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5 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Despite what you may think, adopting a life of healthy eating won't cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, medical problems related directly to excess weight are costing us billions of dollars a year. 

You really don't have to spend big bucks to get the best nutrition. Try these tips from the American Dietetic Association to stretch your food budget:

•  Stock the staples. Always have beans, brown rice, pasta, oatmeal and barley in the pantry. Barley and brown rice add fiber and are great additions to stretch things like soups, stews and casseroles.

Beans are a great source of protein and fiber. Add them to salads or even add black beans to marinara sauce to pump up the fiber in pasta dishes.

•  Buy food that is on sale. Get on your supermarket's website and see what healthy foods and beverages are on sale. You can often get great deals on items like low-sodium chicken broth.

Every week, check the frozen vegetable section and buy what's on sale so you always have a variety of mixed vegetables in the freezer.

•  Shop in season. Fresh produce tastes better and costs less when it's in season. Check your local farmers' market for deals.

•  Make soup. When you make your own soup, you can add as many vegetables as you like. You control the quality of ingredients, sodium and overall nutrient content of the dish. It's nourishing and most broth-based soups are lower in calories to help you control hunger and better manage your weight.

•  Limit dining out. Today, it's often easier to grab our meals on the go, but that convenience comes with a price - in more ways than one. Not only are you shelling out money, restaurants are notorious for the portions, so eating out can reduce your pocketbook and expand your waistline.

Why not bring your lunch to work a few times per week? Studies have found that employees who bring their own lunch tend to eat less, eat healthier, have less cravings and generally time their meals better throughout the day.



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