Eating healthy on a budget - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Eating healthy on a budget

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive? Our Diva of Discounts tours the grocery store with a nutrition expert to show you how to get More Bang For Your Buck.

"I meet with people about weight management, healthy eating...health concerns like diabetes, high cholesterol, blood pressure," said Nutritionist Valerie Waters.

All have the same goal of eating healthier food. Valerie's advice: shop the perimeter of the store. Plan your meals, scan the ad, buy what's on sale and limit what you get.

"Buy two different types of fruit that week. Don't buy five because chances are if you buy five at least 50% of it's going to go bad," she said.

Bulk buying wastes money if the fruit is going to spoil quickly.

"All berries go bad quickly," Valerie explained.

Frozen berries last much longer. Canned fruit has less fiber than fresh and you're paying for a lot of sugary liquid. Three individual potatoes cost $3. Five pounds is only $2.79 and will last for weeks. Shuck your own corn to save a buck. And if you don't want genetically modified food, you have one choice...organic. 

"You will pay a little more. This is $1.99 for organic pears versus $1.59," she said.

Local produce is less expensive because of the transportation costs. She stresses portion control especially with meat.

"5-6 ounces per person," Valerie said.

Individually-packaged frozen fish makes that simple, plus it's less expensive than what's behind the glass.

"A lot of seafood at a lot of stores is previously frozen, so just doing it yourself, that's a big savings," she explained.

Whole grain pasta costs the same as the regular. Look at the price per pound on the tag to ensure the best deal.

"Instant oatmeal is $2.70 per pound because it's boxed. The smaller container drops down to $1.59. A step more, it's down to $1.25," said Valerie.

You can get one-on-one counseling with Valerie to develop your plan.

There is a fee, but is it refunded in the form of a Martin's gift card when you're done. Call 804-364-3644 if you want to schedule an appointment.

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