(Host) Everyone knows they’re supposed to eat more fruits and vegetables.
And with the price of groceries rising, eating nutritiously on a budget is not so easy.
But as VPR’s Nina Keck reports its possible with a little work.
(Host) Lara Borders is a Rutland area nutritionist and diabetes educator. When it comes to grocery shopping – she says a little strategy goes a long way. For instance – and this is a no brainer – don’t go to the store hungry. Tip number two? Don’t’ take you kids shopping, if possible. And number three don’t try to wing it.
(Borders) "Make a grocery list. Do not leave home without a list. If you leave home without a list, chances are you’re going to end up with a bunch of things you don’t need."
(Keck) But planning nutritious yet affordable meals can be tough. Borders says a growing number of grocery stores- including Price Chopper and Hannaford – are stepping up to help with websites that provide healthy recipes and menu planning.
(Borders) "You click on it and what it actually does is give you a list of grocery items to shop for during the week – Monday through Friday and will actually price it out to be about 2 dollars a meal per serving."
(Keck) Rutland nutritionist Donna Hunt says people often get in a rut when it comes to cooking, so these websites are a good way to introduce some cost effective foods you might overlook – like legumes.
(Hunt) "wherever you can decrease the meat proteins that are so much more expensive and typically higher in fat and increase the legumes – you’re decreasing the cost and increasing the nutritional value and they’re just a great source of protein."
(Keck) Canned tuna, eggs, peanut butter and whole turkeys are other nutritious but low cost foods. And don’t throw out those coupons – start clipping. Or Borders says print your own from the many internet coupon sites.
(Borders) "Just using 5 coupons a week at 50 cents each means a savings of about $130 dollars a year."
(Keck) Coupons are easy to forget, so Hunt recommends writing your grocery list on an envelope and stashing the coupons inside. How else to be thrifty? Don’t buy shredded cheese – buy a block and shred it yourself. Same thing with salad greens. And take a minute to check out the unit price of an item. Hunt says buying in bulk is not always cheaper. If all of this sounds a little daunting – it is. Hunt is the first to admit, it’s not easy being healthy.
(Hunt) "It takes a lot of work, a lot of organization, a lot of effort to eat healthy and also to find the time to exercise. But the pay off is such a huge thing. And that’s something oftentimes people don’t look at the flipside – what is the cost if I don’t’ do some of these things."
(Keck) For VPR news, I’m Nina Keck.