Nutrition Experts: How to Eat Healthy in the Face of Rising Grocery Prices
For Rushdee Omar, finding the time and energy to cook a healthy meal for her family of four can be overwhelming at the end of a working day.
Omar, who has worked at Duke for seven years, said it can be tempting to stop by Arby’s or McDonald’s for takeout instead of cooking his salmon meal at home for his wife and two daughters, aged 3 and 7. year.
“It’s easier to get off the train in good health,” said Omar, administrative manager of the DCRI.
With questions about how to stay on a healthy path, Omar turned to LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program, for live webinars on the subject. He learned he wasn’t the only one looking for strategies to make smart food choices while saving money on grocery bills.
With food prices up 10% since last May — the largest annual increase in 41 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics — grocery dollars have had to stretch, especially when it’s s It’s all about choosing healthy options.
“When people really start sticking to healthy foods regularly throughout the day, they just feel like they have more energy to get things done in their day,” said Esther Granville, head of the nutrition program for Duke employee LIVE FOR LIFE. wellness program. “It’s just going to make them feel better.”
Here are some strategies for eating healthy while sticking to a tighter budget.
Find the best deals
A proven way to cut costs is to find sales and use coupons.
When Granville hosted a gathering of co-workers at her house this summer, she wanted to grill some chicken, which was $2.79 a pound at her regular store. She searched for deals online and found a chicken sale for 99 cents a pound at another grocery store.
Most grocery stores advertise digital prices and coupons on their websites, but there are also mobile apps to make finding deals easier.
For coupons, there’s “Flipp,” a website and app that provides hundreds of postcode-based ads and coupons. “Flipp” allows users to search for offers based on specific items. Another application, “Basket”, allows you to create a shopping list and instantly see a price comparison between grocery stores in real time.
“You can go to different stores for that best price,” said Granville, who uses the Basket app.
Make a simple plan
To avoid skidding at a grocery store, Granville recommends sticking to a weekly meal plan. The practice of writing a recipe-based list helps you stick to a healthy set of items and avoid overspending.
Additionally, the “Mealime” mobile app provides meal plans based on dietary needs and provides a grocery list based on the number of people you feed.
“One of the big things that dietitians will talk about is the idea of planning ahead,” Granville said. “One way to really reduce food waste is really to just plan what you’re actually going to cook and eat that week.”
Duke Law School library associate Marsha Perry recently started using a strategy that helps her save money on food. She reviews recipes with her husband and creates a list on the Notes app on her phone, then orders groceries online. That way, she doesn’t make off-list purchases in the store.
“I don’t tend to do my impulse shopping when I sit down and place an order,” Perry said.
Granville also suggests focusing on the staple ingredients on a plate such as beans, fruits, grains, and vegetables that make meals colorful. This approach can reduce the need for meat, one of the most expensive groceries.
Choose canned or frozen foods
Using canned and frozen foods can save time and money without compromising nutrition.
These items, like frozen broccoli, canned beans, and frozen fruit, are staples at Granville. Beans in particular are a versatile protein that can star in many types of meals, reheated and seasoned for wraps, soups, veggie bowls and more.
When it comes to frozen foods, Granville suggests choosing a small variety of fruits and vegetables that can be used quickly for a meal.
“If you’re in a hurry, maybe you haven’t planned as well as usual, these things like frozen mixed vegetables that you can take out of the freezer and have on your plate in two to three minutes,” said Grandville. “It’s just a really good thing to have to keep that plate really healthy.”
For Omar, canned chicken comes in handy for chicken salad during the work week. Instead of cooking the meat, he can use the canned chicken to make lunches for the whole week.
“Canned chicken, a little mayonnaise, celery, pepper and you’re done,” he says. “You can make a sandwich out of it or you can just throw it on your plate.”
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