Buy wisely and eat well with tips from our Clinical Nutrition team!
If you’ve been eying your grocery receipts (wondering what just happened) and looking for ways to trim your tab, you’re not alone. These days, we’ve all developed a newfound relationship (for better or worse) with the food we purchase for cooking at home.
Starting with the positives: eating at home offers an exciting chance to focus on foods that nourish your health and improve your mood.
As we begin to look for ways to maximize our dollars and limit our time in the store, you might wonder: isn’t healthy eating going to jack up my budget and take more trips for fresh food?
It’s a misconception that healthy eating requires a big-n-fancy grocery budget. And while we love fresh produce, it’s not the be-all end-all.
It’s absolutely possible to gain nutritional value and save! With the help of our licensed Dietitian Nutritionist, Savannah Cass, you can shelter-in-place and stick to a food budget with these savvy shopping tips:
- Start your meal planning around the foods you already have in your fridge/pantry.
- Seek out recipes with fewer ingredients. (Healthy doesn’t need to be complicated.)
- Freeze anything that is about to go bad or that you can’t eat all of. If you know you can only eat half a loaf of bread before it expires, simply freeze half in advance! (This is also great to keep in mind when shopping and finding a good deal.)
- Buying items in greater quantity can lead to savings. If that is the case for you, consider cooking in larger portions so that you can use the leftovers.
- Buying generic is always a budget saver and many “big box” stores offer organic options that are generic.
- Avoid buying “junk” food. Understandably, you are going to have the occasional craving. When tempted, keep the hidden (health) costs of junk food in mind and stay focused on buying whole foods as much as possible. (Processed foods filled with sugar, fat, and salt are linked to inflammation, obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease.)
- When buying meat we still want the grass-fed organic meat, but you can spread it out through several meals (casserole, stir-fry, soup). Instead of a full portion of meat, try adding half beans or lentils as a way to reduce cost while keeping the protein. For example, when making a chicken noodle soup: add more of the less expensive carrots, celery, onions, and try adding white beans while reducing the amount of chicken added.
- Substitute plant-based protein sources instead of meat. Dried beans, lentils, peas are not expensive and can be made in large batches and frozen for later use so you always have them on hand.
- Apply the “first in first out” rule to your fridge, meaning eat whatever is oldest in your fridge and rotate newer items behind the older foods.
- While it is best to buy frozen or fresh vegetables; if they are not available you can buy low-sodium canned vegetables.
- Write a grocery list before shopping and try not to deviate!
- Look at what sales are going on before you get to the store, so you can plan your list around them.
- Buy in-season produce and the most natural form. For example, buying a whole zucchini is cheaper than buying a zucchini already in noodle form. The pre-cut produce is normally more expensive.
About Savannah Cass
Savanah Cass, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian with a love for creating unique, delicious dishes that nourish the mind and body.
Savanah works within and our Functional Medicine & Clinical Nutrition team, helping you take a closer look at ensuring your body is getting what it needs to heal and thrive.
Savanah and her fellow practitioners are seeing patients virtually through Telehealth appointments, which are being covered by many insurance companies at 100%.
If you are looking to learn more about dietary support for your optimal wellbeing, connect with our team today! Get started by filling out the form below.
Please fill out the form to request an appointment at our health and wellness center for the service and location of your preference. We try to get back to all requests as quickly as possible. If you need immediate assistance, please call 773-598-4387.