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By now you should notice the skyrocketing prices for groceries at the supermarket – it’s hard not to notice these chances in prices, because they going up by the days, weeks, months and years. You may have also noticed that even locally produced food items like eggs and bread, have risen by nearly 25%; while many of the imported (processed foods) stays the same or drop in price. Even worse, the price of fruits and vegetable has all gone up at the local market, making it even more difficult for a family to eat healthy.

What could be causing these prices to up? There are many possible reasons: fuel cost, export restrictions, global shortages,and the list go on. But the true of the matter, you as a consumer these high prices are hunting you bottom line. Economists are predicting further price increases ahead, now, it’s becoming mandatory to save some extra money for the future. By the outlook on how things are going-no knows when these prices with come back down.

Here are some tips on how you can eat healthy and still save some money in these high times.

Stock up (now) on Basic Non-perishables Food Items

Over the past months, flour (white) has gone up by almost 30%. Rice 10% I strongly believe that now is a time to start stocking up on the important non-perishable. I’m not saying that you go and stock up a five year supply of everything, a half bag of rice will last a long time for any regular size family, it will not spoil and it will act as a cushion against the constant increase in prices over time. The same goes for other products like pasta, flour, beans, and vegetable oil, each of these are going up at mad rates so it would be worth it to buy this in large portions.

Eat What’s in Season

Fruits and vegetables has also seen an increase in price over the past two years, making harder than ever to eat healthy, ever for middle income families. Buying fruit and vegetables that are in season either at your grocery store or local farmers’ market is the best way to make sure you get a good deal, and can make a big difference in the price you pay.

Another way to save money is to freeze them. Pineapples, tomatoes, cherries, and mangoes all freeze very well, although freezing them may leave them a little soggy. Rather than simply eating them raw, there are still many uses for fruits in cooking. Same goes for vegetables, they freeze very well – they’ll be ready for use without any more prep work once you’ve clean and chop them before.

Buy Meat on Sale

Over the past several years, the price of meats have had a pretty flat average. Trick is to get it when it’s low or on sale. Then you freeze this too.

Plan Meals and Shopping Ahead of Time

Probably the most important thing you can do is to plan you meals and shopping ahead, this will help with in spoilage – which lots of time a result of poor planning. Writing it all down on a list and see what you’re going to need to make all your meals for the next two weeks. Bring that list with you whenever go the store/supermarket, try not to buy anything that’s not on the list unless you realize you honestly forgot something.

Take along a Calculator

Knowing how much you are buying as you go along shopping will help you stay within your budget, so that there will be no surprises at the check out counter. Luckily, a lot supermarkets put the price (per ounce, pound,etc), which makes it a lot easier for the consumer to decide what the better deals are.

Stop Buying Bottled Water

one of the biggest rip-offs in the world would be bottled water, especially in Dominica. You pay more for a bottle of purified tap water than you do for a soft drink. Aren’t there fewer ingredients in bottled water, so why are you paying more? That needs to be stopped right now. It’s cheaper to get an inexpensive reusable bottle and a water filter, if you must have a bottle of H2O with you.

Hope these tips can help you save some money on your next visit to the grocery store. What about you? What tips do you use to save some money at the grocery store? Share them in the comments.

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From now till New Year’s Day, the festive season is usually filled with office and house parties, after work drinks and big holiday dinners. These occasions normally involve over-eating, drinking, and the intake of excessive amounts of sugars, creams, butter and other fats.

Like everyone else, Dominicans love this time of year. The combination of good food, drink, dance and fun is almost impossible to resist. Even those with disciplined eating habits tend to relax this time of the year. The sights, sounds and the season’s smells tend to stir our memories of happy, childhood Christmas times, and the more food there is, the more we tend to indulge.

An average Christmas menu alone can contribute up to 6,000 calories. The cumulative result, of course, is unwanted weight gain over the season. Complicating matters is the tendency to forgo normal gym-work or exercise to accommodate the many functions and Christmas shopping.

Unfortunately, we see and feel the negative results only after the season. There are ways to enjoy Christmas festivities without resorting to complete abstinence. Here are some smart ideas and approaches to keeping ourselves in check.

When planning a party or Christmas dinner:

1.Replace sweets or fried snacks and dishes with fruits, vegetables and nuts. These may be prepared as interesting, attractive dishes or in natural form.
2.Use cooking methods that require little or no oil, such as grilling, roasting, steaming, micro waving, and stir-fry instead of deep fry.
3.Reduce the sugar in some recipes
4.Eat fewer and smaller portion sizes.
5.Brushing teeth or rinsing with mouthwash actually discourages eating, as very few food flavors work well with the flavor of toothpaste or mouthwash.

Take Control over Your Food Intake

When attending parties or dinners, you can still have control over your food intake. Here are some suggestions:

Always eat before attending a party. Eat a carbohydrate based meal or have cereal, yoghurt or fruit. When you are comfortably full, you will be less likely to eat everything you see. It is also important to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages before having something to eat. Alcohol dehydrates, and reduces blood sugar levels leading to sugar-cravings. Alcohol also stimulates the appetite and weakens the resolve, especially when you are hungry. In addition to the potential hangover the following morning, too much alcohol can cause you to create party memories you would much rather others quickly forget.

Choose carefully and eat only those snacks or dishes you know and like. No need to take everything available and become uncomfortable and overstuffed.

Eat small portions or reduce the number of portions, especially for desserts. Moderation is the key. Eat slowly, take small forkfuls and chew until food is gone.

Have water as often as possible, certainly between alcoholic drinks, and food too. This will help maintain hydration and control appetite. Do not mix alcoholic drinks and limit what you have; they are high in calories and you have a whole season to get through. If water is not possible, drink softer drinks such as juices.

Avoid salty or deep-fried foods. Salt leads to increased drinking, water retention and discomfort. Greasy foods increase fat and calorie intake.

Avoid sweet, sugary snacks and foods, they are addictive and make you crave more. If you must have sweet foods, reduce the amounts.

Eat more of foods that are good for you and low in calories, such as soup, fruit, nuts, raw or cooked vegetables, and lean cuts of meat. This will leave less space for other, unhealthy foods.

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