Shopping Strategies for Types of Food


Grain products


·        To maintain freshness, keep bread in the freezer, well wrapped. Remove one or more slices at a time as needed.


·        Stock up when pasta is on sale; it can be stored for several years if left unopened in a dark place.


·        Buy plain ready-to-eat cereals rather than the more expensive pre-sweetened varieties, and add your own sugar or fruit if desired.


·        Muffin and cookie mixes are more expensive than baking from scratch but cheaper than store-bought baked goods.


·        Inexpensive buys: whole wheat or enriched bread; l Parboiled or brown rice; l Enriched macaroni, spaghetti, noodles; Hot cereals, plain ready-to-eat cereals.


Vegetables and fruit


·        Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season:

    • Winter - oranges, grapefruit, bananas, potatoes, turnips, onions, carrots
    • Spring - strawberries, rhubarb, lettuce, beet greens, spinach
    • Summer - cherries, melons, berries, peaches, most salad vegetables including tomatoes, corn, and beans
    • Fall - apples, pears, plums, grapes, cabbage, broccoli, beets, cauliflower, squash


·       Buy fruit at different stages of ripeness. Eat the ripest one right away and use the others as they ripen.


·        Look for Canada Choice canned fruits and vegetables, which are just as nutritious as Canada Fancy and vary only in appearance.


·        Buy frozen vegetables without added sauces and seasonings. They’re a great buy, and you can use the exact amount you need. Compare the different styles; some cost more than others. For example, broccoli spears cost more than chopped broccoli.


·        Inexpensive buys: cabbage, carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, oranges, bananas, apples; frozen orange juice; fresh produce in season; canned tomatoes.


Milk products


      ·        Buy plain yogurt and add your own fresh or frozen fruit.


      ·        Choose skim or one per cent milk instead of higher fat milk (two per cent and whole).


·        Mix skim milk powder with water and use alone or with an equal amount of regular milk.  Add to soups, gravies, casseroles, sauces, puddings, baked goods, scrambled eggs or drink as a beverage.


      ·        Inexpensive buys: skim milk powder; mild or medium cheddar cheese, cottage cheese; plain yogurt.


Meat and alternatives


·        Buy only as much meat as you need. Two or three servings of meat, fish, poultry or meat alternatives a day is sufficient. A serving is two to three ounces (60 –90 grams) of cooked meat, or the size of a deck of cards.


      ·        Save money by buying canned light tuna and pink salmon, which cost less than other varieties.


·        If you have freezer space, buy larger packages when meat is on sale. At home, immediately divide the meat into individual servings, rewrap in saran wrap and freezer bags, label and date packages.


      ·        Arrange to share a larger package with a friend. Ask your grocer to break open packages of wrapped meats and divide them into smaller quantities.


      ·        Use less meat in casseroles, soup, stir-fries and spaghetti sauce and add more vegetables, pasta, rice or beans instead.


      ·        Have one or two meatless meals a week. Try scrambled or hard cooked egg, omelette, baked beans, peanut butter sandwiches.


·        Inexpensive buys: less tender meat such as blade, chuck, flank, round, stewing meat (cook in liquid to make tender), ground beef; whole poultry, Grade B or utility grade, chicken legs; eggs; dried or canned beans, lentils peas, peanut butter, liver and organ meats; pork butt, loin or rib, pork chops; canned fish.


Other foods


·        Limit purchase of high energy, low nutrient foods such as soft drinks, chocolate, chips and other snack foods. These are expensive and don’t provide the vitamins and minerals necessary for a healthy diet.







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