Written on May 31, 2012 at 9:22 am , by Karla Walsh
Earlier this month, new research was released that showed it really isn’t more expensive to eat according to USDA guidelines than to maintain a steady diet of junk food. Still, one gripe that many have about fresh, nutritious food is how quickly it can go bad (especially compared to that boxed pastry on grocery store shelves). So we asked Coupons.com savings expert Jeanette Pavini to fill us in about the best ways to save dough while shopping in the produce aisle.
- Keep onions, potatoes and garlic out of the refrigerator. Place them in a cool, dark and dry spot. And to try Pavini’s top trick, grab an extra pair of nylon stockings next time you’re at the drugstore. She swears that onions last longer if you store them in the legs of stockings!
- Store apples in a separate crisper. Since the fruit emits ethylene which can increase the ripening speed of other produce in your fridge, keep them in the bag you carried them to the register in and pop them in a bin solo.
- Ripen in a paper bag. Your supermarket may have some foods on special if they’re not quite ripe. Stock up and save: Buy underripe pears, peaches and nectarines and get them ready to eat by putting them in a brown paper bag (at room temperature).
- Prep greens for easy eating. Wash leafy greens and herbs under cold water, drain in a colander and store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag with a few paper towels. They’ll be more appealing to add to a meal when they’re pre-washed, and the early cleaning of these items doesn’t increase their spoilage speed.
- Purchase multi-pound bags. Those five-pound sacks of oranges, apples, potatoes, etc. must weigh at least five pounds, so many often have an extra quarter- or half-pound for free (since they’re not going to cut an item in half to exactly meet the limit).
- Buy frozen. If the ingredients list just produce, the bagged, frozen version generally tastes comparable to fresh after cooking. Plus, you’re much more likely to find a coupon for an item on ice.
- Don’t be tricked by buy one, get one deals. Strawberries on sale this season? Only buy two boxes if you’re sure you can make it through them in a couple days (they spoil quickly). If you did get lured in to the savings, pop extras in the freezer for smoothies and extend the life of fresh ones by skipping the rinse cycle until you’re ready to snack.
More from FITNESS:
- Should I Refrigerate All Produce?
- Healthy Recipes for Summer’s Freshest Ingredients
- 3 Easy Ways to Eat More Produce
Written on February 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm , by Karla Walsh
- Are you tough enough? One TV anchor takes on a fitness class that rivals the strong man competitions. — Today Show
- “Whole Paycheck” may be a misnomer. One woman proves that you can eat well and eat frugally at the popular grocery chain. — Diets in Review
- Do you phone it in at the gym? Three reasons to unplug. — FitSugar
- Serve up a heart-smart breakfast for your Valentine to show them how much you care! — Eating Bird Food
- If you find yourself skipping workouts without a second thought, try one of these seven ways to keep yourself accountable. — A Healthy, Happier Bear
- Because one can never have too much workout music…one blogger’s favorite songs for the gym—both classic and contemporary! — Carrots ‘N’ Cake
This week’s fit links from around the web:
Written on August 29, 2011 at 1:00 pm , by SparkPeople
A self-described foodie, Ashley goes weak in the knees for pricey items like avocados, coconut oil, fresh mozzarella, raw nuts, and Nutella. “We love to eat. What can I say?” admits Ashley, who blogs at (Never Home)maker with her husband, Stephen. But grocery bills in the $75 to $110 range forced the couple to re-evaluate their spending habits. By sticking to a budget, baking their own bread, and planning meals, they were able to save more than $120 in a month.
As Ashley, Stephen, and the following food bloggers demonstrate, it’s possible to spend less on groceries without sacrificing taste or quality. All that’s required is a little planning, knowledge, and creativity. Sink your teeth into these great tips:
Enjoy Meatless Meals: “I buy a lot of canned beans and use them as my main protein because they are cheap, healthy, and delicious! You can use cannellini beans to bulk up a pasta dish; top your salads with kidney or black beans to add flavor and texture; and mix beans in with brown rice and veggies and top with marinara sauce for an economical and delicious meal. You can even make a spread for a sandwich by mashing chickpeas and adding a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice!” (Anne from fANNEtastic Food)
Avoid Temptation by Having Your Groceries Delivered: “I make weekly meal plans, so I know exactly what food I need for the week. However, my money downfall is picking up all the ‘special offers’ and sweet treats I see on the shelves around me. So, I looked into getting what I need delivered. There is a small delivery charge, but I save more than that by avoiding the store.” (Rachel from Suburban Yogini)
Scour the Discount Produce Bins: “Shop the reduced produce area to find deals of fresh produce. I buy almost-brown bananas and freeze them. They work great in smoothies!” (Tina from Carrots ‘N Cake)
Buy Seeds: “Grow your own herbs! A plant that lasts all summer (or year) costs the same as a single herb package.” (Matt from No Meat Athlete)
$ocial Media: “Follow your favorite companies on Twitter and Facebook – you’ll be alerted to sales and giveaways! This past week, So Delicious let me know where So Delicious Kefir was on sale!” (Molly from Fuel Her Up)
More from SparkPeople:
Written on January 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm , by Karla Walsh
Jenna and I, your fearless fitness crew here at The Fit Stop, will be sampling the latest workout DVDs and highlighting our top picks here each month. Want to sweat along with us? We’ll also give you the lowdown about what equipment you’ll need and where you can pick up the DVD yourself!
January’s Top Workout DVD: Michelle Dozois’ Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn
Best for: Those with short attention spans, cardio cravers.
Why it’s a star: Dozois keeps you moving constantly during this hour-long workout, progressing through “Basecamp,” “Ascent,” “Climb” and the heart-pumping 30-second “Peak” category. The speedometer-like timer at the bottom of the screen keeps you motivated (“I’m already halfway through the climb!”). During the five, 10-minute circuits, Dozois builds the choreography in a natural way from start to finish. Bonus: No equipment needed…Well, except a towel to mop up your sweat!
Where to get it: Peak 10 Cardio Interval Burn ($19.99, getpeak10.com)