Sports Nutrition: Eat Right, Save Money
By Lucas Chandler, CTS Nutrition Assistant
Posted: June 17, 2008 at 4:41 pm
Shopping on a budget? That doesn’t mean that you have to skip on proper nutrition. With my tips below and some practice, you’ll find that it’s easy to fuel your body for less.
- Look for Sales
Try to choose fruits and vegetables that are on sale in a given week. They’re usually at the peak of ripeness, which means they’re at their peak nutritional value as well. This also insures you eat a variety of different things each week, instead of the same thing again and again. And that’s healthy.
- Go for Bulk
I’ve found that the quality of some bulk foods can actually be better than in packaged varieties. Good choices are low fat granolas, grains, dry fruit, and nut butters.
- Plan Ahead
Figure out exactly what you need before you go. You won’t get stuck with food items you bought on a whim that end up as dietary orphans sitting on your pantry shelves for months or going bad in the fridge.
- Choose Protein Wisely
Protein generally is the most expensive thing you will buy. Eggs, poultry, lean ground beef, and some white fish tend to be the most affordable sources of high-quality protein.
- Eat with the Seasons
Always try to choose foods that are in season. These are going to have traveled a shorter distance from the field to the store, taste the best, and cost less. In North America, this means choosing foods like squash and apples in the fall, citrus fruits in the winter, asparagus and strawberries in the spring, and tomatoes and corn in the summer.
- Buy Frozen
When you're looking for food that is out of season, head to the freezer section. When companies freeze food, they pick the fruit or vegetable at its peak quality and quickly freeze it, often right in the field. This preserves most of the nutrients and flavor. Good choices include things like berries, corn, green beans, etc.
- Make Your Meals
Avoid expensive packaged foods like frozen entrees or salads. Take 10 minutes or so to prepare your meal from scratch, and you could easily save $10 a day or more. As a bonus, you’ll eat healthier as well, since you’ll control what goes into each plate.