Updated: Sep 5, 2021
Yes, more nutritional food costs more money. Which can make it that much harder to stick to a healthier meal plan. We are all on budgets, trying to save money where we can. Junk food seems cheaper but in many cases is not. Our food is one of the most important factors of our health and there are ways to ensure we are giving our bodies the best while staying within our budget. Below are some money saving tips for those more nutritional food items.
Do your fruits go bad before you get a chance to eat them?
Save them by storing them in a zip lock back in the freezer! You can use them later to make smoothie drinks or fruity parfait bowls or even 'nice cream'. Cut them up into smaller pieces for an easy grab of a serving, quick defrost and easy blend.
Veggies are looking a little sad and shriveling up in the fridge?
When available buy frozen options. They are usually more economical, last longer and are just as valuable nutritionally because they are generally harvested and freeze dried at the height of ripeness. Got leftover vegetables or herbs - chop and freeze or dump them all into a broth for a mixed veggies soup.
Finding low/no sodium canned or jarred foods like beans, peas, corn, roasted peppers, artichokes, or beets can be cost effective and convenient to keep in your pantry. Most of these items only cost a couple dollars and have a lasting shelf-life. Also, keep foods like pasta, rice, couscous or quinoa stocked in your pantry. These are great staple items that last for a long time and require minimal time investment in whipping up a meal. A little preparation and a stocked pantry can make life easier when you're in a time crunch!
Let your grocery store do the work for you!
How many times have you walked around the grocery store and completely ignored the deli section?! Next time, take a few minutes to browse your store's deli section. If you're in a bind with not enough time to cook, options, like ready made salads, pastas, side dishes, ready marinaded meats and even rotisserie chicken are a quick, easy and healthy way to get a meal ready for yourself and the family - not to mention cost effective!
Aida Sadeghi, MS,CNS
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