Here is a compelling slide from our new show Healthy Shopping on A Budget. With every MyPlate food group (grains, vegetables, fruits, meat/beans, milk), we found that the least processed foods were the least expensive foods. While most people assume healthy foods are more expensive because chicken breasts and fat-free cookies are more expensive than their regular counterparts, we found that this assumption is a narrow-minded approach and that frugality and healthy shopping require a broader scope. Take a look at the vegetable chart above - you can see that fresh vegetables are the least expensive (and might even be less than this when they are in season or from a farmer's market) compared to more processed ones like frozen potatoes (mashed, French fries) and potato chips. Clearly, healthy shopping on a budget means buying less processed foods, not fat-free processed foods!
This slide was another of our favorites:
Cooking from scratch at home does save money! And our healthy lasagna is a lot lower in fat and sodium, too! If you compare to a restaurant meal of lasagna you save either way:
Scratch Lasagna - .80 per serving
Frozen Lasagna - $2.95 per serving
Restaurant Lasagna - $12.95 per serving
We looked up the nutrition facts for a restaurant portion of lasagna and we were shocked. In addition to spending a lot more money you get a lot more fat (47 grams), calories (850) and sodium (1280 mg)!
Here is a list of inexpensive healthful foods you should have in your meals and on your weekly shopping list:
We like to shop our freezer and pantry first - to use up what we have on hand - and then we take a look at store specials - did you know most grocery stores have weekly flyers online?
And our best tips - to help you save more:
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. But after learning that the quality of a croissant directly varies with how much butter it has, Judy sought to challenge herself by coming up with recipes that were as healthy as they were tasty.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.