Part 1 – Protein
If you’re like me, you’ve probably noticed that every time you go grocery shopping your bill seems to be a little bit more each time, and you’re not imagining it. Unfortunately, the price of fresh, healthy food is on the rise and it is cited as one of the main reasons why people choose unhealthier options.
Eating fresh, minimally processed food improves your overall health, reduces the risk of many chronic diseases, plays a major role in supporting the immune system and has been shown to help support mental health.
By making a few minor changes in your shopping routine and changing up some recipes a few nights a week, you can incorporate more healthy fresh options and still be left with some money in your wallet.
Protein, especially in Canada where the price of beef has increased by 30% over the past 2 years (and 117% since 2000), can be one of the biggest items that adds to your grocery bill.
By cutting down on the amount of meat that you and your family eat can make a huge difference, close to $1000 in savings over the course of a year, simply by choosing 1 meat free meal per week, if you choose to eat even less meat, the savings will be even higher.
One of my favourite meat free meals is Spinach and Ricotta Lasagne, I’ll be posting the recipe later this week. Stay tuned to Origins Nutrition’s Facebook page.
Dried or canned beans
Rather than thinking about meat as the main part of the meal (meat and three veg), think about using meat as only a small component of the meal. If you look at any traditional diet from Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican to Middle Eastern, meat is often not the main focus of the meal. A great stirfry for example is composed of a mix of different vegetables, rice or noodles and a small portion of grilled chicken or beef to finish it.
Making a big chili or hearty stew is a great way to make a small amount of meat go a long way. By adding starches (such as potatoes, grains or beans) and lots and lots of vegetables, you can make enough food for two meals with only using half the amount of meat.
In the next blog, I will go over a few different ways that you can cut the cost when buying fresh produce and how you can get more variety into your meal planning.