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Can you eat healthily and frugally?

When I say the words coupons to my non-couponing friends I get mixed reactions:

"Takes too much time"
"I hate to clip coupons"
"Good for you"
"Wow look at that stockpile"
"The coupons are usually for things I don't buy"
"I seem to spend more when I coupon"

But most of all "The coupons are for junk food"

Some if it is true, I have stockpiles of fruit roll ups which were free when paired with a manufacturer coupon, store sale and catalina coupon.  Fruit rollups in my opinion are pure sugar even if it does say the word fruit in the product title - my children get these on rare occasions.  I usually donate it or add them to the Easter, Halloween baskets or party bags.  But you can coupon and eat healthily, I've posted in the past the following healthy freebies: Ronzoni Healthy Garden Pasta, Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta, Atkins Bars, Yoplait Yogurt and Oatmeal Squares Cereal.

By the way, if you need shelving units for storing the food from the sale, you can get great storage units from Home Depot. Grab a promo code from Home Depot and save on this too!

I'd like to introduce you to my very first guest blogger Nancy from The Frugal Dietician blog where deals and good nutrition can be found.  Nancy is a Registered Dietician with a Masters in Nutrition Education for over 32 years and has been frugal even longer than that.  Here's Nancy response to "Can you eat healthily and frugally?"

I wish over my many years as a Registered Dietitian I had a dollar (or at least a good coupon) for every time I have heard eating healthy is too expensive, that high sugar, high fat foods are so much cheaper.  Here are some ideas to ponder over. 
Diet vs Weight Related Illness
 It sure is expensive to be unhealthy.  Weight related illnesses such Type II diabetes (diagnosed in kids now) and early heart disease plaque the Western world.  Being overweight/obese at any age (including children) increases health care costs dramatically over a lifetime not to just your pocket but also to the tax payers pockets too.  While your weight can be normal, if your waist is over 35 inches for women and 40 inches for men, you are also at an increased risk for weight related disease.

Switch out the "Junk" Food
Look at your grocery bill or pantry and see if you are “loaded” down with chips, candy, cookies, soda, refined products, etc.  How much would you save if you cut down on half of these?  Switch from white rice to brown rice. White refined pasta to whole wheat pasta. Use 100% whole grain bread. If you can't afford to do the switch 100% - mix half refined and half whole product.  Dilute all juice slowly until it is finally ½ water and ½ juice. Avoid all “drinks” that are NOT 100% juice. Cut down on your meat intake (meat is expensive). Cut down on salt intake.  Use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes.


Dietary supplements in most cases are unneeded and largely unregulated thanks to a law passed in 1994 – DSHEA (more info here). See a Registered Dietitian - RD (yes, I am biased) for a general appointment instead.  Don’t buy weight loss supplements or products like AirBorne that do not undergo thorough research.  Good healthy food such as fruit in your diet increases your immune system and are much cheaper than dietary supplements.

Spruce up your food
It is hard to pass up freebies, even if they are unhealthy food choices – take those products and “spruce” them up with healthier additions.  I always have on hand the following: wheat germ; dried beans like dark red kidney beans or black beans (beans are VERY inexpensive); walnuts and almonds; low sodium V-8 (vegetable) juice just to name a few.

When making cookies, brownies or a cake – add chopped walnuts and wheat germ to the flour

You don’t need the margarine or butter to the box mix of macaroni and cheese.  Add some additional whole wheat pasta to it.  Blend in some pureed carrots or use “baby carrots”

Replace margarine and/or butter with olive oil when the recipe permits it. You don’t need a lot!!

For rice side dishes add kidney/black beans to the dish.  Replace the water with vegetable or tomato juice.

Add wheat germ and walnuts to oatmeal or make a yummy granola

Eat healthier and save money at the same time!!

Thanks Nancy - take the time to check out Nancy's fun posts at The Frugal Dietician

If you are interested in being a guest blogger on The Freebie Junkie, send me an email with your idea or post and we'll take it from there.  Family friendly and frugal posts welcomed.


Lisanne said:

I use coupons on items like butter, mayo, pickles, cheese, and some canned goods, but my average shopping trip is just fresh produce and meat. Our carbs and dairy are very minimal and we don't buy junk food. I always have butter coupons, but some of the others can be harder to find. We do ok with groceries though. Only about $300 a month for a family of 4.

Unknown said:

I've noticed there ARE a lot of "junk" food that are easy to stockpile- but there are some moderate-to-healthy foods, too! We're still working on a Wheat Thins splurge from over a year ago when you had to buy 10 boxes at a time but they were free if you did. It's all about moderation. :)

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