Friday, August 20, 2010

7 Ways to Save Money While Eating and Drinking Healthy

By JJ Virgin
shopping calculatorOkay, I admit it. For the past year I have been flatly refusing to participate in the recession. I have been in total denial about its existence and figured if I didn’t give it any energy, it would go away. Unfortunately, it is clearly not just up to me and from what I am hearing, things are not turning around anytime soon.
Since my mission is to empower the world to be proactive about their health by consistently implementing simple action steps, I realized that I needed to make sure that I removed as many “excuses” as possible. I realize that the two reasons I hear most often as to why people don’t take better care of themselves are time and money.
Now, I do agree, when we tell you to switch to organic and buy wild fish and high quality grass fed beef it can definitely cost more. So here are some cost-cutting techniques to compensate for that increased and necessary expense.

1. Spin your salad.
salad spinnerOkay, so I broke down and bought a salad spinner (they have very cool ones at Target) because I realized that I was spending a small fortune on bagged lettuce that I still had to wash (yep, you do remember that e. coli scare, right?), so I really wasn’t saving any time and it was definitely costing more money. Actually, Leanne Ely and I were recording our Ultimate Meal Planning Guide and she was talking about which kitchen tools you must have and she went on a tear about salad spinners and I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t have one!

2. Go to your local farmer’s market.
Go to your local farmer’s market and get to know your local growers. Many growers use organic growing principles but don’t have the $$$ to spend to get the organic “label”. This is also great because it ensures that you are buying local and seasonal which means fresher, more nutritious food.

3. Pack your own.
I carry a safe drinking bottle with me to fill out with filtered water on my travels – no more $4 plastic water bottles at the airport for me. Plus, I always keep PaleoBars with me so I have emergency food. The last time I forgot I ended up having to spend $9.50 for a small bag of turkey jerky at the airport. I also travel with nuts, apples and jerky so I don’t get caught empty handed and have to choose some high cost, low nutrition option that will hurt my body and my bank account.

4. Go simple.
Okay, I admit that I do have a daily Starbucks habit, but I have an Americano (half decaf/half caf) which is far less than those gourmet coffee drinks. Plus I usually end up working there for an hour or so, so I justify it as paying office rent smiley face. If you are having one (or more…) of those $4 gourmet coffee drinks daily, switch over to green tea, an Americano or coffee and look at how much money you save over the month.

5. Stock up.
couponsWhen your local grocer is having a sale on grass fed beef, free range chicken, organic olive oil, etc, stock up! And the same goes for those coupons. I always laughed at them but the ones they hand me at the store are usually for things that I am already buying so I now carry them in my wallet. BTW, in the spirit of saving money, I have decided that we are going to have a 24-hour “Buy 3, Get One Free” Stock Up Sale on our shakes, bars and supplements soon, so stay tuned for that.

6. Brew your own.
Have you checked out how much they charge for organic iced green tea in plastic bottles (so you are paying for toxic phthalates from the plastic too) at the store? Our local grocery sells it for $5 per quart of brewed tea whereas I can make a gallon for $5 worth of organic tea bags. My favorite green tea of all is Japanese Cherry from Coffee Bean -- it makes amazing iced green tea.

You’ll be amazed at how much you can actually save each month by following these simple tips (easily $100 to $200 each month). Finally, there are the items that you want to spend all that saved money on: high quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, wild fish and grass fed beef.

 ©2010 JJ Virgin & Associates, Inc. Celebrity nutrition and wellness expert JJ Virgin is a media personality, in-demand public speaker and best-selling author of Six Weeks to Sleeveless and Sexy, The 5-Step Plan to Sleek, Strong and Sculpted Arms. Get her biweekly LEANzine chock full of tips to get you slim and sexy fast at

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