Financial Friday: Prioritizing Great Veggies, Even When it Costs.

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For a long time, I heard that eating a lot of fruits and vegetables can be costly. However, over time I’ve realized that there are a few ways in which eating a lot of veggies and fruits actually can save you money, or at least help you reach financial goals elsewhere. Here are my tried and true strategies:

  • Buy definite-use veggies fresh, and aspirational-veggies frozen: If you know you are making a soup tonight and you are currently at the store, get those fresh veggies! Some veggies, like onions and potatoes, are fresh for so long that you can pretty much always afford to get them fresh. However, if you aren’t sure exactly when something will be used, getting a chopped up frozen version does two good things: it ensures you never have to scrimp on veggies just because nothing is available without a trip to the store, and you even get a little time discount because someone else chopped it up for you. I pretty much always keep frozen spinach and kale because they blend magically into smoothies.
  • Buy and freeze cheap summer veggies, preferably from farmer’s markets and local community gardens: If you see supporting local business and promoting good food systems as part of your goals, any money you spend at a farmer’s market or local community garden is basically double-dipping: you get benefits in your stomach AND in your heart. I extend this because I can often get very inexpensive tomatoes, squash, and herbs in mid-summer that I can then process and freeze for the winter. Sure, frozen may not taste quite as good as fresh, but I see keeping a freezer running as more environmentally friendly than heating a whole greenhouse enough to grow winter tomatoes.
  • Fill the freezer and fridge so full of fruits and veggies that processed foods get crowded out: People who see unit prices of fruits and veggies as high are comparing to the idea of buying no veggies and fruits, but that is a misleading comparison; you have to compare instead to how you would eat without them. Processed foods, while sometimes deceptively cheap, aren’t always cheaper per serving and may not make you feel as healthy and energetic as fruits and veggies do. Obviously you need more in your fridge than just fruits and veggies, but filling up your plates with these will actually be offsetting expenditures on other, still-costly foods.

What do you do to make sure you don’t break the bank while trying to eat healthy?

5 Comments, RSS

  1. teacherturnedmommyblog November 3, 2017 @ 8:51 am

    I strongly believe one of the best ways to save money is to make things at home. I can make a week’s worth of meals for what it would cost to eat out a few days. when you look at it that way the cost of the fruits and veggies isn’t so much

  2. ComfortsFashion21 November 3, 2017 @ 9:03 am

    Nice way to tell every thing.

  3. Claudette November 3, 2017 @ 10:24 am

    I stretch meat with beans or lentils, sometimes even with squash. I also chop certain veg into sauces (or blend them in) for nutrition. For example, neither kid likes Swiss Chard or Kale much, but by chopping it into spaghetti sauces or soups they get the nutrition.

    I’m lucky this family loves fresh veg. Sometimes we get tired of salads, so we just chop up whatever fresh veg is available and leave it on the table. They don’t have to be heirloom or even organic, the point is to mix it up as much as possible. And yes, there are times during the non-growing season we all get kinda sick of same old same old, but then, I place apple slices with dip on the table instead of peppers for a change. 🙂

  4. TheDiaryOfSin November 3, 2017 @ 12:25 pm

    I liked this alot ^,^ I always buy In season produce. It’s cheaper and gives variety so you aren’t bored with food choices.
    My freezer isn’t very big so I can’t keep alot of frozen veggies and fruit around(I have some mostly for smoothies, or “ice cubes”-which is what i do with fresh ones i get that i may not end up using afterall instead if wasting them.
    but I can also budget for meals weekly so the fresh don’t go bad ^,^

  5. veganbythebookblog November 12, 2017 @ 11:17 pm

    We buy many staples from bulk bins in the store. From just one shelf in the kitchen pantry, here is what I have in reuseable bulk storage containers: arrowroot powder, brown basmati rice, sushi rice, salt, pistachios, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, rolled oats, cacao powder, shredded coconut small shreds AND wide shreds, white jasmine rice.

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