Tighten your belt: Tips for dieting on a dime

Wynne Everett

1. Drink water and skim milk; skip other beverages. “Try to eat your calories instead of drinking them,” said Sari Greaves, an American Dietetic Association spokeswoman and registered dietician. “If you want, flavor your water with a wedge of lemon or lime.”

2. Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables when they’re in season. They taste their best and they’re at their cheapest.

3. You don’t have to buy organic to eat healthy. “Organic is a personal choice,” Greaves said.

4. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh (as long as you skip the overly seasoned versions). Plus, you can get a good deal on these and stock up when they’re on sale.

5. Ditch the stuff that’s already packaged in single-serving sizes. You can do this yourself (and avoid too much salt, seasonings and preservatives) by buying bulk quantities of staples such as oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain pastas. Then dress those up with fruits, vegetables and seasonings you control in your own kitchen.

6. If you’re attached the idea of reaching into the freezer for a prepared meal you can heat up, cook large batches of healthy meals you love and divide them yourself into single-meal portions.

GateHouse News Service