Your money or your health. When it comes to nutrition, sometimes it can seem like a choice between the two.
Researchers recently calculated the cost of following the government’s dietary guidelines in one metropolitan area. Eating the right foods, such as vegetables and whole grains, was more expensive than loading up on sugar and saturated fat, they reported in the journal Health Affairs.
But don’t turn to the dollar menu just yet. Here’s how to eat well without breaking the bank:
- Make a meal plan. Each week, scope out coupons and grocery-store circulars. Plot out healthy dishes for each meal using ingredients that are on sale or that you already have. Then make a shopping list—and stick to it.
- Savor the season. Fruits and vegetables picked at their prime are less expensive. Search farmers markets for fresh, reasonably priced produce. Springtime favorites include green beans, rhubarb, strawberries, and asparagus.
- Grow your own. Spring is the best time to plant seeds. Invest a little in them now and you’ll reap lots of rewards later in the summer. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can grow lettuce in a window box, cherry tomatoes in a pot on your porch, or herbs in indoor containers.
- Cut it up. Whole produce often costs much less than precut. Chop fruits and vegetables yourself at home. Also, steer clear of single-serving packs and bagged salads—you’ll pay more for the packaging.
- Bulk Up. Buying staples like grains, nuts, and spices from bulk bins can help you save. Measure out only what you need to avoid waste.
For more information, call Crittenton’s Diabetes Education and Nutrition Counseling Center at (248) 652-5660.