Eating well on a budget
Eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. It might seem like unhealthy foods are less expensive, but healthy foods can fit into your budget. Here are some quick tips for the grocery store to help stock your home with healthy foods that don’t cost too much.
1. Get in-season fruits and vegetables
They tend to be less expensive during that time. Certain fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, carrots and leafy greens are low-cost all year round. Tip: Slice and freeze bananas to add an ice cream-like texture to your fruit smoothies.
2. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables can be a healthy way to get your fiber, vitamins and minerals. Don’t add sauces or sweeteners.
Frozen fruits are great in smoothies. Tip: Thaw them and add to oatmeal, salads or in desserts. Use frozen vegetables in soups, stews and pasta sauce. Tip: Cook them up as a side dish on their own.
3. Buy in bulk
Oats, lentils, brown rice and other whole grains are often found in bulk bins at markets. If you can’t find bulk bins, buy a large canister of whole oats or a pouch of dried lentils.
4. Cook grains, beans or lentils in batches
Maybe steel cut oats are your favorite, but take too long to cook each morning. Try making a batch on the weekend and reheat throughout the week. This is an easy breakfast or side dish that doesn’t cost much.
5. Go to farmers markets and stands
Compare prices and pick up fresh produce that is priced better than at grocery stores.
6. Convenience often means expensive
Make your own soups, sauces and salads. It can save a lot of money and bring out hidden creativity.
7. Use canned beans
Beans are a great way to add bulk to foods. Use them in salads, soups, tacos and other dishes. Rinse them well to remove too much salt.
8. Go meatless
Meat can often be the most expensive part of a meal. Try going meatless once or twice a week. It can be a nice cost saver and introduce you and your family to some great veggie-based dishes.
9. Plan ahead
Watch the supermarket flyer each week. Plan meals for the week based on what’s on sale.