Fill your fridge – not your cupboards
April 3, 2012
Think back to your last grocery trip. When you came home to unpack your grocery bags, did you put more food in the fridge or in the cupboards? Was a majority of the foods you purchased and unpacked in cans, boxes and air-tight sealed containers? Was it food that would last weeks, if not months, if you didn’t get to it right away?
Consider these two lists:
- Boxed meals
- Canned potatoes
- Canned fruits/vegetables
- Frozen meals
- Diet soda
- Miscellaneous frozen meats
- A dozen eggs
- Lettuce or spinach
- Red & yellow peppers
- Apples & bananas
- Raw almonds
- Fresh meat for the week
Notice anything different between the two lists? List one is primarily food that would sit on the shelf or in the freezer. The debate between frozen fruits/vegetables versus canned versus fresh is a separate conversation. But consider the fact that when you buy fresh fruit and vegetables, you are more likely to eat it because you don’t want to waste it versus when you buy canned fruits and vegetables, it tends to sit in cupboards longer and is added to meals only as an afterthought.
Grocery shopping primarily in the produce section can be expensive — or so we think. Foods from list two will actually keep you full faster so you won’t have to eat as much. Food in the first list may be cheaper but you’ll find yourself lacking proper nutrients and needing to eat twice as much. A snack of carrots and hummus will keep you satisfied far longer than a serving of potato chips.
To combat expensive prices, shop around. Discount grocery stores like Aldi (1,000+ locations in 31 states) and Wal-Mart are popping up everywhere, and offer fresh produce at a much more reasonable cost than larger retail chains. One thing to caution about discount grocery stores is produce tends to expire a little faster so only purchase what you can eat in a reasonable amount of time.
Another idea to combat expensive prices is to buy produce when it’s on sale and freeze it yourself. For example, when I see red or yellow peppers on sale, I buy a few extra. Once home, I cut them up and freeze them on cookie sheets. After they are completely frozen, I toss them all together in a Ziplock bag and leave in my freezer to take out as I need them. I do the same thing with blueberries, strawberries and blackberries when they are on sale.
The food we eat fuels us. Being healthy means eating balanced meals full of fruits, vegetables, proteins and proper nutrients. Filling your fridge instead of your cupboards can help complement a healthy lifestyle.