A week and a half after New Year’s Eve…how are those resolutions going? Eating healthy is a common resolution, and yet there is a perception that couponing and healthy eating are incompatible. It’s true that many coupons are for processed food, and I think that we can all agree that a steady diet of cheap pizza rolls and nearly-free cookies will probably get us into trouble. So how can we make sure we don’t bust our budgets or the buttons on our pants?
First, consider making it a priority to seek out coupons for ingredients rather than finished products. Then you can have more control over quantities of fat, sodium, sugar, and other trouble-causing ingredients.
Substitute ingredients: several “healthy-fied” recipes call for high-protein, low-fat Greek yogurt in place of higher fat creams and sour creams. Hidden fruit and vegetable purees can add nutrition without drastically altering flavors. Add flavor with spices rather than salt, fat, and sugar.
Also, make sure you’re getting plenty of fruits and veggies in your diet. We don’t usually see coupons for fresh produce, but frozen has the same nutritional content and is easy to stock up on with coupons and sales. It’s also conveniently ready for dinner preparation. Watch out for frozen veggies with sauce, since these have added fat and sodium, and if you go for canned fruit, choose one packed in 100% juice rather than syrup.
Finally, make peace with the fact that you probably won’t be getting “Extreme Coupon” savings on some of the most healthy stuff. You’re not going to get 80% off of fresh greens or lean protein on a regular basis, but both should be part of your diet. That being said, if you can hit a good sale and use your Giant Eagle Foodperks, you can still get a lot of bang for your buck. Plan ahead, stock up, and make the most of savings opportunities.
Here’s a simple recipe for Chicken Fingers that kids and adults will both like. More flavorful and better for you than out of a box, and if you get a good deal on the chicken, probably less expensive too! Below that, a list of coupons that can help with some of healthy eating tips.
Chicken Fingers With Curried Ketchup (originally from Food Network Magazine)
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1-inch-wide strips
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
3/4 cup ketchup
Juice of 1 lime
Preheat the oven to 400°. Set a rack on a baking sheet and mist with cooking spray. Whisk the eggs, mustard, 1 teaspoon curry powder, the cumin and 1 teaspoon salt in a shallow bowl. Mix the panko with 1/2 teaspoon curry powder in another bowl.
Dip the chicken strips in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then coat with the panko. Place the chicken on the rack and mist all over with cooking spray. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Mix the ketchup, lime juice and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon curry powder in a small bowl. Serve the chicken strips with the curried ketchup and broccoli.
Boneless, skinless chicken breast: On sale through Wednesday at Giant Eagle, $5.97 for 3 lb bag frozen
Panko Bread Crumbs
50¢/1 Progresso Panko Crispy Bread Crumbs 1/8 GM (exp 3/31/12)
75¢/1 Smart Balance Cooking Oil or cooking Spray 1/8 SS (exp 2/22/12)
50¢/1 Mazola Cooking Oil or Spray 12/11 SS (exp 2/5/12)
Vegetables & Fruits
$1/1 Woodstock Frozen Vegetables printable
60¢/3 Green Giant Frozen Boxed Vegetables 12/11 SS, 1/8 GM
50¢/2 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers Frozen Vegetables 12/11 SS (exp 2/4/12)
40¢/1 Green Giant Just for One Vegetables 1/8 GM (exp 3/3/12)
$1/3 Birds Eye or Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetable printable
55¢/1 Mann’s Fresh Cut Vegetables
$1/2 Hanover Silver Line Frozen Vegetables 12/11 RP (exp 1/31/12)
$1/2 Hanover Gold Line Frozen Vegetables 12/11 RP (exp 1/31/12)
50¢/2 Dole Canned Fruit
75¢/1 Dole All Natural Fruit, 24.5 oz
75¢/1 Dole All Natural Fruit, 24.5 oz Jar
75¢/1, $1/2 Dole Frozen Fruit Single Serve Cups 1/8 SS (exp 4/1/12)
75¢/2 Dole Fruit Bowls in 100% Juice 1/8 SS (exp 3/31/12)
75¢/1 Dole All Natural Fruit in 100% Juice 1/8 SS (exp 3/31/12)
50¢/1 Dole Fruit Bowls or All Natural Fruit in Plastic Jars
50¢/2 Yoplait Greek Yogurt Cups here, here
$1/2 Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, (Recyclebank 75 points)
50¢/1 Okios Organic Greek Yogurt, 4 oz, 4 pk
50¢/1 Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt 16 oz tub
50¢/1 Stonyfield Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt, 16 or 32 oz
75¢/1 Voskos Greek Yogurt
75¢/1 Yogreek Yogurt Flavor