Christina Iaboni, MHSc, RD
With the rising cost of food, you may be wondering if there are still any good buys at the grocery store. I’ve put together a list of 10 healthy foods to add to your cart to save money.
- Bagged apples – bagged apples cost less per pound than loose. Apples can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks making them an affordable option and an easy snack.
- Carrots – carrots are usually well priced throughout the year and last several weeks when stored in the fridge. Cut up carrots into ‘sticks’ to have on hand for easy snacking or roast them with potatoes and onions for a tasty side dish. Grating carrots and adding them to salads also adds a great crunch.
- Dried beans and lentils – beans and lentils are a good source of protein, fibre and iron. Dried versions are cheaper than canned. Soak beans overnight (lentils don’t require soaking) and then cook according to the package directions. To save time, prepare a large batch and freeze them in resealable bags to have on hand for chili, soups, or stews. Replacing meat with beans or lentils 1-2x/week is great for your health and helps save money.
- Potatoes – potatoes are a versatile pantry staple and can last up to two weeks when stored in a cool, dark place. While they may have gotten a bad rap over the years, potatoes are a good source of potassium, fibre and Vitamin C. Bake, boil, mash or roast them for a comforting and inexpensive side dish.
- Spinach – mature spinach leaves are often sold in bunches at the grocery store or in bags. This type of spinach has a longer shelf life and is less expensive than baby spinach. It is great for recipes where the spinach is cooked, for example in a soup or stew. You can also sauté it in olive oil for an easy side dish.
- Eggs – eggs are an affordable source of high-quality protein as well as healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. Omelets are a great base to add veggies that need to be used up such as spinach, onions, or peppers.
- Cabbage – cabbage can be used in slaws and salads, soups, curries and even fermented foods like sauerkraut. This cabbage and garlic pasta is also a great weeknight dinner option to try. Cabbage can last up to two weeks when stored in the refrigerator.
- Bananas – bananas are one of the few foods that have not gone up much with inflation. While they are known for their potassium, they also contain magnesium, folate, Vitamin C and fibre. Banana topped with peanut butter is a budget-friendly and balanced snack.
- Canned tomatoes – canned tomatoes are good to have on hand for pasta or pizza sauce, chili, curries, or soups. While you can get fresh tomatoes all year round, canned tomatoes with no salt added are a nutritious and affordable alternative.
- Pasta – pasta is a great base for adding veggies and proteins to. To make a budget-friendly and balanced meal, use canned tomatoes for the sauce with sauteed garlic, onions and carrots. Add chickpeas for an inexpensive protein source and mix in chopped spinach at the end.
To help save money, use price-matching and price-comparison apps to ensure you are getting the best price offered. Choosing store-brand or generic brands of products is another great way to cut costs. Stock up on shelf-stable foods when they are on sale and do your best to prevent food waste.
About Christina: Christina Iaboni is a registered dietitian and healthy living blogger. She aims to empower people to improve their health by eating nutritious foods. She also creates easy and affordable recipes that people can feel good about serving to their family. To check out her recipes, visit https://christinaiaboni.com/