January 8, 2009

Fight Those Dreaded "Recession Pounds"

I read an article over at Yahoo! about the worries by experts (those experts - they're always worrying themselves into a tizzy about something) that the threat of an economic recession will cause people to put on "recession pounds", that is, gain weight because they're eliminating higher-cost healthier foods (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats) from their shopping list and substituting carb-loaded, fat-filled junk instead.

Read the whole article here.

It's bunk, you know, this idea that buying your groceries on a budget means you'll fill your cart with empty calories. Those of you out there who have been couponing for a while know what I've come to learn:

Staying on budget means eliminating most, if not all, of the "junk food".

Don't get me wrong; I love chocolate and Cheetos and *swoon* Little Debbie Cakes (I ate through the better part of a box a day week during the tail end of my second pregnancy...mmmm, Swiss Rolls), but junk food is just that, junk.

Fun and tasty?

Oh, yes.

A substitute for less-expensive sources of protein (eggs, ground turkey, beans) or less exotic fruits and veggies (bananas, carrots, potatoes, celery)?

Nope, not even close.

My kids know that I only buy them treats once in a while when they're on sale (with a fistful of coupons, of course!), those things like fruit gummy snacks, yogurt sticks, and all the many varieties of frosted sugar bomb cereal.

And you know what? While they like the junk (who doesn't?), they like the healthier treats I make even more - homemade cookies, fresh cinnamon rolls, and bread machine soft pretzels to name a few.

Smart shopping, based on a budget and working with the available sales and coupons means you won't gain those dreaded ten "recession pounds."

And if you don't believe me, go visit my friend Andrea's blog -- you know, MommySnacks? She's been living frugally and burning the fat off her hindquarters like a madwoman -- and all while, she's been saving oodles of $$ at the store and feeding her three growing boys to boot.

One last thing worth mentioning in the quest to eat a healthy diet on a limited budget is this organization:

Angel Food Ministries offers a great way to get healthy food for your family for a week for $30/box. It's open to anyone who wants to order the food and who lives near a host church; you can check their website to see if there's one near you.

They also offer a box of (10) prepared heat and eat meals designed for seniors or for anyone on the go for $28. And they offer additional boxes you can order (usually meats) for another $20 or so if you order either the $30 box or the $28 box.

Here's what's in the $30 box for January:

1.5 lb. Ribeye Steak (4 x 6 oz.)

4 lb. Chicken Leg Quarters

1.5 lb. Beef Patties (4 x 6 oz.)

18 oz. Cheese Filled Manicotti

2 lb. Pork Rib Strips

1 lb. Chicken Breast Fajita Strips

1 lb. Ground Turkey

1 lb. Broccoli

1 lb. Peas

6 ct. Oatmeal Variety Box

2 each-Regular, Maple Brown Sugar and Apple Cinnamon

32 oz. 2% Shelf Stable Milk

8 oz. Blueberry Muffin Mix

12 ct. White Corn Tortillas

1 lb. Pinto Beans

7 oz. Chicken Flavored Rice & Vermicelli

One Dozen Eggs

Dessert Item

To see the full January menu with the additional boxes available, click here. Angel Food Ministries also takes food stamps.

I've not tried Angel Food Ministries yet myself, but I know another blogger who has and she was very pleased with what she got for her $30. I'm toying with the idea of trying it out this month as an experiment; I'll keep you all updated.

Those "recession pounds" don't have to hit your waistline, m'kay? Get started couponing, plan meals that are easy and low cost (go visit my bloggy buddy Erin for help with that) and you'll be just fine.

You'll be better than fine, you'll be both physically and financially fitter!

*Oh, that scale? Not me! Last time I weighed 115, I was probably 14 or so...too many mama muscles on me these days to be such a lightweight!