You can save money and still eat healthy

My Story: Eating Healthy for Less

contributed by Evelyn

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Eating healthy doesn't have to cost more; in fact it can cost less.

When thinking of fruits and vegetables, we frequently think of the most perishable items like lettuce, spinach, berries, grapes, and mangos. Even a generation ago, most families wouldn't eat these things in the winter, and they had a lot fewer obesity problems than we do.

In place of lettuce, eat more cabbage. Cooked in a stir-fry or made into coleslaw, it's tasty and a nutritional powerhouse. A cabbage can last for up to a month in the refrigerator. If the edges or outer leaves get black, just remove them; the rest of the cabbage is still good.

Turnips are delicious in stews or mashed as a low-carb substitute for potatoes. They can be pureed into soups to add body. In the fridge, they can last practically forever or until you eat them.

To get your berries, buy frozen and blend into smoothies or make a pie. If you have freezer room, buy lots of berries in the summer and freeze on trays, bundling into freezer bags when frozen. My grocery store has a giveaway in August of a box of blueberries with $100 grocery order. I confess that I asked five complete strangers to pick up a box of berries and carry it through the line for me. Combined with my own freebies, I had blueberries for breakfast every day until well after Christmas.

If you like deli meats, consider buying a ham, a cheap roast beef cut, or a turkey breast. Roast and slice it yourself. When you consider the cost of deli meat, which is priced in ounces or grams, it is exorbitant, even for the least healthy cuts. Lean ham, beef or turkey is healthier and about a quarter of the price. Jazz up your sandwich with mustard or chili sauce to take the place of spices added to salami and other cold cuts.

Canned tomatoes are actually more nutritious than fresh. Cheap canned tomatoes can be perked up with a tablespoon of wine vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar per can, when adding to a recipe.

When possible, make freezer meals by making extra and freezing leftovers in meal-size portions. Over time, you will enjoy great convenience shopping in your own freezer for lunches and quick meals.

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it to

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