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10 Ways to Save on Grocery Shopping this Holiday Season

10 Ways to Save on Grocery Shopping this Holiday Season

The holidays are right around the corner and so are the meals that help make them so memorable. If you’re looking for ways to save on grocery shopping while still making sure you and your family are getting all of the nutrients you need, here are 10 quick tips to help you save.

1. Shop Seasonally

When it comes to buying fresh fruits and veggies, shopping seasonally can help you save money while still letting you and your family enjoy fresh produce. Bananas tend to be affordable regardless of season, but here are some guidelines for picking seasonal produce:

Seasonal Fruits

  • Spring - apricots, avocado, pineapples, strawberries
  • Summer - blackberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches, plums, watermelon
  • Fall - grapes, kiwi, pears
  • Winter - grapefruit, oranges

Seasonal Vegetables

  • Spring - broccoli, artichokes, asparagus
  • Summer - eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini
  • Fall - Brussels sprouts, parsnips, sweet potatoes and yams, Swiss chard, turnips
  • Winter - potatoes, pumpkins, leeks, rutabagas, winter squash

2. Don’t Shy Away From Canned Fruits and Vegetables

Canned fruit and vegetables sometimes get a bad rap, but they can be a healthy addition to your pantry and save you some money as well. Canned fruits and vegetables are picked and canned immediately which locks in the vitamins and minerals and prevents them from degrading. Look for low sodium canned vegetables or rinse regular sodium vegetables before cooking them. Be sure to check the label and buy fruit packed in water instead of fruit juice or syrup when possible.

3. Frozen Vegetables Are Fine!

Frozen vegetables and fruit can be purchased in bulk and will not go bad as quickly as fresh produce does, which could save you money in the long run if you feel like you’re constantly throwing out rotten produce. They are also frozen shortly after being picked, which means their nutrients degrade significantly more slowly when compared to fresh vegetables, which often spend multiple days traveling via truck to get to your local supermarket. You can get a little more bang for your buck if you purchase frozen vegetables in bulk, too.

4. Explore Alternative Protein Options

Cut back on the expensive meat purchases and swap in eggs, canned beans, canned legumes, or frozen edamame in place of a couple of your meat-centric dishes. All of these options are great sources of protein, vitamins, and minerals and are less costly than meat. Try a chickpea and lentil salad to introduce your family to lentils and beans.

5. Power Up Your Carbohydrate Staples

Besides being affordable side dishes, brown rice and whole grain pasta add additional fiber to your meal without costing much more than their refined alternatives.

6. Make Your Own Pasta Sauce

To go along with your whole grain pasta, consider making your own pasta sauce if you haven’t before. Stewed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce are quite affordable and you can make a quick and delicious pasta sauce with the addition of some oil and seasoning in just a few minutes. Generally, your homemade sauce will be able to yield more sauce than a jarred sauce, and have fewer ingredients and less sodium as well!

7. Don’t Forget the Potatoes

When thinking about inexpensive sides, potatoes are at the top of the list. Swap out your sides with some seasoned potatoes to add variety and bulk to your meals.

8. Carrots and Cabbage for the Win

While picking up those potatoes, browse the produce section for carrots and cabbage. Embrace the cold weather with a warm and inexpensive soup with carrots, cabbage, and potatoes.

9. Add Some Oats

Oats are an inexpensive staple food that can be used to make cookies, oatmeal, or energy balls to snack on. Oats are a great source of soluble fiber and can help you lower your cholesterol, too! Add some oats to your day and watch your cholesterol improve.

10. Explore Other Cuts of Meat

You can also save on meat by focusing on inexpensive, larger, cuts of meat like pork butt, chuck roast, and flank steak. While these cuts may take longer to prepare, as they traditionally need to be marinated and cooked a bit lower and slower, they can be integrated into your usual meal routine to replace more costly options like tenderloins.

Adding canned tuna can increase your intake of healthy fats without breaking the bank. Just be careful not to have more than 6 ounces per week due to mercury content.

“So many holiday food choices are tradition based,” Carson Valley Medical Center’s Registered Dietitian, Sarah Montgomery, said. “Families tend to buy the same products each year, but could save by buying in bulk. Consider making what you can yourself, including gravy from the drippings from your turkey. If you’re making it yourself, you get to control the amount of salt in your food.”

If you are battling with a chronic health condition or have concerns about your health, Carson Valley Medical Center offers outpatient nutritional counseling for one-on-one dietary guidance from a Registered Dietitian.Click here to learn more.

Carson Valley Medical Center is currently offering outpatient consultations with Sarah Montgomery, MS, RD, LD until the end of the year. Just ask your primary care provider for a referral to Carson Valley Medical Center outpatient nutrition education and counseling, and if your insurance does not cover your visit self-pay is only $25 for 30 minutes or $45 for 60 minutes. Call (775) 783-3084 if you have any questions.