Review your meal plans and recipes that you will be making next week. Take an inventory of all the foods ingredients you have at home. Now make a grocery list and to get all your ingredients (Download the Grocery List).
Best Buys for Fruits and Vegetables:
- You can get Fresh, Dried, Frozen or Canned, sometimes frozen are better than fresh especially when these are not sold during its peak season
- Choose frozen and canned with no sodium, sugar, or fat added. Rinse off canned vegetables before using to reduce sodium.
- Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season to save money. This SUMMER (June, July, August) is a great time to get fresh Apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, beets, berries, blueberries, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrots, cherries, corn, cucumbers, dill, eggplant, figs, green beans, limes, mangoes, melons, nectarines, okra, onions, peaches, pears, peas, peppers, pineapple, plums, potatoes, prunes, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon.
- Pick at least 2 green (one cruciferous – see tips) and 2 orange vegetables.
Best Buys for Proteins:
- Meat alternatives like eggs, tofu, peanut butter, dry beans and lentils are your best buys.
- Meats: Buy lean and extra lean ground meats such as beef, chicken and turkey. Get cuts that include “round”, “loin”, or “leg” in the name, for example, tenderloin, or sirloin.
- Poultry: It costs less to buy a whole chicken and cut it up at home rather than buying it in pieces
- Purchase peas, beans and lentils in dry form. Canned beans are more expensive.
- Go for healthier dips and spreads: all natural nut butters, hummus, guacamole, yogurt or bean dip – or make your own.
- Fish: Canned “light”tuna, salmon and sardines; Fresh or Frozen fish fillets such as pollock, tilapia, haddock or sole are good buys.
Best Buys for Dairy:
- Get a calcium kick with lower fat milk, fortified soy beverage, yogurt and cheese. High fat and low fat yogurt and cheese often cost the same price. Yogurt with 2% milk fat (M.F.) or less are a healthier choice for adults.
- Skim milk powder or evaporated milk are great low cost alternatives to fluid milk, while still providing the same nutrients. Try milk powder in cooking or baking for added nutrients.
- Buy large containers rather than individual serving size containers.
- Buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit toppings.
Best Buys for Grains:
- Stock up on whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and whole grain bread and pasta – these keep well for a long time if stored in a dry place.
- Try couscous, bulgur or millet for variety.
- 100% whole grain breads provide the best nutritional value for the dollar. Compare brands to find the highest fibre per serving.
- Remember to always check the “best before” date. A day old bread can be a great bargain.
Download this Smart Grocery List to plan your grocery trip: