Monday, January 17, 2011

Is it possible to keep a budget while getting 5 fruits and vegetables a day?


So many times I hear patients complain that fruits and vegetables are too expensive and eating 5 servings a day does not fit into their budget.  Here are my tips on getting 35 servings of fruits and vegetables (5 servings  day for a week) to fit into any budget.

1.) Don't make a list.  When you get to the grocery store buy only what is on sale.  Often stores alternate sale produce so doing this not only saves money but provides variety.

2.) Stock up on in season fruit.  Don't even think about buying blueberries in the winter unless you live in an area where they are grown

3.) Pay attention to edible portion.  1# of cherries might be twice as much as 1# of melon, but the 1# raspberries has an edible portion (the amount that you actually eat once you get rid of pits, seeds, rinds, etc.) of nearly 100% where as melon is closer to 60%

4.) Eat what you buy.  Wasted produce that has gone bad wastes money and nutrition.  Leave  bowl of fruit on the counter for a nice daily reminder.

5.) Avoid big chain grocery stores and shop at smaller fruit and vegetable markets (Stanley's, Valli Produce, Butera, etc. in the Chicago area).

Now let's put it to work.  Here is what 35 servings of fruits and vegetables looks like.  And the grand total? $9.58!

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