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Recession Pounds?

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Old 01-09-2009, 06:22 PM   #1
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Default Recession Pounds?

Will America put on "recession pounds?"

I saw this on Yahoo.com today. Interesting how they fear people will forgo healthy whole grains and fresh fruit and vegetables in lieu of saturated fat items because of cost. (or perceived cost, IMO) While I can see a trend away from organic (as it generally costs more), I have a hard time understanding not eating healthy. Well, I guess it's part of my "training" here for the past several years!
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:06 PM   #2
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Hmm....I certainly won't be trading my healthy, fresh foods for cheaper, processed food. Saving money isn't worth feeling icky and unhealthy, to me. Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of splurges on TastyKakes and potato chips, but I'm trying to change my entire way of looking at food....and an "economic downturn" as they call it isn't going to stop me. I'm willing to cut back other things in my budget to afford healthy food, if the prices go up much more. I realize not everyone can do that and a lot of people legitimately can't afford good, healthy food for their families....to me that's a symptom of something wrong with our society, that we allow corporations to charge more for good food and so much less for food that is killing our children slowly.

Anyway, that's my soapbox. I hope the economy eventually begins to improve so more people can include healthy, fresh foods into their diets without feeling a budget pinch.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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That is why a lot of cities (LA) are banning fast food places in low income areas. I don't agree with them. It isn't up to the city to legislate what my family will eat. Let's face it, if you are on welfare or close to it, the dollar menu will let you get quite a bit of food for very little money.

I'm glad there is something like WIC out there to help get some good food for the kids.

It really frosts me that they charge so much for the better food. Then again, they have to because they can't stretch it with HFCS.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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I'd put in a garden where my lawn is if I couldn't afford my veggies! Actually, I already plan on growing some things this year to help with food costs.

The biggest problem with the poverty and obesity link (in my mind) is that in low income areas, people don't always have access to fresh foods. I know in most Oakland neighborhoods there aren't even grocery stores, just convenience stores. Add into that the fact that many in these types of neighborhoods don't have cars and you have an access problem. I also think that if you are really poor and you have a dollar to spend, you might reason that a dollar burger will keep you full longer then an apple.

I think people who already eat healthy, will try to continue to do so. They might substitute certain things (frozen instead fresh, apples and bananas instead of pricier fruits, etc...), but I don't think someone who has already has changed their diet for the better is going to go back to eating junk because it's cheaper. People who don't care about nutrition are a different story.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:45 PM   #5
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I don't know, I am going to have to cut back a little. My favorite Annie's BBQ sauce was $4.49 in the store. I used to always buy it because it was great to know I was getting a product without HFCS, but now I'm going to have to either skip BBQ or read labels of cheaper products carefully. My days of cheerfully buying 4.99 packages of fresh blueberries in February are also OVER. I'm still going to eat healthy - but it's going to be a lot harder and less fun.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
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but now I'm going to have to either skip BBQ or read labels of cheaper products carefully.
While I don't have a solution for fresh blueberries, why not make your own BBQ sauce? I have found that making my own sauces and condiments is way cheaper and a good way to control the calories and quality of the ingredients.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:08 PM   #7
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I wish I could make a decent salad dressing. I can make 1 from scratch. It is mixing some olive oil and seasoned rice vinegar.

I make some dressings from packages but it is easier to use the bottled ones.

We already grow quite a bit. We grow tomatoes, onions, peppers, sage and several other herbs. We have orange and lemon trees.

I hope they will look at more fruit and veggies instead of meat. While some produce is $5 (like those blueberries), they will go further than a $5 steak and be better for you.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
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There really are folks who won't have a choice. Their incomes already aren't covering all of their basic needs. My husband and I are very lucky - because we had good jobs before we got sick, we make more on disability than some families make to feed their entire family, our housing costs are relatively low (we moved here because of them, knowing I was having to quit my job), and and last year we still ended up in a financial situation in which we had to choose between food and medicine from early November until the end of December. We were ineligible for assistance programs, because we make too much money (just by a hair, but a miss is as good as a mile).

I've never been in that situation before - having to choose between two necessities (I've experienced tight times, and have had to cut back on optional purchases, and when going onto disability I found how many things I thought were necesities were actually optional). I went without some medicines I probably shouldn't have gone without, because there just wasn't room in the budget for them, and we didn't qualify for any help.

I'm thankful, because out of it we learned that NSAIDs were responsible for my asthma symptoms. I may never have found that out, if I had had money for my prescription naproxen (or even enough cash for otc ibuprofen), but since we didn't, I went without. A blessing in disguise, but what was a luckily a blessing for us, is a true curse for many families.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:33 PM   #9
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My food bills are cheaper buying whole foods than they are processed foods. Beans are cheap and you can do lots with them. There is always some sort of fresh produce for great prices. Of course, we are flexible in my house and do eat all fruits and veggies and any lean proteins. We do not eat red meat.
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Old 01-10-2009, 04:55 AM   #10
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My food bills are cheaper buying whole foods than they are processed foods. Beans are cheap and you can do lots with them. There is always some sort of fresh produce for great prices.
Agreed completely. I realize not everyone has access, but most people do, to bulk bins or discount stores. I can get a huge pound of rice for a fraction of the cost of prepackaged items. Beans for just a ridiculously low price. Same thing for nuts, seeds, flour, sugar, oats, quinoa, etc etc etc. There are also farmers markets year round some places and if not then there are sales if you're flexible in your menu. I understand times are tough and cutbacks must be made but why sacrifice your health?

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:16 AM   #11
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I understand times are tough and cutbacks must be made but why sacrifice your health?

because it's cheaper.

I've been a single parent for 12 years. I'm raising 3 teenage boys on one income and no child support. I got laid off in October so I'm trying to pay the rent, bills and buy food on a little less then $2,000.00 a month (not easy when your rent is 1300 of that).

The pizzaria up the street has weekly specials. On Tuesday and Wednesdays you can get a large pie for 5.99. I budget that in. How else can I feed 4 people on 6 bucks? I only do it once a week but I know people who have pizza twice because of the price.

Many years ago I worked in a school. Parents would send their kids to school with a 50 cent honey bun for lunch. That honey bun was nothing but empty calories but was big enough to fill a childs stomach for a little while.

The store brands dont always offer a low fat alternative. I'm looking at a box of store brand wheat thins. It cost me 2.50 on sale for the box. Nabisco Low Fat Wheat Thins are almost 4.00 and not on sale. Sure it's only a 1.50difference but that 1.50 is another box of oatmeal (also on sale) or 3 cans of soup.

Sometimes, healthy or not the lowest price has to win.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:39 AM   #12
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I'm actually surprised at what you can find at the dollar store. My MIL, while not in any financial crisis, shops there a lot. She finds perfectly good fruits and vegetables for a steal!

I agree beans are really, really cheap and healthy. Especially if you buy them dry and cook them yourself. It really isn't that hard to do.

Glory~I've found that several of Annie's things are also at Trader Joe's under their brand--even the exact same bottle with a different label. You might luck out and find the same BBQ sauce there.

I agree that the government should not dictate what people eat, but it is unfortunate that those who might be on food stamps or other assistance aren't given perhaps a list of foods that can easily be stretched to fit the budget so that they don't end up buying endless boxes of mac and cheese and other gross, but cheap stuff.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:53 AM   #13
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I have to admit...I spent ALOT less at the grocery store when anything quick and cheap would do. Eating healthy is expensive and I can see where those who are trying to fill their bellies and strech a dollar end up streching their pants.
This is a particular concern for me right now since both of my daughters are pregnant and their young families are struggling. That is why I keep alot of healthy foods around...invite them over for supper at least once a week and encourage them to stop by and grab a bite to eat anytime...I know that mac-n-cheese is a frequent cheap meal for them and I will provide all the nutritio that I can get them to accept...for my kids as well as my future grandchildren.
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Old 01-10-2009, 03:28 PM   #14
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It's like a variation on that old saying... there's convenient/easy/quick food, cheap food, and healthy food, and usually you can only get 2 at a time! There are some exceptions (frozen fruits and veggies, canned beans) but mostly I think it holds. I've decided to devote more time to preparing food, because cheap and healthy are both essential to me right now.

So I'm willing to cook brown rice even though it takes longer (make some to freeze for later), skin and bone my own chicken thighs and legs (and use the scraps for chicken stock!), cook the 80% lean ground beef and drain and rinse it because I can't afford that super lean stuff, make my own pasta or pizza sauce because canned tomatoes and bulk spices are cheaper than jar sauces, buy meats that are close to expiring and find uses for them right away or prep them for the freezer, etc. And most of all, I've spent hours looking up recipes and tips!

But I think many people would choose cheap and easy -- either out of necessity or just not wanting to change their habits and their schedule. I know it's tough -- I go to school 8-10 hours a weekday and then have a few hours of homework when I get home. (Luckily DH does all the cleanup for my cooking.) So I can easily see how people would turn to unhealthier diets in these times.

Well, I'll stop rambling, I'm off to boil 5 lb of potatoes and make mashed potatoes to freeze for later... they were BOGO last week...

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Old 01-10-2009, 03:41 PM   #15
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....buy meats that are close to expiring ...

The manager special meats!! I love those deals! I just bought 4 packages of 6 center cut pork chops for around 3 bucks each


sorry..... I get excited over sales! .........

back on topic

Last edited by Twice : 01-10-2009 at 03:42 PM.
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