You need to confirm that you like this page! Do it now!!! -- HG

Dear HG,

LOVE your site! Can you give me some low-cost AND low-cal ideas for eating guilt-free foods? Sometimes opting to eat right can be costly. Thanks.

Cheap but Hungry
Dear CBH,

Glad you're a fan of the website! I get MANY emails with complaints about the price of guilt-free foods. Here are some less expensive ways to go:

For Fruits & Veggies - Hit the freezer aisle. You'll be amazed at the wide variety and low prices of frozen produce. Stock up on them. BTW, you don't even have to defrost those chilly berries -- I eat frozen fruit straight from the bag and use it in smoothies, too! Also, look for local farmers markets -- you can often find inexpensive produce that's even fresher than what you'll find at the supermarket. (Yes, I know it's January and outdoor markets in cold-weather locations are closed. But it's a good tip to keep in mind!) One more thing -- buy foods that are in season. You'll save a lot that way.

For Specialty Items - No doubt about it, low-calorie, low-fat treats are often expensive. Try this little tip to save cash. Avoid the single-serving, portion-controlled craze -- those products are always more expensive than the originals. Just break down a giant bag of popcorn or chips into single servings as soon as you get home. Need an added bonus? There are usually more flavor options in the original sizes than there are in the smaller single-serving packs. Another idea is to look for generic versions of those treats -- Target has its own version of Fiber One Chewy Bars and many supermarket chains have their own 100-calorie packs. And finally, go for bulk! Once you know you like a product, you can save by purchasing it in bulk, either online or at stores like Costco and Sam's Club.

Clip Coupons! - This may sound cliché, but paying attention to specials and cutting out coupons is an excellent way to save a bunch of money on food. Look for deals on items nearing their expiration dates. (Just be sure to consume the stuff before it goes bad!) Do it!

Hope this helps! Happy snacking...

Hey HG!

I'm a college student living on campus, and I want to get rid of the freshman (and sophomore, and junior) fifteen. What are some good low-cal substitutes for things like ramen noodles and grilled cheese? I want to eat like my friends but still lose a little weight. Is this possible?

Chew U
Dear Chew U,

Yes, it's possible. There are lots of college staples that don't have to cause weight gain. For a great ramen swap, add House Foods Tofu Shirataki noodles to fat-free chicken broth. You'll have a giant bowl of noodle soup for around 60 calories, a gram of fat, and 4g fiber (POINTS® value 0*). AMAZING. (FYI, Shirataki newbies should click here and check out the 2nd Q for more info.) There's also a product out there called Nissin Choice Ramen with fewer calories and way less fat than regular ramen -- a serving of that has 140 calories, less than a gram of fat, and 1g fiber (POINTS® value 3*). If you find that stuff, stock up -- rumor is it'll be discontinued after this summer. As for grilled cheese, I make a version that uses either a high-fiber/low-calorie tortilla or two slices of light bread, a wedge of Laughing Cow Light cheese, and a slice of fat-free American cheese. You can pop it in the toaster oven or "fry" it up in a pan with nonstick cooking spray (and a little Brummel & Brown or some zero-calorie butter spray). That cheesy treat will only have about 200 calories or so and a few grams of fat. Other great foods for college life? Popchips, VitaTops, fresh fruits and veggies, canned soups, and fat-free yogurt (Yoplait Light and Fage Total 0%). For some more college-friendly chews, check out this dorm room survival guide and these cafeteria tips. Have fun!!!

Today, January 21st, is National Granola Bar Day. (Some say Granola Day was yesterday, but what do they know?) Click here to see some of our snack bar picks!
Have a question for Hungry Girl? Send it in! She answers two new Qs each week (but cannot respond to emails personally).
Send To A Friend  Did a friend send you this? SIGN UP NOW & get your very own DAILY Tips & Tricks!
Having mail issues? Click here for a printable, text-only version of this email. And click here for an HTML version.

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

The Baskin-Robbins® logos and designs are owned by BR IP Holder LLC. Used with permission.