Food

The $36.9 Billion Cost of Poor Health...and How to Get Real Food for Less

How to get real food for lessConsider the high cost of poor health...

Unhealthy lifestyle choices cost Canadians $36.9 billion per year according to this Canadian Men’s Health Foundation’s study.

You can bet we’re all affected because our tax dollars fund our healthcare programs...

Poor health also affects our ability to work. Of course, we just can’t do our best work when we’re sick...

I worked in Human Resources and consistent absence from work (“absenteeism”) is a classic management headache. Employees who are legitimately sick and truly need their employer’s support, unfortunately, get mixed up with those few bad apples who abuse the system.

If you’re a full-time employee, you’ve got a limited amount of sick leave and likely some long-term disability coverage (although even if you qualify, this only replaces a portion of your salary).

Related: Want to get a salary raise? Read this and learn from a trusted career coach...

But what if you’re a casual employee with no benefits and no guaranteed work hours?

What if you’re self-employed?

Your income could take a sharp nosedive when you need it most.

And then there’s also quality of life...

Sure, we’ve gained 20 to 22 years in life expectancy - but are we living better? Will we be healthy enough to travel at 65? Or play with our grandkids at 75?

When we invest in our health starting now - it can make a HUGE impact not only in the short-term...but also over the longer-term.

Here’s a thought...

We prepare for our financial well-being leading up to retirement. But at the end of the day, what’s the point of gaining a mountain of money if we’re not going to have the health and the zest to enjoy it with the people we love?

So why not invest in our health as well?

Investing in Food and Your Health

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Food Investment: Interview with A Local Farmer

Interview with a local farmer on food investmentFood is a health investment. But is local food an affordable option?

Local food is affordable if it’s accessible” counters Dave Wolpin the 27 year old farmer and owner of Kredl's farmers market in Hampton, New Brunswick.

The key is to make local food widely accessible to the public, and Farmer Dave (as he calls himself) dreams that one day he can make that happen.

Better Grocery Store Model

Grocery stores that “represent its region’s produce” are what Farmer Dave hopes he’ll be part of in the next 5 to 10 years.

His vision is that the future grocery store model “exists as a host for the products of the region that inspires both agricultural excellence and cultivates culinary culture”.

But what is agricultural excellence?

It’s agriculture without the use of chemicals, which is also Farmer Dave’s long-standing philosophy. He’s boisterously proud that his farm produce is “no-spray” and quite indignant why anyone would ever spray chemicals on their produce.

For one thing, organic certification costs money which translates to added cost for the consumer. So Farmer Dave settles with a “no-spray local” label for his own farm produce.

Granted, we’ll have to take his word for that. However, even with an organic certification, mandatory laboratory testing to ensure that the produce has no pesticides is not part of the process. Essentially, we still end up having to trust that the “organic” label holds up - and then pay added cost anyway.

Local Produce Price-Comparison

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Sneaky Grocery Store Tricks (And How To Avoid Them)

How to avoid sneaky grocery store tricksGrocery stores are experts at marketing and consumer behaviour.

They get you in the door, keep you inside as long as possible, and subtly trick you into spend more money than you planned.

I don’t go grocery shopping often (we get groceries delivered weekly) but when I do I’m always taken aback by the subtle things grocery stores do to part shoppers from their money.

Whether it’s putting fresh produce near the front to make it appear everything is fresh or keeping staples like milk and cheese at the back so people will wander the store, there are plenty of things they do to increase their sales.

Here’s a few things grocery stores do to trick customers into spending more (and how to avoid them):

External Cues

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Growing Your Own Food To Save Money And Eat Healthy

Growing your own food to save money and eat healthyAs much as I love couponing, what I love even more is having the opportunity to provide my household with some of our grocery needs, without paying out the wazoo for quality local goods.

The problem with grocery store produce, is that unless you can afford to shop exclusively organic or at your local farmers markets, you have no idea what kind of conditions and pesticides your food has been exposed to. Mainstream media is now bringing a lot more information on how our food supply is produced than we have ever had access to previously, and what we are seeing can be frightening sometimes.

Many of us are so disconnected from our food supply, we lack even basic gardening experience. But, with all the information so easily accessible online, it is a skill worth learning again, as it is very beneficial to both your health and your budget.

Establishing Your “Kitchen Garden”

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My System For Stacking Grocery Deals & Coupons

My system for stacking grocery deals and couponsSo, you have an organized binder full of great coupons and maybe you have even signed up with one or more of the Canadian coupon apps and are ready to find yourself some good deals. There’s only one problem: digging through your coupon binder and trying to match them with sale prices can be very time consuming.

I’m here to tell you that there is an easier way, and the system to do it all for you is a program already installed on your computer! It will not only help you find great deals, but sometimes you’ll even score free items when you stack paper coupons with online offers and rewards programs. When going through the weekly flyers, it will help you prepare a detailed shopping list to take with you to the grocery store.

“Window Shopping”

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Multiply Your Savings With A Coupon Book

Multiply your savings with a coupon bookLast year I managed to save a significant amount of money on groceries by using coupons I found in a coupon book.

Not only did I save money from the coupons I found, I also managed to multiply my savings so that I saved much more than originally planned.

Stumbling My Way To Big Savings

My strategy for multiplying my savings was something I stumbled upon in the process of using my coupons.

I bought a coupon book online for a fundraiser that raises money for local schools. The coupon book cost $20 but was huge – it had hundreds of coupons inside. I bought it for the grocery coupons as those were the ones that I knew I would use and would save me money. The book had about $60 in grocery coupons that I was sure to use, so I’d easily make my money back.

In the process of searching for the coupon book through online classifieds I noticed that there were others who were in the same position I was – they also bought the coupon book but would only use 5-10 coupons out of the hundreds that were available.

I noticed ads placed by others who wanted to trade the coupons they weren’t planning to use for the ones they would use.

Related: Couponing For Beginners

It was easy to find plenty of people to trade coupons with, as certain people were looking for certain coupons and almost everyone had coupons they weren’t planning to use.

I contacted a few of them and asked if they’d want to trade and I was in luck. I traded with numerous people via regular mail since it saved us the time and hassle of meeting to trade for relatively low-value coupons.

How Much Money I’ve Saved

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Organizing Your Coupon Binder Made Easy

Organizing your coupon binder made easyFor those who are just getting started with using coupons, you may find it a bit overwhelming to keep track of them. Perhaps you get frustrated trying to locate a specific coupon while in the grocery store, or get shot down at the cashier for not noticing that one has expired. There is a simple way to ensure your shopping trips go quickly and smoothly: organization!

Give Your Coupon Binder An Upgrade

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How To Spot Fresh In Season Produce At The Grocery Store

How to spot fresh in-season produce at the grocery storeIt seems that we’ve been inundated with reports of grocery costs lately. If it’s not in the current headlines, you might have heard complaints from your mother, neighbour, or friend. You might have even have noticed price increases (or a reduction in product size for the same cost) among your own grocery staples.

Back in 2012, poor weather conditions severely affected the apple harvest and we sadly had to cancel our annual visit to the orchard. For the first time I could remember, they were closed for picking in several varieties and apple prices were generally higher than usual that year.

Recently, the dwindling population of honeybees have made the headlines again, and not for the first time. Experts claim that not only will honey prices increase, the costs of other crops that depend on a large bee population to pollinate their crops will also suffer. One of these crops is the almond plant, which in turn raises the cost of almond milk, and also my favourite almond chocolate bar. Coupled with a poor cocoa bean yield from West Africa, my cravings are threatening to make a noticeable impact on our expense tracking spreadsheet.

Related: How To Find Grocery Coupons Online

My protest over the increasing cost of quality chocolate will probably fall on deaf ears but there is something I can do that will make my spreadsheet numbers sexier. That’s right; I look for hot little numbers in my expense records. Doesn’t everyone? Don’t answer that.

One way we can combat these rising costs is to focus our spending on fresh in-season produce at the grocery store. Eating tastier and healthier food just happens to be an added bonus.

Chasing Cranberries

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Do You Splurge?

Do you splurge?A person new to HowToSaveMoney.ca might think that I’m a tight fisted miser who bends down to pick up every penny - or should I say nickel? - off the street and then goes home to curl up in bed and snuggle with my piggy bank while laying on my mattress stuffed with cash.

As enticing as that sounds, it simply isn’t so!

My goal in life is to save as much money on everything I can so I have more money left over to live a good life and to splurge on the things I enjoy! No, I don’t believe we need oodles of money to be happy, but I do definitely enjoy spending it on some things and I’d be lying if I said it never brings a smile to my face. I’m human like the rest of you, and we all like to spoil ourselves from time to time.

My Favourite Splurges

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When Fruits And Vegetables Are In Season

When fruits and vegetables are in seasonWhat better time to buy fruits and vegetables than when they are in season? They taste better, are more nutritious, AND prices are almost always lower!

With in season produce, flavours are more pronounced and aromas blend with taste in such a way to keep you coming back for seconds (or thirds as in my family). What easier way to make your children hate vegetables than to serve them when they’re at their worst? Isn’t that like taking a shiny new bike and presenting it after you’ve dragged it through the mud?

Arguably, you can wash the bike and it will be like new. To present the equivalent in past-their-prime vegetables, I only know the one true Canadian way: smother them in cheese and add bacon. If that doesn’t work, nothing will!

Who likes to read previews before seeing the movie or buying the book? I do! Would you like to know what is going to be in season next month or what is in season right now? I would!

That’s why we’ve come up with a new pdf to download, print, and pin to your refrigerator so you can use it for menu planning or keep in your shopping bag for your next trip to the grocery store. Fruits and vegetables are sorted alphabetically and a bright sun denotes the best month(s) to find your favourite produce at its best.

Download Your Free PDF: When Fruits And Vegetables Are In Season

If you’re not familiar with some of these foods, not to worry! The internet can be a great resource for endless recipes, with many sites containing reviews on a variety of dishes. And hey, If it doesn’t turn out, you can always fall back on the Canadian cheese and bacon - it might end up being a new favourite that way!

You can also find the full listing of fruits and vegetables by month right here in this article as well - read on below.

Jump To A Month

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