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As we head into the holiday weekend, Lissa Harnish Poirot has put together some timely tips for eating healthy while away from home without breaking the bank. A BIG thanks to Lissa for this informative article.

5 (Budget-Friendly) Ways for Families to Eat Healthy While Vacationing

1. Try to find hotels offering in-room mini-fridges so you can stock it with drinks and snacks (if they only offer a mini bar, ask the hotel to empty it before your arrival). Avoid purchasing snacks at the hotel (higher prices) but instead hit the local grocery store for fresh produce, bottled water, and healthy snacks that you’d normally purchase at home.

2. Look for hotels providing free breakfast buffets. I hate to look like that woman grabbing the extra food at the buffet, but I have no shame when I’m spending a bundle on a hotel and they offer a free buffet and the chance to grab some extra fruit to bring with us while we explore a city, visit a theme park, or even just to keep in our room for when we get hungry. I also grab extra apples from those hotels offering them at check in!

3. Splurge on a Club Level room, if available. I find the splurge for a Club Level room is worth it in the money I save on meals and snacks — the stay becomes nearly all-inclusive — but the choices are also more healthy. Club Levels provide breakfast buffets, snacks and drinks throughout the day, and heavy hors d’ouevres at lunch and dinner hours. During one recent Club Level stay, we were able to snack on hummus and fruit, and fill up on salads and finger sandwiches during meal times.

4. When traveling overseas where familiar foods may not be available, pack peanut butter and other favorites as a fail-safe standby. Again, visiting the local grocer can get you the tried-and-true healthy favorites that work at home, such as bread, sliced turkey, pretzels and fruit. Pack meals as if you’re packing for your child’s day at school. Try to order a couple of small items off the menu at the restaurants, however, to round out the meal, and to have your child try to embrace new foods.

5. Avoid “vacation” mentality. Too often we throw caution to the wind during vacation. We’re sleeping in, staying up later, off our daily schedules, and before we know it we’re ordering our weight in chicken fingers, chips and queso dip, and ice cream. Sure, it’s vacation, so splurge once in a while and have that double-decker ice cream cone after a day on the beach — just don’t do it every day. If you over-indulge at lunch, take it easy and order a healthier dinner. The kids will avoid the sugar high so many of us encounter on vacations, and you’ll avoid the extra pounds on the scale when you get home.

INTRODUCING LISSA HARNISH POIROT

Lissa Harnish Poirot is an experienced editor, writer and family travel expert who loves to travel with her two kids in tow — making her the perfect choice for editor of Family Vacation Critic.

*Image provided by Peanut Butter & Co.*

Today’s illuminating (pun intended!) article was written by Kristl, from The Budget Diet, to share with Tiny Green Mom’s readers! A HUGE thanks to Kristl for providing this article!

Stop Phantom Electricity

Discover almost instant savings with a tip that’s both budget friendly & earth friendly!

My daughter’s science project on “Phantom Electricity” showed us just how much electricity we waste.

What is”Phantom Electricity”? Phantom Electricity is the electricity that is used when a device is plugged in but not in use.

For example…you leave your cell phone charger plugged in all the time, but you only charge your phone every few days…did you know that your charger is still using electricity when it is plugged in but not charging? This is “Phantom Electricity”, and little bits are being used throughout your home everyday hence the name “phantom.”

My daughter used a device called the “Kill-A-Watt” to take exact measurements of “Phantom Electricity”. The results showed that we’re not talking about huge savings…only $5 – $10 per month, but The Budget Diet motto is: Every little bit adds up!

So, how do you save electricity without running around your house unplugging every little thing, everyday? Here are some easy suggestions:

* Use power strips for both your computer and television. When not in use…simply turn off the power strip.
* Unplug lamps & appliances that you rarely use.
* For goodness sake, don’t leave your chargers plugged in when not in use!
* It’s all about starting a new habit, so give it a chance and soon unplugging will become second nature just like turning off the lights!

As my 6th grade daughter said in her conclusion, it’s not just about saving money…it’s about saving the Earth! GO GREEN & SAVE!

The Budget Diet is a diet for your wallet…not your waistline! You’ll discover new money saving tips everyday to help you slim down your daily spending! The Budget Diet girl is not a financial planner or an accountant…just a mom that knows how to live the good life on a budget! Follow The Budget Diet on Facebook or Twitter.

*Image found on ClipArt.*

Easy Ways of Being Green Without Breaking the Budget

Nowadays it has become popular to be more conscientious of what we eat. Ideally we’d all prefer to eat healthy, organic food but sometimes it just doesn’t seem economically feasible.

If price is a determining factor in your weekly food budget, then you are probably already aware that organic products are generally considerably more expensive than their traditional counterparts. However it is vital to bear in mind that due to the fact that organic foods often contain superior nutrients and nutritional value, you may require less food to maintain better health. Quality rather than quantity definitely applies when it comes to what we eat. You may find yourself spending less on food by buying organic produce. Not only that, but by eating healthier more nutritionally rich foods, you may find yourself making less trips to the doctor which will further save you more money. Improved health and healthy eating equates to increased productivity and less days away from work, making the choice to switch to organic food even more economically logical.

Your body will assimilate nutrients from raw organic food far more efficiently than with traditional foods. After just a short time eating raw organic foods you will discover that your body is gaining the same nutrients that would have required substantially larger quantities of processed food in order to satisfy your daily requirements. Again, less is more in this case. Processed foods carry much less nutritional value than fresh organic foods and you will discover that this translates into savings as you find yourself requiring less food than you did when you ate highly processed products.

That being said, eating organic foods exclusively in today’s economy is not always doable and it is for this very reason that the USDA Organic labels provide a guide of foods that don’t have to be purchased organically either because they aren’t exposed to chemicals and pesticides or because they contain thick skins that protect them from absorbing these harmful substances.

1.Onions: Onions are rarely treated with pesticides so you won’t have to be concerned about having to purchase organically grown onions.

2.Avocados: Because avocados have thick skins, they don’t absorb chemicals and pesticides and so are safe to eat.

3.Corn: Even though corn is sprayed with pesticides, it is safe to consume because the corn kernel is protected from harmful substances by a husk.

4.Pineapple: Like coconuts, pineapples have very tough outer skins and chemicals cannot permeate into the fruit.

5.Mangos: This delicious fruit is protected from chemicals and pesticide contamination by its waxy thick skin, the only thing you should look out for is if the mango smells a bit off, it should smell fresh and fruity.

6.Asparagus: Due to the high pest resistance these vegetables have, they are rarely treated with pesticides making them safe to consume. Just be sure to choose bright green and firm specimens.

7.Sweet peas: The Environmental Working Groups most recent survey lists peas as having the least pesticide and chemical residue. If you’re still unsure though, they’re easy to grow yourself.

8.Cabbage: The good thing about cabbage is that it doesn’t require the use of many pesticides as it is a pest resistant plant. Another advantage of cabbage is that it is packed with beta carotene and can be considered a superfood.

9.Broccoli: As long as you avoid yellow colored, rubbery broccoli, you should be fine. Broccoli is another vegetable that doesn’t require excessive use of chemicals and pesticides when grown.

10.Sweet Potatoes: Full of beta carotene, this nutritious vegetable is safe because it is cultivated in the ground and doesn’t get exposed to chemical spraying.

As you can see you don’t have to be completely organic to avoid dangerous pesticides, there are many fruits and vegetables you can choose from that are grown in traditional ways that will still allow you to be green as well as frugal.

Researched by Victoria of Ratelines.com. Thanks Victoria!