i've done some food posts here and there.. but with the plethora of things that have been getting me through the past couple weeks, i decided i would share.
first of all - money. let's face it, losing weight costs money. even if you're doing it on your own, healthy food tends to cost more. unfortunately, that's the way it is.
1. FREEZER!!! the freezer is your best friend. i buy things in bulk (vitatops, low-pt bread, 94/6 ground beef, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts, etc) portion them out and freeze them. herbs freeze well too. lay the leaves out on a tray and freeze until firm, then throw them in a bag. perfect!
also, produce. when things are about to turn, i'll make soup, or a lasagna, then freeze! (for the lasagna, or any other 'baking dish' items, line your dish with saran wrap prior to assembling the food, then freeze. once frozen, remove it from the dish and place in a zip-top bag. it's perfectly sized for your baking dish, and you're not missing your dish while it's locked away in the freezer.. waiting to be baked.
fruit freezes well too. i bought a pallet of strawberries last summer.. sliced and froze them, and i'm still using them for smoothies! bananas and berries freeze really well too!
2. FARMER'S MARKET! i can't tell you what a life saver my weekly farmer's market has been for me. often i'll go with only $10 and see how far i can stretch it. also, if you go towards the end, they slash they're prices and are more prone to agree to any bargaining. a little money goes a long way, and you're supporting your local farmers!
3. SHOP THE ADS!! lately, with the economic downturn and all, the grocery stores are really combating for customers.. they have 'weekend specials' and coupons in their ads. i clip the coupons for items i need and only buy those items at those stores. if the ad doesn't have anything good that week, i vow not to go into that store and make-do with what i've got at home.. (i'm the WORST with impulse-buying).
4. TRADER JOE'S!! speaking of impulse buying.. mine has reduced DRASTICALLY since i started limiting my shopping to TJ's. if you've got one close by - utilize it! i don't think my bill has ever been over $100, and that is for many weeks of groceries. we get pretty much everything here but produce (it really bugs me that so much of their produce comes from mexico and costa rica.. it's california people! we've got great farms here! plus they package it in plastic. wtf?! let's be more eco-friendly! end rant.)
5. ZIPLOC BAGS!!! i'm sure you've heard it before.. but it bears repeating. buy things in big bags, and create your own 100-calorie packs. some things.. i know.. this doesn't work on (hostess anyone? yumm..) but it's great for crackers, chips, cookies, cereal (safeway's eating right cocoa puffs and fruit loops are my favs) and the list goes on and on. i've limited my snacks to these bags, because even if i fill them so much they're bursting at the seams, the portion is reasonable. ever notice how you fill something just because it's big enough?! me too... that's why i use small pyrex dishes for my lunches at work as well...
6. SKIP THE GYM!! no, i do not mean don't work out.. but really, who needs a gym membership when there are so many free (or much more low-cost) options out there?! walking, obviously... on the weekends bf and i will walk the dog to the local coffee shop. it's fun, and we get a treat at the end! if you have any kind of cable box, you probably have on demand content. there are, like, a gazillion work-out shows to try.. and the variety keeps things interesting. try the internet too! i tried out the 30-day shred by finding it streaming online prior to investing any money (the whopping $10). instead of dumbbells, use cans! i started with 16oz, and i'm working up to 32oz in the shred.. who needs the fancy stuff? and, i'm still sore! you can also try a workout video swap.. we've all got 'em, those videos you bought and never use (windsor pilates, anyone? haha). check with friends or co-workers to see what they've got, and switch!
the list of free/cheap workout activities goes on and on!
i almost forgot! take that bed bath and beyond 20% coupon that i KNOW is sitting at your house and invest in some debbie myer's green bags... yes, the infomercials may be dorky, but those things WORK!! my produce lasts for weeks.. literally. i have broccoli in the fridge from like 3 weeks ago!!! no joke!
NOW GO.. SAVE MONEY! =)
part 2 coming shortly...