Sandy’s Question Finally Answered…

March 11, 2010 at 8:21 am 2 comments

Hi Folks, I have been a little remiss lately on my blogging.  Things are busy around this house and I am sure you all, being busy parents, understand how things get a little out of hand!  One of my friends sent me a question a while ago & I didn’t answer it.  Mostly because it was a great questions & I was wondering the best way to answer Sandy but also share the info with my blog readers, whoever & wherever you may be!    I figured I might as well just put the answer right here!  Problem solved!  If you ever have any questions, feel free to send them my way!

Hi Laurie,

I’d love to hear some ideas on eating healthy on a budget.   I really like to buy fresh fruits and veggies, and lettuce etc, but it seems everything is so expensive in the winter.  I’d love to buy avocado and pomegranates for example but they are so expensive.  Are they worth it? Is iceberg lettuce worth it?   Perhaps some ideas on getting the most bang for your buck!

Well, here are my thoughts…

Winter is coming to an end (yay!), but it will still be quite a while before we see any fresh vegetables or fruit here in Ontario.  I have noticed that the long-lasting Ontario apples have lost their lustre in the markets, but I have seen some lovely peaches from Chile gracing the shelves.  So what’s a mom to do?

Local and fresh are always my favourite choices, but in the winter I don’t stress over it.  I do buy fresh veggies from my market, even if they come from afar, and I also get some frozen veggies, because they are quick to prepare and have been picked at peak ripeness.

I don't sell the Tupperware, or even own a lot, but I really like this product!

Storage is really important. When I buy lettuce and vegetables I store them in my Tupperware Fridgesmart.  I am sure there are other great copycats out there.  I like them because they have vents and the food lasts forever in them.  This makes it worth my money.  When choosing leafy greens, like lettuce, go for the darker greens like romaine, kale or swiss chard.  The darker the green the better it is.  I don’t recommend iceberg lettuce.

Plan, plan, plan.  Can I say this enough?  I find that when I do a diligent grocery list I save a lot of money.  I only get what I need and there is little or no food waste.  Actually, the way my toddler is eating these days, we are running out of food faster than we can feed him. (Please remind me of this later when I panic because he isn’t eating!).  I would rather run out of food mid-week and buy more than come to the end of a week & finding a pile of unappetizing food.

Shop Seasonally Avocado, pomegranates & Mango are expensive, but delicious!  Look up your favourite fruit online and find out what season they are grown in.  For example we LOVE Ataulfo Mangoes, but they are only in season from late March (coming soon – yum!)  to September, so in the off-season we buy frozen mango, rather than spending $5 (!) on one mango that we don’t find as tasty.  Even though something may not be grown here, it is still cheaper here if it is in season there, where ever that food comes from.  For Ontario food, I will post a seasonal listing of Ontario food next week.

However when it comes to the wonderful avocado, I say it is worth the cost.  Keep an eye out, there are sometimes sales on this delicious and nutritious food.

  1. Pick fresh first
  2. Pick dried or dehydrated second (organic)
  3. Pick frozen third
  4. Pick canned very last, if at all

What about canned food? As a rule I don’t buy canned fruit or vegetables, except tomatoes.  I just don’t like the taste of canned food and the nutrients really deteriorate in the can, not to mention that most cans are lined with BPA.    When it comes to canned tomatoes, there are 2 brands I look for: Utopia and Ontario Natural.  These brands (found in most health food stores & some grocery stores) are canned Ontario tomatoes, so I feel good supporting local farmers and food producers.  I also canned some tomatoes last fall.  Try it this fall, it’s a fun afternoon with a great result! 

Best bang for your buck! As a final note, I must also mention that when you are shopping think of the best nutritional bang as well as budgetary.  Choose what is right for your family, make as much as you can yourself and serve your food with love!


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I found a great recipe for Kale! The Sham*Rock* Smoothie

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mamaloves  |  March 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    I always love your recommendations. I would love to buy Ontario Natural can tomatoes. But I have never seen them. Where can you get them in Toronto? Which health food store? Will Big Carrot carry it?

    • 2. lkmnut  |  March 25, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Hi There! I hope you are doing well with your little ones! Not so little anymore!?!?! I cannot guarantee that the Big Carrot has the Ontario Natural Food Tomoatoes, but I am confidently say that they most likely do have them. If not, probably the Utopia line, which is also Ontario. Let me know if you see them there, so we can pass that info along!


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