brands tend to be cheaper and just as good.
4. Choose organic products wisely, they tend to be expensive.
5. Look for canned or bagged foods. Fresh products tend to be more expensive.
6. Look for food in other locations of the store. Many times a product is on sale in a different location.
7. Check your receipt for items that you were overcharged on.

About the Author

Valery Fortie is the editor of the Mediterranean diet blog, a directory of medical news on Mediterranean eating habits to help people lower blood pressure and live longer and better. is a non commercial website created to preserve the Italian Healthy Eating Traditions. Founded in 2004 in Italy, feels very strongly about having informed consumers on duty in all healthy eating fields.