Grocery shopping tips:
When you’re planning your grocery shopping start with some simple meal and snack planning so that you can buy ingredients to make your own meals from scratch. Make a shopping list based on your meal plans. Ready-made or convenience foods are usually more expensive and they also tend to have more salt and fat than food prepared at home. For example, homemade soups compared to canned or store-bought soup.
When buying packaged foods, compare no-name brands with name brands. Often the no- name brand is cheaper. Similarly, shop using store flyers noting items from your list that are on sale. It is a good idea to compare costs of items sold in bulk like rolled oats, rice and pasta to packaged items. Often there is a cost-savings by purchasing some items in bulk. Several grocery stores have discounted produce and bread racks. These products are often a good buy. Check for whole grain variety of breads.
Fruits and vegetables
Produce in season is much cheaper than when it is out of season for example, consider buying root vegetables in fall (squashes), citrus fruits (oranges, tangerines) in winter and berries (strawberries, blueberries) in summer.
Canned or frozen vegetables and fruit are just as healthy as fresh and they are cheaper than out-of-season fresh vegetables and fruits. Check that canned fruit is packed in water or juice.
If you can, grow some vegetables in a container garden– some vegetables are very easy to grow like lettuce, kale, parsley, and carrots.
Meats and meat alternates
Meats are typically the most expensive foods on your grocery list. One way to extend your food dollars is by buying cuts of meat like blade, chuck
or rump. These cuts of meat become tender when they are marinated and/or cooked in a slow cooker.
Slow cooking is an excellent budget-friendly way of cooking and it allows you to easily add legumes such as beans, peas and lentils to your meals in addition to or even instead of meat.
Legumes are an excellent source of protein, fiber, folic acid and a number of other key nutrients and they are much more economical to buy than meat. Frozen plain fish or canned fish are cheaper alternatives to fresh fish and red meats.
Free and low cost foods in your community
There are various agencies that provide free meals, and/ or groceries on a regular basis throughout the communities in Fraser Health from Boston Bar to Burnaby. View our Free and Low Cost-Food Directory listing..
Check out Healthy Families BC: 10 tips for eating on the cheap (Frase Health news)