Eat, Shrink and Be Merry for the Holidays

Eat, shrink and be merry for the holidays…what more could you want? It is possible to eat well, reduce your stress and save money even when you are busy!

Toronto ON – Eating well will help you enjoy a healthy, inexpensive, stress free holiday season. Dieticians recommend planning meals in advance to help busy families eat healthy every day. Take the worry out of cooking dinner by having your prepared food in the freezer ready to heat. Having a well-balanced, homemade meal ready will ensure your family eats well, minimizes your stress and saves you money. Organization is the key to surviving the holidays stress-free and on budget.

“The holidays can be the most wonderful time of the year if we stay focused on our budget and not give in to unnecessary spending,” says Jeffrey Schwartz, executive director, Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. “Ordering in costly fast-food after a long day of shopping may alleviate the momentary stress of having to cook but is it worth it when the credit card bill arrives and you can’t pay it?”

This recipe for Sweet Potato Chili feeds a family of four, can be frozen, meets Health Check‘s criteria and is only about $1 per serving rather than ordering four 3-piece chicken dinners for $5 each.

Weekly menu planning, preparing double batches of main dishes that can be easily frozen and reheated, and stocking your pantry with staples are important steps to eating healthy. Planning meals with your family, reviewing your favourite recipe sources and always shopping with a grocery list are easy ways to keep your food budget in check.

Carol Dombrow, dietician for the Heart and Stroke Foundation, recommends eating healthy and saving money on groceries by:
• Weekly menu planning
• Keeping a list of what is in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer, so you use the foods you have on-hand first
• Eating vegetables and fruits, whole grains, lean meats and alternatives and lower fat dairy products that are on sale
• Consult your favourite resources for recipes that are economical and meet the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check criteria

About Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc.:
Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, Inc. is a national non-profit credit counselling organization that teaches consumers about personal finance.

Consolidated Credit’s unbiased debt-counselling service offers alternatives to help people get their debts under control. Alongside assisting with consolidating payments, Consolidated Credit experts focus on education and understanding. Strategies include teaching basic but vital concepts such as how to budget, understanding credit and how to manage money.

Consolidated Credit also offers a free web-based budget and debt analysis tool and a plethora of website resources for people interested in learning more about debt and credit on their own, including tips on smart spending, buying a car, taking out a student loan and a survival guide for holiday spending. Its online learning centre offers free personal finance education booklets, financial calculators, resources, tips and suggestions. Also offered is a free iPhone and iPod application, “Budget Tool”, which can be used to manage expenses on-the-go.

Visit or call the toll-free phone line at 1.800.656.4079.

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