Now that Christmas is over, many will feel the financial strain of over extending themselves. In an effort to get back on track, we look for places in our spending where we can cut back. Often our food budget has room for a bit of ‘massaging’, but we don’t want to squeeze the nutritional value out of our family’s menus.
While purchasing, preparing, and eating healthy foods is beneficial, shopping for these foods can have the potential of sending our bank accounts into cardiac arrest! Without addressing the obvious budget buster (organic will ALWAYS cost more than non-organic), let’s talk about some of the most nutritionally dense foods you can buy, and still say on a tight budget.
Berries are anti-oxidant powerhouses, full of cancer-fighting and age-enhancing goodness. However, if you’ve bought some fresh ones recently, you know that they are quite pricey—especially in the wintertime. If cost is an issue, put down those fresh berries and head directly to the frozen food aisle*. There you will find a whole host of berries or berry medleys. Defrost them and use them in your cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, cottage cheese, and muffins. Puree them and pour them over grain and nut pancakes or into smoothies…YUM!
Looking for lean protein but meat prices are sky high? Take a stroll down your bean (legume) aisle. There you will find numerous cans and bags of tiny health “nuggets” packed with lean protein, lots of fiber, complex carbohydrates, and anti-oxidants to boot—all for under a dollar!
Another inexpensive, nutritionally powerful produce item is sweet potatoes or, as they are sometimes referred to—yams. Bake, mash, slice, or dice them. Throw them into soups or potato salad, cube ‘em and eat ‘em cold, or bake them in a pie; there’s no end to what you can do with this cheap, sweet, beta-carotene-packed treat!
Great nutrition at door-busting prices; now that’s something everyone can sink their teeth into!
*Fact: wild blueberries, the ones you find frozen, contain far more anti-oxidant power than the cultivated, or fresh, berries you buy in the market.