How to Make 5 Fruits and Vegetables Work with Your Budget!

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How to Make 5 Fruits and Vegetables Work with Your Budget!

Mother and daughter shopping for groceries

The 5-2-1-0 Healthy Choices Count campaign encourages us to eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. If this recommendation makes you see dollar signs, have no fear! It’s possible to maintain a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables without breaking the bank. Read on to get our tips for eating healthy on a budget. 

It’s All About the Plan

The best thing you can do to guarantee your family eats healthy is to create a meal plan. Luckily, this also helps you stay within your budget. Follow your meal plan and you’ll know what you need to pick up at the grocery store. Once you have everything you need to cook a delicious meal, you’ll be less likely to suggest grabbing something quick on the way home. This leads to saving money because it’s more expensive to eat out. 

Your plan should have fruits and vegetables as the star of the meal. Your other items, including grains and protein, are the supporting cast. You can use the same ingredients in different ways throughout the week to add variety and make them last. For example, cut up green and red peppers for an easy snack. Later in the week, you can use the leftovers to make a stir fry. Another money-saving tip is to eat fruit for dessert instead of buying cakes or cookies. 

How to Make the Plan Work

You’ve got your meal plan and now it’s time to put it into action. When you head to the grocery store, there can be lots of temptation. Stick to your grocery list and you’ll avoid leaving the store with extra items like expensive snack foods that don’t add nutritional value.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are great to include in your plan. Just remember to pick items that are in season. Produce is generally available throughout the year but you’ll save money by buying what’s in season. Frozen fruits and vegetables are also an excellent way to get in your daily servings. You can buy these in bulk and they’ll last a long time. The same is true for dried fruits. Add raisins or other dried fruit to cereals, salads and peanut butter sandwiches for a fun flavor. Canned vegetables that are low in sodium and canned fruits low in sugar are another alternative. 

Other tips:

  • Spoiled food can cost you money. Store food so it doesn’t go to waste.  

  • Don’t throw out bruised or dented fruits and vegetables. These items can still be good when you remove the bruised areas when preparing. 

  • Save yourself time and money by preparing extra when cooking. This will give you leftovers that you can use for lunch or freeze to eat later. 

With a little bit of planning, you can make the most of your budget and put together healthy meals for your family that helps everyone get in five servings of fruits and vegetables a day.