You can eat an anti-cancer diet on a budget!
If you can plan and cook (at least a little!), you can spend less to eat. Consider these tips and spend less money for more nutrition.
Produce (vegetables and fruits). Try to eat at least 5 servings a day. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried – it all counts!
- Buy less expensive fruits like apples and bananas. Choose small size fruits.
- Buy what’s on sale. Buy in season or locally grown throughout much of the year.
- Dried, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables, and 100% juice, all count as produce. Buy on sale.
- Buy only what you’ll eat to avoid spoiled food.
- Only buy organic if in season and is priced the same or less than regular produce. Wash all produce well before eating.
- Buy in bulk. Freeze or can what you don’t use right away to avoid waste.
Grains and starchy foods
- Look for whole grain as the first ingredient in breads, cereals, pasta, tortillas, etc, when possible.
- Buy generic or store brands.
- Buy low sugar, high fiber cereals.
- Look at price per serving. The larger size is not necessarily the best buy.
- Buy in bulk – rice, pasta, oatmeal, etc. can be less expensive when bought in bulk. Buy only what you will use to avoid spoiling.
Protein. Avoid processed meats like sausage, bacon, ham. Limit red meat (beef and pork) to 18 oz or less per week.
- Buy meats, poultry, fish, etc. when on sale and freeze for later.
- Canned fish such as tuna, salmon and sardines, are nutritious and often less expensive than fresh or frozen fish.
- Go meatless once or twice a week. Beans, peas, peanut butter, cheese and eggs are high in protein and cost less than meat.
- Beans are a great source of protein. Dried beans are the cheapest; canned beans are good for a quick meal.
- Milk and yogurt also have some protein.
- Dilute 100% fruit juices with water to make them go farther and cut down on the sugar content. Avoid juice if you are diabetic or need to lose weight. Avoid soft drinks.
- Get a reusable water bottle and fill with water (or other drink as listed) from the tap instead of using bottled water.
- Make your own iced tea – tea bags are cheap. Avoid sweet tea or limit to one serving a day.
- Brew your own coffee. Add your own milk, vanilla and a little sugar for a treat.
Make your own
- Fruit smoothies and milkshakes with yogurt or milk, fresh or canned fruit.
- Soup – use leftover vegetables, meats, rice, potatoes, etc. Or cook from scratch. Freeze leftovers.
- Cookies, cupcakes, muffins, etc. You can start from a mix or scratch – freeze leftovers and pull out to eat later.
- Popcorn! Cook it the old fashioned way – with oil on the stove top.
- A “balanced” meal will have some produce, some protein, some starch, not too much fat or sugar.
- Keep favorite condiments on hand — mustard, vinegar, spices, ketchup and tomato and soy sauces.
- Keep staple food items (foods that won’t spoil) on hand so that you can prepare a few basic meals at all times– ex: pasta and jarred spaghetti sauce, rice and beans, etc.
- Avoid buying prepared items like cut up lettuce, cut up fruit, pre-cooked chicken, etc. You’ll save money if you do the prep work.
- Use a list to grocery shop. Plan your meals, make a list and stick to it. Don’t go to the store hungry!
- Freeze leftover everything – meat, vegetables, rice, etc – reuse as is, or in soups, stews, etc. Stale bread can be made into croutons or bread crumbs and used or frozen.
- Use more rice or potatoes or pasta and less meat in casseroles.
- Don’t forget snacks! Think of them as mini-meals to keep from overeating and overspending on junk.
- Use coupons for foods you normally buy. If you use a coupon with a sale food, the savings can be substantial.