When I think of March, the first thing that comes to mind is the color green. I bet you think I’m going to write about green vegetables and tell you to eat more of them. That would be typical, but you’re in luck if you want something different! Since March is all about the color green, I thought I would write about saving some green. I think we could all stand to have a little extra change in our knickers (sorry, that the Irish side shining through). If you’re interested, here are a few tips that you might find helpful: Don’t shop on an empty stomach! I’ve said this numerous times before, but I’m usually talking about saving yourself from splurging on extra calories. If you can avoid impulse purchases (many of which are made based on our senses: does is smell delicious, does it look delicious, are you so hungry you will buy and eat anything when you get out to the car?) you will save money on your grocery bill. Pay with cash instead of debit/credit card. This may seem like a bother at first, but I challenge everyone to try it! This was actually my 2011 New Year’s Resolution, and so far it’s been going very well for me. I am a person who likes to try new things – it’s kind of a part of my job since I make product recommendations, right? Okay, maybe I just use that as an excuse to rationalize the spending. Anyway, I found myself on a lot of occasions blowing the majority of my bi-weekly food budget in week one. I obviously still needed to eat during week two, so I just spent more. It was easy; I just swiped the card and walked out of the store thinking, “It was just an extra $15.00…not that big of a deal.” Well, when this happens 26 times or more per year, that equates to $390! That IS a big deal to me! Since January 1st, I’ve taken a set dollar amount out of the ATM for each week. Thus far, I’ve only over-spent once, but I feel like I’m on the right track and I know I’ve passed up some impulse items because I didn’t have the cash to pay for them. Give it a shot and see if it works for you! Use NuVal™ to make sure you’re getting the greatest nutritional value for your dollar! NuVal™ Scores allow you to look beyond the packaging and branding of products. Use NuVal™ to quickly compare store brand vs. national brand to maximize the nutritional value you get per dollar spent. Private label products often score equal to, or sometimes even better than, national brand products. You will typically save money with the store brand! Save on future health care costs – invest in good nutrition today! Scientific research increasingly confirms that what we eat has a significant impact on our health, quality of life, and longevity. I won’t bore you with statistics or a long explanation. Just know that those colorful fruits and veggies, fish and other lean proteins, and any whole foods really are good for you. These are usually found on the outer perimeter of the store. If you need help choosing between products, especially amongst the inner aisles, you can look to NuVal™ to be your GPS to help you navigate. Just keep in mind that while NuVal™ looks at one aspect of healthy eating habits - overall nutritional quality - a healthy eating plan requires balance, variety, and portion size as well. Happy National Nutrition Month everyone!
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