Nutrition For Fitness | The Fruit and Veggie Trick

One of the biggest budget breakers in eating healthy is buying fresh fruits and vegetables. Sure, it isn't much of an issue when you have one or two servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but when you are eating healthy, and aiming to eat fruits and veggies at every meal, that is another story.

To make matters worse, you can no longer have the convenience of buying things in cans (after all, there are a lot of hidden things in there that might are good for your budget but terrible for your health).

If you are a budget person, like me, you know that the produce section is where things can get a bit hairy and now you are looking at an increased fruit budget and an increased vegetable budget.

Luckily there is a trick to this, and the trick is so stupid simple that I am ashamed to say it took me years to find it, and even then it wasn't me, it was a food blogger that I follow.

Instead of buying fruits and veggies in the produce aisle, get it from the frozen foods section. There are two big benefits here....

Obviously the cost is the biggest benefit. Shopping in the freezer section is generally no more expensive than the produce section, and in many cases it is actually cheaper.

Best of all, the work is done for you. I recently had a recipe that called for a bunch of peaches.

Not only was it more expensive for me to buy the peaches in produce, but the frozen peaches were already cut for me - that my friends is a major score for an anti-cook like me.

The second biggest benefit is that frozen fruits and veggies last longer than fresh ones.

Yes, some can argue about the taste, but I personally don't notice it. And even though there are times when I love escaping to the grocery store, I generally hate shopping for groceries and I would rather order pizza every night than make that dreaded half hour trip, (which is really more of an hour trip after I haul everything in and find a home for it in the kitchen).

At the risk of losing my mother of the year award I will tell you that I have done this pizza trick many times, my budget has suffered and my waistline has suffered, but for some reason it still seems better than restocking my grocery supply.

Thankfully, when I buy most of my fruits and veggies from the freezer aisle, I don't have to worry about them going bad as quickly, I get to buy enough for two weeks and then stay as far away from the store as humanly possible.

Planning Your Week

Have you ever come home from work stressed, exhausted, and hungry only to decide that tonight might be a great night to order in?

Do you find yourself doing this two or three times a week simply because your life is so busy?

These questions aren't meant to shame, we have all been there. Life doesn't stop just because your day has been crazy busy.

The kids still need to eat, the laundry still needs to get done and you still have a night of balancing your checkbook ahead of you. Let's be honest, who would have time to even think about cooking with a schedule like that?

This is where the importance of planning comes in. When you are able to plan your meals ahead of time you won't need to hit that drive thru window because you will already have your dinner ready, all you need to do is heat it.

Even better, because everything is already set in place you can focus on other things while your food is cooking.

Taking one or two hours a week to plan your meals might seem like a hassle, and honesty in the beginning it might be a bit of a hassle. But this can save you hours throughout the week.

Doing something once a week is a lot easier than doing it multiple times a week.

One good trip to the grocery store and one afternoon in the kitchen is all you need to make an entire week of meals for your family.

But planning your meals is just the beginning, you can also plan your trip to the grocery store.

What was once a headache can be a breeze when you have a categorized list in front of you. Make an Excel spreadsheet and list your grocery categories in bold, (frozen, produce, meats, etc.).

Then put each item under the appropriate category and print it out. Not only do you have a focused list that will easily keep you on track, but your excel sheet can be a template for your future grocery lists.

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 Cheers, Helene Malmsio

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