Monday, August 1, 2011

Cheap Trick Tuesday

Before you go to the grocery store read this............

O.K.- this is a great article from Weight Watchers- concerning cheaper snacking.  And notice that some of their pricing is from a FARMER'S MARKET~ remember those DANIELLE!

Snacking can be cheap and easy — and some experts say it might even help you lose weight!
Here's what to put on your weekly shopping list.

Wouldn't it be fantastic if we were told to eat more often throughout the day?

Of course! Well, then, listen up: Nelda Mercer, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, encourages us to not go longer than four hours without eating.

Why? Research shows that going long spans of time without eating can cause us to become overly hungry and eat out of control. Trouble is, when you think of snacks, pricey prepackaged foods come to mind. But there are so many cheap alternatives to turn to. So load up the refrigerator or desk drawer with a slew of snacks — just make sure to choose ones that will keep you satisfied and that fit within your daily PointsPlus™ Target.

Savvy snacking and shopping tips

Satisfying snacks don't have to cost a lot of money. People often think healthier foods cost more, but that's not always true. Here, for example, are five ways to plan for the munchies without going over your daily PointsPlus Target, and without breaking the bank.

Think large

"Single-serve snacks tend to be fairly pricey," says Mercer. Cheaply create your own single-serve snacks by buying large bags or boxes of pretzels, cereal or baked chips, for example, and portioning them out into small plastic bags or containers. Store extras in high cabinets to be eaten later in the month.

Make your own

Pudding is simple to purchase ready-made. But such convenience foods aren't always so "convenient" to your wallet. Buy pudding in powdered form and mix it with low-fat milk. You might also consider making your own dips (sour cream and powdered soup mix), potato "chips" (slice potatoes, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with salt and bake) and popsicles (freeze orange juice in small paper cups).

Give snacks the "color-crunch test"

Fruits and vegetables make tasty, energy-boosting snacks — just make sure to choose seasonal ones. They are more flavorful when they're in season, and they cost less, too. While fruits and vegetables are all healthy, Mercer encourages you to opt for bright ones that crunch.

Seek out sale and generic items

Buy-one, get-one-free specials (keep extras stowed away for later), double-coupon days and free supermarket savings clubs will give you more bang for your buck. Buying generic items rather than brand names will also leave more money in your pocket.

Chew, chew, chew

"Don't drink your calories, eat them," urges Mercer. Whole fruits and vegetables contain more fiber than juice does (fiber helps you feel satisfied longer), and they take longer to eat than an easily gulped cup of liquid. They tend to be lower in calories, too.

ITEM PointsPlus values per serving
(based on generic items)

1 pound bag of whole carrots PointsPlus value of 0 per cup Peel and cut into sticks. Terrific for mindless munching and for pairing up with sour cream and onion dip. $.99

1/2 of a 16-ounce container fat-free sour cream PointsPlus value of 1 per 1/4 cup Combine with onion soup mix. A few tablespoons with pretzels, raw carrots or string beans can satisfy the need for comfort food. $.75 ($1.50 per container)

1/2 of 1 envelope of onion soup mix PointsPlus value of 0 per tablespoon Use this to whip up a flavorful, creamy dip. $.25 ($.99 for two envelopes)

1 pound of string beans PointsPlus value of 0 per cup Wash and cut into 2-inch pieces. Great on their own (zero PointsPlus) or with dip. $.99

1/2 pound of potatoes PointsPlus value of 2 per 1/4 pound plain potatoes The ultimate comfort food: homemade French fries! Thinly slice potatoes, coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Bake at 450°F until browned and slightly crisp, about 20 minutes. $.30

1/4 of a 15-ounce box of fat-free Saltine crackers PointsPlus value of 3 per 6 crackers Perfect for making mid-afternoon, pick-me-up peanut butter sandwiches. $.35 ($1.39 per box)

1/8 of a 1-pound jar of creamy reduced-fat peanut butter PointsPlus value of 1 per 1/2 tablespoon Sometimes a little protein and fat can stave off hunger longer than just carbs. Spread a thin layer onto crackers. $.30 ($2.39 per jar)

1 pint of strawberries PointsPlus value of 0 1-1½ cups Delicious on their own, strawberries are a sweets-lover's bargain in the spring and summer months. Stock up on them in the warmer months and freeze them. $2.99

1/6 of a 16-ounce package of pretzels PointsPlus value of 2 per 3/4 ounce A little bit of salty crunch can wipe out most carbohydrate cravings. $.45 ($1.19 per bag)

1 lollipop PointsPlus value of 3 per pop Chocolate that lingers in your mouth for much longer than a few chews; perfect for that soaring sweet tooth. $.16($2.29 per bag)

1/4 of a 64-ounce container orange juice PointsPlus value of 2 per 1/2 cup Freeze in small paper cups (insert a popsicle stick) or popsicle molds for thirst-quenching, homemade ice pops. $.75 ($2.99 per 1/2 gallon)


* Prices based upon produce from a New York City farmer's market and's online shopping service.

Making a list ~ Checking it twice ~ gonna find out what's good and the right price! 

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