Balancing savings vs. healthy eating habits

How do you decide?

Do you buy the package of pancake mix because you found a coupon or do you make them from scratch? Do you choose items because they are the cheaper option or do you opt for the item that has less sugar? How do you strike that balance in your grocery shopping?

I don’t consider it a deal if the item is something I wouldn’t serve to my family. I have developed my own person set of guidelines for my buying decisions, some of them are:

  • Whole grain is a better choice than multi-grain. Whole multi-grain is the best choice.
  • I always choose the reduced salt versions of things like canned vegetables and soups.
  • I never but fat free versions of things that should naturally have fat. Only buy reduced fat versions if sugar content is not increased to compensate for flavour.
  • I only buy cereal with 10g of sugar or less, preferably with 8 or less. I don’t buy cereal with cartoon characters.
  • I buy ingredients, not prepackaged meal items.
  • If you only buy one thing organic, make it your milk. Studies show that it has more nutrients and essential fats than conventional milk.
  • Real sugar is better than fake sugars, but should be kept to a minimum. Did you know flavoured yogurts have more sugar than ice cream?
  • I do not buy disposable cleaning products. There isn’t anything that can’t be cleaned with some basic cleaning solution and a washable rag.
  • I do not buy home fragrance products.  I clean things that smell bad and I enjoy the smells of the foods I cook.

These simple rules make clipping coupons and searching sales easier for me. I don’t feel swamped by endless amounts of coupons and products on sale because I already know which options I will and won’t buy.

These rules also help me snack guilt free. If 90% of what I eat is real food, I don’t feel bad about the occasional 10%.

 

What are your personal shopping rules? Tell us in the comments.

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Posted on April 10, 2011, in Information, Tips and tricks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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