In tough economic times, I thought I had found yet another reason my repeated attempts at losing weight would be dashed: eating healthy costs too much. I had already canceled my gym membership, rationalizing that the twice a week I was using it "wouldn't help anyway" and that if I did want to exercise, a nice long walk is free. Then on a bright, blustery Saturday morning I DID motivate myself to go for a walk . . . the mile and a half to the local Family Dollar, where I planned to deplete my daily calorie allowance in value-brand high fructose corn syrup-laden and chemically preserved baked goods. Wanderng the aisles trying to decide which chocolate-laced novelty would taste the least mediocre I realized something: even in the bargain basement of foodstuffs, I still had a choice.
In the spirit of fast-food dollar menus, I bring you Healthy Choices from a Dollar Store:
Chicken Noodle Soup - two cans for a dollar and less than 200 calories a serving
Chicken or Tuna Salad with Crackers - $1, packed with protein, only 6 grams of fat and 160 calories
Baked Beans - High in fiber and protein, low in fat, .75 cents a can
Canned pineapple or peaches - even in light syrup, eat the whole can for 160 calories! .60 cents
4 pack of individual applesauce - even if I scarf all of them it is 200 calories and fat free! $1
On the go?
Granola bars with 5g of fat (a little heavy on sugar) but .33 cents and 140 calories
Gingersnap cookies, a 10 serving bag for $1, 5 cookies for 130 calories and low in fat
Finally, special recognition for some "more-than-a-dollar" items that fit our healthy goal:
Almonds, high protein and fiber, 4 serving bag, $2
Cheerios, box $2 and milk, half gallon $2
Scenario: Oops, I didn't pack a lunch or snack and I have a half hour for lunch . . .
If I have between one and four dollars and time to drive thru . . . I have time to make the healthier choice; even at the dollar store.
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