Monday, May 23, 2011

When Penny Pinching is NOT a Good Idea

In today's day and age where gas prices are high along with every other necessity, one tends to look for any way to pinch pennies.  Some ways, like growing your own victory garden, scaling back on your cell phone bill, or buying generic products, are good.  But there is one particular way of pinching pennies that is very bad for a Fibro sufferer.

Coupon clipping is NOT a way to pinch pennies for people with Fibromyalgia because the coupons that come out in your local paper are usually for items that are filled with chemicals and preservatives that can cause a flare.  I'm sure some of you will argue with me and state that I should try and surf the web for some great deals, but this gal is not convinced since I had to spend several minutes searching for food sites only to find one match for a quality food which was flour.

Another argument I usually hear is, well if I had money I'd buy the good stuff but it's just too expensive.  Again, this just isn't true, besides, would you rather spend your money on quality food or medical bills?  I can guarantee that you will take more trips to the doctor's office and the local pharmacy for flares if you buy processed foods than you would if you were eating healthier alternatives.  I'm living proof of that!

Trader Joe's is a quality grocery food store that has incredibly reasonable prices on food.  They are only in 9 states, however, you can still take a trip to your local grocery and find some good deals on organic foods.  Going to a Farmer's Market, your local dairy farmers, or your local orchards are also other ways to get quality food at a reasonable price.

The top five tips for penny pinching on organic or quality food are:

  1. Buy the store generic brands.  They are just as good and usually a third less expensive than their commercialized organic sister products.  Most major grocery retail chains have put out their own organic brands, this includes Trader Joe's.
  2. Look for local farm specials.  Sometimes if a fruit or vegetable is in season, you can get a good price on it.  Eggplant is a good example.  Around here, two local farms sell an abundance of this veggie to local stores and I can get it for as low as $1.00 a pound!
  3. Local orchards and farms also have great deals for in season fruits and vegetables.  I live in a rural town and have access to many farmer's stands, but you can even reap the benefits of local farmers in the city by watching your newspapers.  Most will post a local farmer's market day.  We had one every other week in the city I lived in.  It was fun because the stands stretched for several blocks on Main Street so we got our exercise in while shopping for good foods.
  4. Quality meats may look pricey compared to their bulk-buy counterparts, but take a second look.  How many bones and fat are in that bulk pack?  How many colorants are there to make that salmon look "pretty"?  Are there hormones that might make yours go out of wack?  Most quality meats may only measure out to a pound or two, but when you think portions, most of the time that pound will feed a family of four.  Proteins should not be consumed in massive amounts, in fact, proportionately, it should be the smallest thing on your plate because your whole grains and fruits and vegetables are supposed to take up the majority of that plate.
  5. When you really need to pinch, buy frozen.  The frozen food section is one I usually avoid-- even in quality food stores because prepared foods are always more expensive.  But I make an exception when it comes to frozen fruits and veggies.  An out of season berry may be highly priced if it's fresh, but the frozen counterparts are always at a good price.  This is also true for green beans and spinach.

Hope these tips help you out the next time you shop!

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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