Start the New Year With More Fruits and Vegetables
If you have any goals for getting healthier, you may want to include “eat more fruits and vegetables” to your list. Eating plenty of colorful fruits and vegetables adds variety and flavor to your diet. They lower our risk for several diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Enjoying more fruits and vegetables also plays a role in weight management because they help us feel full due to their water and fiber content. They also provide important vitamins and minerals to maintain good health.
Try these 10 tips for affordable vegetables and fruits from www.choosemyplate.gov:
- Celebrate the season. Use fresh vegetables and fruits that are in season. They are easy to get,have more flavor and are usually less expensive.
- Why pay full price? Check the local newspaper, online and at the store for sales, coupons and specials that will cut food costs.
- Stick to your list. Plan your meals ahead of time and make a grocery list. Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Shopping after eating helps you avoid buying tempting snack foods, and you will have more of your food budget for vegetables and fruits.
- Try canned or frozen. Compare the price and number of servings from fresh, canned and frozen forms of the same veggie or fruit.
- Buy smart amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you buy only the amount you will use, you will avoid throwing away spoiled fruits and vegetables.
- Buy in bulk when items are on sale. If you use lots of potatoes or apples, a larger-sized bag is usually the better buy. You can buy canned or frozen fruits or vegetables in large quantities when they are on sale.
- Opt for store brands when possible. You will get the same or a similar product for a lower price.
- Keep it simple. Buy whole fruits and vegetables, and do some of the work at home. Precut, prewashed fruits and vegetables usually are higher in price.
- Plan a garden to plant next spring. During the winter, consider planting some herbs in a pot to flavor soups, dips and pizza.
- Plan and cook smart. Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews or other dishes to save time and money.
Set a goal for eating fruit and vegetables:
Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service