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Sep 19

Save Money by Eating Healthy

Most people have tried to watch the money they spend at one time or the other. “Cut costs,” “trim fat,” “tighten the belt,” and “pay yourself first” are just a few expressions to describe budgeting.

What about when it comes to the food and drink we put in our body? Can we eat healthy and not break the bank? The answer is yes. Foods that have the highest nutritional value can be purchased at a reasonable price. Those foods include fruits, vegetables, eggs, and lean protein sources. They usually are located on the perimeter of the grocery store.

In contrast, there is an abundance of food in the middle aisles that is full of calories but provide little to no nutritional value. Many breads, cereals, pastas, granola bars, pastries, soda pop and assorted processed foods fit this category. While many name brands in this category can be purchased for a low price, this food does not give the body what it needs to thrive.  Our body will feel more satisfied when it gets the proper nutrition. It is especially important for children to get nutritional calories to grow into their potential.

Let’s look at one of the main culprits of emptying wallets with empty calories – soda pop and energy drinks. At convenience store prices, a can/bottle of these drinks goes for an average of $1.79. The average soda pop and/or energy drink user buys 2.5 cans/bottles per day, or 912 per year. That results in spending over $1,500 per year. Imagine if there is more than one soda drinker in the household, the expense is going to add up fast! Even buying soda pop at lower prices in grocery stores adds up over a year. Can you think of another way you would rather spend $1,500 a year?

Ringgold County Public Health (RCPH) continues their work to reduce the impact of chronic diseases though a Community Transformation Grant. During the course of this work, many local residents with healthy lifestyles have become evident. The methods they use to stay healthy are usually time tested, simple yet not easy, but worth it in the long run. Be active. Eat and sleep well. Drink plenty of water. Get at least a yearly check-up with your local health care provider. If you would like more information on active living or healthy eating, call Ringgold County Public Health at 641-464-0691 or visit us on the web at www.rcph.net and www.facebook.com/rstop.