Food Wi$e


| Share

Canned Food "Can" Save Time and Money

When you are deciding what to make for dinner or another meal, do you open your cupboards and check what's there?
Canned Food "Can" Save Time and Money

Photo used under license from

Canned food, along with other cupboard staples such as beans, rice and pasta, makes cooking a breeze any season of the year. For example, you can make chili with canned tomatoes and beans and serve with chilled canned peaches for a quick meal.

Many people do not meet the daily goal for fruits and vegetables, and canned foods can help with that goal. A recent study showed that children who ate more canned fruits and vegetables were more likely to meet their daily nutrition goals. They consumed the vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein they needed for growth.

Here are some reasons to keep canned food in your pantry.

Enjoy good nutrition all year round.

  • Canned fruits and vegetables are processed at their peak freshness, so they are nutritious additions to the diet.
  • Choose canned foods wisely:
    • To decrease sugar, choose canned fruit in 100 percent juice.
    • To decrease salt, choose canned soups, vegetables and other foods with less sodium. Compare nutrition labels. If you drain and rinse canned beans, you can reduce the sodium content by about 40 percent.

Keep ready-to-eat foods on hand.

  • Canned food lasts a longer time than fresh fruits and vegetables, so you may waste less food.
    • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, use canned vegetables and meats within five years of purchase and canned fruit within 18 months of purchase.
    • Write the date of purchase on the cans and store them in a dry, cool space (below 85 F). Be sure to rotate your stock so you use the oldest food first.
  • You can safely use cans with small dents. Don't use bulging, rusted, leaking or deeply dented cans. Discard any cans with sharp dents in the seam.

Make budget-friendly meals fast.

  • Canned food often is less expensive than fresh foods. Much of the prep work has been done for you. The vegetables and fruits are already chopped and ready to use in your recipes.
  • Stock up on canned food your family will use when it's on sale to save additional dollars.


Did You Know?

Canned, fresh, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables all count toward the daily goal. We all should aim to fill half of our plate with colorful fruits and vegetables. Compare the costs of different forms of fruits and vegetables.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise February 2017 newsletter (PDF)


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.