It’s a necessary purchase and one of the most expensive line items in most household budgets. What is it?
Everyone has to eat and it can be costly but there are some ways to eat healthy and for less simply by making a few adjustments to eat with the seasons.
- Eat what’s in season. It typically costs less, isn’t shipped as far and tastes better. For example, melons, berries, cucumbers, zucchini, sweet corn, green beans, tomatoes, cherries and a host of other fruits and vegetables are in season during the summer. In the fall, look for pears, apples, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers and eggplant. Each season offers different bounty and new opportunities to switch up your diet.
- Go for fresh. Those prepackaged salads are quick and look good but can go from attractive to limp or slimy quickly. Fresh romaine, head lettuce and spinach make a great salad and will last longer. Pre-cut veggies and melons are convenient but cost far more per pound that cutting melon or celery for yourself.
- Go for frozen. Frozen fruits and veggies are typically picked when ripe and then flash frozen. That means frozen produce is a good substitute for fresh. However, beware the frozen prepared meals which often are packed with sodium and sugar and cost more for their convenience.
- Eat (and take care of) what you have. How many times have you loaded up your cart with tons of fresh produce only for it to rot in the fridge? Make sure you’re either eating what you buy or learn what can be frozen for later. For example, grapes are an amazing treat when frozen. Even odds and ends of leftover vegetables make a great base for soups or omelets. Fruits go well in smoothies or baked goods.
- Go meatless. Meatless Monday has long been a popular concept and summer is a great time to try that out. With an abundance of fresh from the garden produce, there’s a world of recipes and meal combinations to entertain your taste buds.
- Preserve it for later. Learn what kind of produce freezes well. Then you can snatch up deals while the selection is abundant and enjoy the season’s bounty when the price is higher again later.
- Shop local. By shopping farmers markets or farm stands, you’re getting seasonal foods and supporting a business in your community.
How do you cut grocery costs and still eat healthy? Tell us in the comments. We would love to hear from you!