Rising food prices affect everyone and sadly it looks like there is no relief in sight. The Food Institute predicts that the average price of food in Canada will increase by two-four per cent this year, adding up to $345 a year to your household grocery bill. When food prices rise faster than your income, something has to give. Unfortunately, a recent survey of Canadians found that 26 per cent of people cut down their purchases of vegetables and fruit over the past year because of price increases.
This is concerning, because eating more vegetables and fruit can have many health benefits including:
- Helping you maintain a healthy weight
- Lowering blood pressure
- Reducing the risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer
- Improved digestive health
So how do you manage to eat more veggies and fruit in the face of rising food prices? Here are a few tips you can take to the grocery store.
Shift Your Food Dollars Towards Fruits and Veggies
- Cut down on restaurant meals, take-out, specialty coffee, convenience foods, sugary drinks and sweet or salty snacks. Cutting down on these extras will free up more money for healthier choices like produce.
- Cut down the meat. Meat can be expensive. If you eat meat, choose lower cost cuts, like stewing or ground meat and types of meats, like pork and chicken. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies and divide the remaining half between grains and protein-rich foods. Substitute with meat alternatives like eggs, beans, nuts or tofu.
Choose Lower Cost Types of Produce
- Buy in season fruits and veggies to help stick to your budget
- At other times canned and frozen versions may be a better value
- If you’re looking for good value, go for these lower cost staples in the produce section:
- Veggies: Carrots, cabbage, celery, onions, potatoes, beets, turnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes
- Fruit: Bananas, apples, oranges
Add Frozen or Canned Options to Your Shopping Cart
- Fresh, frozen and canned versions are all healthy choices. Check the ingredient list and look for frozen and canned vegetables without added salt or sugar.
- Canned tomatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato are good quality, nutritious and convenient choices in the canned goods aisle.
- Frozen berries, corn, peas, carrots, broccoli, greens and mixed veggies are convenient and nutritious choices in the freezer aisle.
When your food budget gets tight, becoming a savvy money saver can keep healthy food like veggies and fruit on your menu. Have additional money saving tips? Please share them in the comments below.