Ways to stretch your food dollar


1. Schedule smaller, strategic trips


Buying all your groceries in one fell swoop seems efficient, but it'll cost you. "People have good intentions, but don't use everything they buy," says Amanda Li, registered dietitian and founder of nutrition coaching practice Wellness Simplified. Small, frequent trips to the store forces you to use what you have, and only make trips when you need to replenish supplies. Many people buy duplicate ingredients, which is why Li recommends making a grocery list ahead of time. She estimates making several trips to the grocery store-and taking stock of what you already have can save you $20.00 per week.


2. Eat seasonally


It's not your imagination: The price of fresh fruits and vegetables fluctuates throughout the year. Nutrition coach and author Maria Marlowe says produce is more expensive when it's out of season, and estimates eating seasonally can shave 30 percent off your total. So what's in season? Take a hint from Mother Nature. Juicy fruits that cool you down-think berries and melons-are popular in the summer, while winter brings an abundance of beets and sweet potatoes. If you're craving a strawberry smoothie in the middle of winter, Marlow says frozen produce is about 25 percent cheaper and usually more nutritious than the fresh variety, as it was frozen at peak ripeness.


3. Buy in bulk


The next time you need nuts or grains, head to the bulk food aisle. Marlowe estimates you can save up to 50 percent on your nonperishables-and keeps your food waste to a minimum. Though buying bulk is usually cost-effective, Marlowe recommends checking the unit price for good measure. "You can find it right by the label on the shelf," she says, "It tells you the cost per pound or ounce, so you can find the best price." "About 70 percent of the seafood in the store is frozen. Stores often defrost fish and lay it out over ice, so you're paying more money for fish that will go bad faster." Maria Marlowe


Balancing Food & Physical Activity

Maintaining a healthy weight is not easy! In a world full of quick fixes and fad diets, the emphasis is not about healthy eating. To keep a healthy weight, it is important to eat healthy and be active.

Eat a variety of foods

Choose a variety of foods every day; it is important to eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy. All foods, including your favorites, fit in a healthy diet! Eat treats in moderation, keeping your serving size small.

Exercise Regularly

One of the most important steps in maintaining your weight is to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity. Older adults should incorporate aerobic activity, muscle-strengthening activity and balance training for those at risk for falls. Always talk to your doctor before starting a physical activity program.


Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water keeps you hydrated without adding calories. Drink when you are thirsty, but try to drink more in hot weather or when exercising.

Eat Regular Meals

Eating breakfast helps you feel full throughout the day. Eating three smaller meals and a couple of healthy snacks may help you stay fueled throughout the day.