Save Money Shopping In The Supermarket

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How much money do you spend on your groceries each year? Of course, it depends on how many people you are buying for, but The U.S Department of Labor estimates come in somewhere around $9,000 for a family of four.

Of course the major food corporations keep trying to get you to buy more and more, regardless of whether it’s actually good for you or not.

It can be easy to save money though.

1. Make a shopping list, and stick to it.
2. Be sure to get a store savings card if there is one.
3. Clip coupons.
4. Buy and try generic brands.
5. Check unit prices. Supersize isn’t always the best deal.
6. Don’t shop when hungry, thirsty, or tired.

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Twinkies Deconstructed

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Steve Ettlinger is like most Americans and eats processed foods.  When his daughter asked him what polysorbate 60 was, he decided it was time to find out.

Twinkie, Deconstructed: My Journey to Discover How the Ingredients Found in Processed Foods Are Grown, Mined (Yes, Mined), and Manipulated Into What America Eats was the result.

Steve takes you though the whole jungle of food ingredients that are added to processed foods, and explains why. As the title belies, he deconstructs the ingredients of the common Twinkie.

You too can find out what polysorbate 60 really is, when you read it on the label, and a whole host of other dubious looking things too.

Reading Those Labels

Do you read the labels on the foodstuffs you buy at the store?

Do you know what is ok, and what you should avoid?Mustard Greens

Also, do the labels tell the truth?

If a label states that the product contains an ingredient, it might only be there in a miniscule amount.

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Take bread for example.  If the label says it contains whole wheat, does that mean it’s better for you, as a good source of whole grain? Perhaps, but it might only have 10% whole wheat! You should look for a label that says 100% whole wheat, and not simply the word ‘contains’

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Watch out for that High Fructose Corn Syrup, and also the sugar too. HFCS may not be good for you, but neither is too much sugar.

Watch out for canned vegetables. They may be a good idea for a back up, or for those times when the power is out after storms etc, but again, check the labels, and try and buy ‘lower sodium’, ‘no salt’ and ‘no added sugar’ labeled varieties.

Grocery Wandering..

trop50Most of the time, when I encounter, a confused face, in the grocery store, its of someone who has a new illness diagnoses, and they are overly stressed, trying to figure out what it is that they CAN eat now.

FOOD is too complicated, today.  We’ve lost our ideas of what basics are really..

We live in an over-processed food society, run by marketing directors.

We have to find balance, for our well being, even if its stable thinking, while we try to learn what we need to be doing.

We need to figure that what’s in a can or a box may not ever be our best choices, again.  Consider them allergies, in your own mind-set, because they truly can hurt you.

Look for simple ingredients on labels.  A few items, that you can almost pronounce are much better than a long list of unknowns.

Consider juice.  Tropicana sells fresh-squeezed not-from-concentrate juice, near the dairy case.  But, what is this “juice,” next to it?  The carton is smaller. IT costs a few cents more, too.. but it says “50% less sugar.”  At first glance, that may seem better.. but how do you remove sugar from fresh juice?

You add filtered water, starches, and sugar substitutes.  This is no longer juice. Its a juice drink/punch.  Its similar likes are Sunny D without the corn syrup.

The carton is smaller and it costs more than the real orange juice.

I dilute my orange juice, for my own personal preference.  But, mostly, we need to concentrate on keeping it as real as it can be, when it comes to fruits and veggies.

REAL, in its most natural state, doesn’t wash us over with words, in labels that we don’t understand.

Keep it simple.  Keep it real.  Don’t let the words, on containers, fool you, into thinking they’ve reinvented the wheel, for you.

The Conspiracy is to make a dollar.. not keep you healthy. Its a business.  Stay in control and you win.

Just say no to chemicals and sugar substitutes.

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Don’t Misread the Labels

Don’t get obsessed by low calories and low fat.

For example, what’s best to eat? Almonds or fat-free chips?

Some folks might go for the fat-free chips on account of them having no fat. Wrong. It’s much better to eat the almonds.

Why?

They are much better for you in terms of nutrition, fiber content, and they’re not processed with who know what added in the flavorings that chips (fat-free or not) often contain.

Also watch out for things like calorie-free drinks. They might seem better for you than the calorie-laden, HFCS containing regular varieties, but more and more studies are pointing toward some artificial sweetener being possible carcinogens.

Better to drink water, or whole fruit juice anyway.

Processed Food Facts

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In the United States, 90% of the nation’s food budget is spent on processed food. A recent government report says that over 40% of the food products found in the average supermarket contains trans fats, and there is no safe recommended limit for trans fats, or partially hydrogenated oil.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest estimates that banning trans fats from all foods would save at least 30,000 lives each year in the US alone.

Again, you need to become a keen label reader. The more ingredients on a label that you don’t recognize, the more chance is that it’s some chemical junk. If in doubt, look it up, and check what effects it might have. Isn’t a few minutes taken now, better than losing years later due to illness, that could have been avoided?