With grocery prices soaring, those of us who are watching our carbohydrate intake will be most impacted because meat and produce are often the hardest hit items. Where can we turn? Don’t worry, there are still many options!
1. Eggs. Eggs, glorious eggs! They are very inexpensive, with a dozen running approximately $2 or a dozen and a half just slightly more, up to $2.50. They are very versatile and can be used as just an ingredient or even as a full meal! They can be hardboiled, softboiled, fried, made into an egg salad or an egg sandwich (even a low carb sandwich with low carb breads) or even turned into a mock danish which you can find on a number of websites. They are an excellent source of protein and have, by many nutrition experts, even been referred to as a “perfect” protein. Pair them with a couple of slices of bacon or ham and you have a simple, quick and traditional breakfast. Recent studies have taken away much of the cholesterol scandal associated with eggs, so unless your doctor advises differently, most of us can enjoy them abundantly!
2. Turkey Burgers and Dogs. This is one of my favorites. I love the Jenny-O seasoned burgers and Jenny-O turkey dogs. They are cheaper than beef and lower in calories and with a wonderful taste. I don’t consider them beef alternatives because they are very different, but they are excellent on their own merits. At my local grocery, a package of the hot dogs runs about $1.00-$1.50 and the burgers are about $.50 per burger. It’s hard to beat those prices! But, you may. Look around for other brands that may be just as good!
3. Chicken. Especially as leg quarters or whole fryers, chicken can be very, very affordable. We usually get leg quarters at $.39 to $.69 a pound and whole fryers from $.69 a pound to $.99 a pound. It’s hard to beat those prices and chicken is versatile. It can be eaten as rotisserie chicken, fried chicken, baked without skin, added to dishes like low-carb pastas, seasoned with marinades or added to salads. The options are virtually limitless!
4. Seasonal Veggies and fruits. Often veggies like green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, and fruit-veggies such as tomato, peppers, cucumbers can be purchased very inexpensively at farmers markets in their natural growing seasons. Of course, fruits and veggies are chock full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and are great for your health. Also, consider U-Pick orchards and farms where you pick your own, select your quality and get some great exercise for a three-fold benefit to your health, your wallet and your physical fitness!
5. Sale Meats. Even more expensive meats can be found inexpensively. Check the sales circulars and see if your meat department has meats closer to their expiration that you can either freeze or consume immediately. Often, this type of shopping can result in a tremendous savings.
For a few additional ideas to reduce your grocery cost, consider the following:
1. Fishing and hunting can become more than a hobby, but also be a significant reduction in your grocery bill. It’s certainly not for everyone, but if your environment, time and personal beliefs permit, it may be something to look into to get you into the great outdoors, develop a respect for nature and consume food directly from the source. There are butchers who will even take your kill and do the “dirty” work of cleaning for you.
2. Grow some fruits and vegetables on your own. Look into “container gardening” which is becoming very popular and trendy. There will be lots of search results on the internet.
3. Go visit warehouse stores and price clubs to see if they offer a savings. It has been my personal experience that one food I purchase much more cheaply here is cheese!
4. Look for coupons. It is still possible to find coupons for meats and cheeses, so take advantage and compare the reduced cost to generics if the generic is acceptable quality.
Remember, we are all feeling the burn of rising grocery prices, largely because of the increased cost of gas. But, your health is important and there are few places you can better spend your money than healthy foods. Still, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to save where we can. Happy shopping!