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Keeping a diabetes diet without losing the nest egg: Healthy eats on limited funds

Jan 31, 2012, 8:44 a.m.

Healthy foods are critical if you've got diabetes. The only problem is, it isn't exactly cheap to eat healthy. As luck would have it, the most inexpensive foods out there are typically the worst for you. So what's the solution? You certainly can't give up the fight and surrender your eating of healthy foods -- to do so would be inexcusable. Instead of that, we suggest you take some helpful advice from the tips below so that you can continue to stay on a strict diabetes diet without having to spend every cent you've got.

Plan your meals ahead of time. Naturally, eating a diet of healthy foods requires a bit more commitment and planning than the average person. Until such time as diabetic fast food joints start popping up on every corner, you won't be able to enjoy the convenience of being able to race out at a moment's notice to grab a sack of food.

Stock up on cookbooks. Teaching yourself how to cook is an essential part of eating healthy, and getting your hands on a quality cookbook with a variety of recipes is essential to your self-education. But alas, there's no single cookbook in the world that's big enough or comprehensive enough to hold all of the best recipes. Install a special shelf in your kitchen dedicated to a variety of healthy eating cookbooks, and refer to them often as you plan your meals.

Plan your shopping excursions. This is going to require you to keep a list on file of all the ingredients you'll need for the week's menu. It's a good idea for quite a few reasons. First of all, if you write down what you need from the store, you'll end up spending far less time shopping and you'll be able to free up more time to pursue other things. You'll also save money. Research tells us that shoppers who spend more time at the grocery store end up spending far more than shoppers who know what they want and who can get in and get out without hassle.

Shop smart. Not only does this mean keeping an eye open for coupons and using them when they're available, but it also means to take advantage of warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam's Club where you can get healthy foods in bulk, at discount or wholesale prices. The trick here is to shop only for inexpensive foods and to avoid some of the other trappings of shopping at warehouse clubs, like enormous candy boxes or flat screen TV sets.

Don't grocery shop hungry. You probably already know this to be true from experience, but shopping on an empty stomach can be a recipe for disaster, especially if your ultimate goal is to cut back on the amount of money you're spending.

Diabetes doesn't have to be debilitating to your lifestyle or your finances. If you learn how to cook, how to shop, and how to seek out price deals you might even end up coming out ahead.

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