Making good food choices while taking a load off the wallet can be accomplished with a little extra planning. During National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Alabama Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program–Education (SNAP-Ed) at Auburn University, have a few tips to help save a few dollars on the grocery bill and also serve nutritious meals at home.
Make a game plan before heading to the grocery store. This will make decision-making easier and save time in the store. The less time a person in the store, the less of a chance they’ll make an impulse buy. Review recipes, and make a list of what ingredients are needed that aren’t already in the home.
Leftovers Are Key
Doubling a recipe could save time in the kitchen for later in the week or when deciding what to eat for lunch over the next few days. After cooking, safely store away the extra portions in the refrigerator for future use. Make a plan to use the extra food so it doesn’t go waste.
Find Out What’s In Season
In-season fruits and vegetables are usually easier to find and less expensive. First, check out the Alabama Extension publication Vegetable Seasons in Alabama to learn what’s in season, and then look online or in the local newspaper to see about any sales. Frozen and canned products are also good options and could be cheaper at certain times of the year. Look for fruit that is canned in 100% juice or water and canned vegetables labeled low sodium or no salt added.
Eating larger portions means spending more money on food. Even with less expensive food, larger portions can cause extra dollars and calories to add up. Limit portion sizes by using smaller plates, bowls, and glasses. Also, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fill the other half with grains and a protein such as lean meat, poultry, seafood, or beans.
Drinking water is more than likely the cheapest option for a drink and the best way to stay hydrated. Sugary drinks, such as soda, not only costs more money, but they also have added sugars that water doesn’t contain.
For more information about eating right on a budget or National Nutrition Month, visit the academy’s website at www.eatright.org. For more information about SNAP-Ed, visit www.LiveWellAlabama.com or find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.