From the items on the belt, it was a husband and father in front of me. I will never forget his face when he saw the total costs of his groceries show up on the screen. I almost felt bad. It was at the tail end of COVID. It looked like he got sent to the store, with an extensive and detailed list. He double-checked all of the items in his two shopping carts (yes, two!), against his long list.
I am not sure if it was he or his wife who added a bouquet of flowers to the list, but I want to believe that it was him and that he brought them home for her. Sweet. I was afraid the flowers would get cut once he was asked to settle the bill but, extra credit, he kept the flowers.
Groceries are expensive, especially when you have two shopping carts full of items. Buying healthy food AND staying within budget can make things difficult but not impossible. There are actually plenty of nutritious and affordable options:
Apples — Apples are one of the most accessible and affordable fruits. They are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and make for a great snack or dessert. Plus, apples are easy to store and transport, making them an ideal snack for work or school lunches. I love cutting up apples in the morning and handing them out to my family, in small containers. Have you tried combining apple slices with nut butter or slices of cheese?
Bananas — Bananas are another versatile fruit, available year-round, at most grocery stores. High in potassium, magnesium, and vitamin B6, bananas make for an excellent pre-workout snack or post-workout recovery meal. If you can’t finish all the bananas you bought, you can cut them up and freeze them for your next smoothie.
Carrots — Carrots are one of the most affordable vegetables you can buy. They're also incredibly nutritious and rich in beta carotene (converted into vitamin A), vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants. Carrots can be eaten raw, as a snack, or added to salads or soups, for extra nutrition and flavor. I love cutting them up in the morning, together with apples, and packing them into our snack bags.
Potatoes — Potatoes are affordable, filling, and versatile; they're great roasted, mashed, boiled, or fried. Sweet potatoes are higher in nutrients than regular potatoes, but both types offer healthy amounts of vitamin C and B6, as well as dietary fiber and potassium. You can find a wide variety of recipes online. Have fun trying new ones!
Kale — It's high in vitamins A and C and calcium—all for just 33 calories per cup. Kale can be used in salads or cooked into dishes like kale chips or sautéed greens, with garlic. We, also sometimes, freeze our kale and add them to smoothies.
Oranges — Oranges are a valuable source of Vitamin C and Beta Carotene, which can promote tissue growth and repair, and may help ward off inflammation. You can cut them up in different ways or squeeze them, for a glass of fresh juice.
Celery — Celery is an enjoyable, crunchy snack with numerous health benefits. Celery is high in dietary fiber, packed with vitamins and minerals, low in calories, and contains powerful antioxidants. Try combining celery with your favorite cheese, nut butter, or hummus.
Cucumbers — Cucumbers contain many compounds, like flavonoids, which act as antioxidants, reducing cellular damage from free radicals and fighting off disease-causing bacteria. They are full of essential vitamins, such as vitamin K for bone health, B vitamins for energy production, and minerals, like magnesium and potassium, that support nerve and muscle function. Cucumbers can be used as a snack (just like celery and carrots), in salads, or on a slice of fresh bread with cheese. I also love adding cucumber to my water, for an added boost of freshness.
I hope these affordable options will help you incorporate essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you feeling your bes while staying within your budget. Whether you're snacking on apples throughout the day, or adding kale to your dinner dish at night—you can achieve optimal health for less money than you may think.
Have fun trying new things! If you need extra inspiration and would like to chat with me, here is a link to book your free call, and feel free to join the Vibrant Health Power Community Facebook Group here.