A common complaint about healthy eating is that it is far too expensive. Winter presents many challenges, and one of them is an inflation of fresh produce costs. Follow these simple steps to provide your family with nutrient-dense meals all winter long without breaking the bank.
Frozen produce is always a good option for budget-conscious shoppers. Because frozen produce is often picked at its peak and frozen immediately, you can get the full nutritional benefit of fresh fruits and veggies without spending an arm and a leg.
Batch cook stews and soups
Batch cook stews and soups all winter long. They are so versatile, so you can add a variety of nutrient-rich veggies and proteins for new and exciting meals all winter long. They are also a great option for some leftover produce that may be wilted or on its last leg. Throw it in your soup rather than your trash to save money and reduce waste. Freeze leftovers in single-serving bags for go-to meals when you’re short on time. Try this Lentil Stew to get you started:
2 cup lentils
1 lb ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped
4 cup kale, chopped, stems removed
2 cup shredded carrots
4 cup vegetable broth
2 cup water
2 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp pepper
- Brown ground turkey in a skllet with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
- Add cooked ground turkey and all of the ingredients to a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours, or until lentils are tender
Buy seasonal produce
Winter produce may seem scarce, but buying seasonal goodies will save lots of money. Search for citrus fruits, dark leafy greens like kale, and root veggies like carrots and sweet potatoes. More seasonal produce options include:
Plan your meals
Although planning can be time consuming and tedious, it will reduce food waste and save you both time and money by the end of the week. Spend a few extra minutes before you make a trip to the store to outline your meals for the week. This practice will prevent you from the we-have-nothing-to-eat-syndrome and from finding unidentifiable and gross rotten food in the back of your refrigerator.
Buy whole grain staples in bulk
Whole grains like rolled oats, brown rice and quinoa are great staples for your diet. Store them sealed in a cool, dry place to keep them fresh. They’re the perfect addition to any meal and keeping a couple of different whole grain options like brown rice and quinoa around will keep your meals exciting and nutritious.