10 Tips for Eating Fruits and Veggies on a Budget

Hopefully by now, you are familiar with MyPlate and know that half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.  Many people think they are too expensive and use this as an excuse to skimp, but there are many low-cost ways to meet your fruit and vegetable needs.

  1. Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season.  The Produce for Better Health Foundation has a complete list for each season that you may find helpful.
  2. Check the local newspaper, online, and at the store for sales, coupons, and specials.
  3. Follow my advice from Post 1 and plan your meals!  Make a grocery list and buy only what you need.
  4. Compare the price of fresh, frozen, and canned veggies and fruits.  More on this in my Podcast.
  5. Buy only the amount of fresh produce you can eat before it spoils.
  6. Buy in bulk when items are on sale.  For fresh produce, limit it to varieties you use often.  Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables will last longer.
  7. Purchase generic or store brands when possible.  Many are made by the same companies that produce brand name foods.
  8. Buy fruits and vegetables in their simplest form.  Pre-washed, pre-cut, ready-to-eat foods cost more.container garden
  9. Plant your own garden in your backyard, at a community site, or in containers.
  10. Prepare extra amounts of vegetable soups, stews and other dishes to freeze for future meals.  This saves times and money!

Source:  United States Department of Agriculture. 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series: Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits. 2011.  Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips/ten-tips.html.  Accessed November 18, 2013.

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