Today’s post comes from supermarket dietitian Karen Buch, MS, RD, who leads the Weis Lifestyle Initiatives team for Weis Markets. In her role, she is responsible for consumer-advocacy, cause-related initiatives including the Weis Fight Hunger program and strategic-planning for Weis Markets’ growing health and wellness initiatives. Karen also serves as the editor-in-chief of Weis Healthy Bites™ magazine and serves as an ENC Health Professional Advisor.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to get the most out of your food dollars. Have you ever wondered whether you’re doing all you can to trim your grocery bill? If you think it costs too much to eat well, think again. It is possible to feed your family nutritiously without spending your whole paycheck. Try these five simple steps.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Having a plan is the first step. Try reading the store’s ad circular to find produce, dairy, meat, fish, poultry and shelf-stable items that are on sale. Then, plan your family’s menu around these key ingredients. Many stores offer their weekly ad circular and electronic coupons online to help you plan before you shop.
2. Shop with Coupons
Place a reminder checkmark mark next to all of the items on your list whenever you have a coupon. Coupons are available on line and in most Sunday newspapers. Some grocers also offer double coupons for enhanced savings.
3. Get Your Fruits & Veggies
The average person needs two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables each day. When shopping the fresh produce aisle, look for seasonal fruits and vegetables for the best deals. Also, take advantage of the other forms of produce such as frozen, canned without salt and 100 percent juice.
4. Include Sources of Protein
The latest research shows eating 30 grams of protein at a meal helps to maintain muscle tissue and improve satiety. Sources of dietary protein can be some of the most expensive portions on the plate, but there are also plenty of economical ways to include protein. Try including eggs, non-fat versions of cottage cheese, ricotta cheese or Greek yogurt and a wide variety of beans paired with rice. Buy boneless, skinless chicken breast and lean ground meat in bulk when on sale and freeze for later use.
5. Eat BEFORE shopping
Remember to eat before shopping and stick to your shopping list. A hungry shopper is more likely to buy high-calorie, sweet or salty snacks impulsively. Try this super-simple egg frittata recipe for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Easy Egg Frittata
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, finely chopped (or bagged frozen chopped onions)
1 (8 oz.) package Button Mushrooms, sliced thin (or canned drained mushrooms)
1 large Orange Bell Pepper, diced (or bagged frozen diced peppers)
2 Tbsp. water
½ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese shreds
Salt and pepper to taste.
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Heat a large metal skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions and peppers and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and water. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Sprinkle cheese evenly on top. Transfer to pre-heated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Slice into 6 slices and serve.