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Dear HG, 


My friends and I LOVE your site!  It is very "readable" and a great start to the day!  But, we need some low-cost AND low-calorie alternatives! Sometimes opting to eat right can be costly...we love Whole Foods but that grocery store can grossly strain the budget.  Any ideas?? Thanks.


Foodie on a Budget

Dear Foodie on a Budget,


First of all -- thank you!  So glad you like Hungry Girl. And as for your question, you're definitely not alone on this one.  I get tons of emails with complaints about the prices of guilt-free foods.  Here are some less expensive ways to go:


Fruits & Veggies:  1. Frozen Fruits. You'd be amazed at the wide variety & low prices of frozen fruits.  Stock up on 'em and you may never even defrost the suckers! I eat frozen fruit straight from the bag and use it in smoothies!  2. Farmers Markets.  Farmers markets cut out the middleman by bringing the growers right to you.  You can often find inexpensive produce that's even fresher than what you'll find at the supermarket.  3. Buy in-season.  It's MUCH cheaper.  I recently bought a pound of cherries ($6.99/lb off-season) for $1.99!


Specialty Items:  No doubt about it, low-calorie, low-fat treats are often crazy-expensive.  Try this little tip to save cash:  Avoid the single-serving, portion-controlled craze; these products are always more expensive than the originals.  Just break down that 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.  Even better than buying the original sizes, go for BULK!  Once you know you like a product, you can save by ordering it in bulk, either online or at stores like Costco and Sam's Club.

Hope this helps!  Happy snacking...

Hi HG,

I read in a magazine yesterday that if you drink one 8 oz. can of tomato juice mixed with 1 gram of chili pepper, it helps you shed pounds.  Is this true?  Have you heard of it?

Checkin' On Chilies

Dear Checkin’,


I HAVE heard that chili peppers can help with weight loss, but don’t go out and buy zillions of 'em yet.  Some studies have shown that including chili peppers in a low-fat diet can help dieters to lose weight.  However, it's not a miracle food by any stretch of the imagination.  Adding peppers and hot spices to food may cause you to eat more slowly, and therefore fill up more quickly.  Some studies have also claimed that chili peppers can speed up your metabolism, causing you to burn calories faster.  Other experts, however, dismiss this, saying that any increase in metabolism would be too slight to affect weight loss.  The best way to significantly boost metabolism and burn calories is to exercise (sorry!).  In general, tomatoes, peppers, and other veggies are great low-calorie, low-fat choices.  And if spicing up your food slows down your eating & results in eating less, I say go for it!


Today, August 9th, is National Rice Pudding Day.  Celebrate with Kozy Shack's No Sugar Added version. 

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