Eating Healthy & Saving Money While Dining Out

Although it is healthier and better for your wallet to cook at home, sometimes you just want a night out.  No worries, you can still save calories and money.

Keeping Up, Keeping It Off is an informative blog with 10 tips to eating healthy while dining out.  Here are my favorite tips:

1.       Choose Water Over Soft Drinks

Tap water is free and has zero calories.  You can ask for lemon slices to give it more flavor.

2.       Choose “Smaller Sized Plate” Options

Portions at restaurants are almost always larger than the recommended serving sizes, so always get the smallest size available.  You should even ask for lunch portions at dinner.  If smaller portions are not available, split a meal with a friend.

3.       Take Half Your Meal Home

Leftovers save you lunch money the next day.  As soon as you get your meal, ask for a to-go container and put half of your meal away.  This way you’re not tempted to eat more at the table.

For the complete list of tips, make sure you click here10 tips screenshot.

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Featured Mobile App: Locavore

Two of the best ways to eat healthy on a budget is to buy seasonal produce and to shop at farmer’s markets.  But, who can remember what’s in season and when your local farmer’s market is open?  Luckily, there’s an app for that.

Locavorescreens_splash is a FREE app that automatically finds your location and tells you what produce is in season.  It also lets you search for farmer’s markets in your own neighborhood (or nearby).  Now you can eat healthy, save money and support your local community!

The best way to use this app is to first find what produce is in season and then use the app to search for recipes.  The recipe finder is one of my favorite features because it has some great new creative ways to cook your favorite vegetables.  To save money, make recipes that call for ingredients you already own.  You can then use Locavore to find which farmer’s markets near you sell the produce needed for your dish.

Locavore is available on iTunes and the Android Market.

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5 Must-Have Healthy Foods for Under a Dollar

Each month it seems as if there’s a new trendy health food, such as pomegranate and coconut water.  Yet, many of these health foods can be hard to find and often tough on the wallet.

Here are my 5 must-have health foods that should be in everybody’s kitchen.  And, here’s the best part…they can all be found for under a dollar!

  1. Canned Salmon: high in omega-3s, a great food for your heart.
  2. Low-Sodium Canned Beans: rinse them under cold water to lower the amount of salt. Use this instead of ground beef in chili and tacos.
  3. Rutabaga: a healthier substitute for potatoes due to its high fiber intake, calcium, folate, and vitamin C.  CDC_rutabaga
  4. Butternut Squash: a great source of vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C, and E. Roast it or puree it into a soup for delicious meals.
  5. Eggs: a great alternative to meat with its high amount of protein and lots of vitamins and minerals. One egg is only 70 calories!

For more healthy foods for under a dollar check out this link on WebMd.

You can also listen to my podcast on this topic:

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5 Simple Steps to Planning Healthy & Affordable Meals

It’s a problem many parents face.  You want to cook healthy meals for your family, but you also can’t afford to have a higher grocery bill.  Fresh fruits and vegetables can be more expensive than a frozen meal, and your family isn’t going to be satisfied with a head of lettuce.  What can you do?

Plan your meals using these 5 simple steps:

Step 1: Check what foods you already have.

Make dishes that require spices and items that you already have in stock.

Step 2:  Make a list of the foods you need and stick to it.

Don’t ever go the store when you’re hungry, or you’ll be tempted to buy things you don’t need.

Step 3:  Check your supermarket’s circular for coupons.

Change your menu based on what is on sale. For instance, if salmon is on sale and cheaper than another fish you normally buy, prepare savory salmon cakes.

Step 4:  Search for coupons on the web.

Google specific items you want to buy and the word “coupon” to find extra savings.  You should even check a manufacturer’s website for coupons.

Step 5: Buy generic brands.

Don’t spend extra money for the fancier packaging or advertising.  Store brands are comparable and usually cheaper than premium brands.

Check out more tips at Choose MyPlate.

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