Spend a few minutes learning which healthy foods are a good deal and formulating a nutritional game plan. Make your shopping list, and locate the best food stores or vendors before you head out the door.
Buying the right foods
A heart-friendly diet emphasizes fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and beans and lean protein.
Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. They taste better, and the price tag will be lower. Look for weekly sales at local markets or try growing your own produce. Tomatoes and zucchini are good choices for new gardeners.
Limit or eliminate processed foods and prepared items. Packaged, pre-cooked foods usually have higher salt, fat and sugar content than what you can prepare at home from scratch, and you end up paying more for prepared foods than for fresh foods.
Buy lean protein such as light-meat turkey. Meat freezes well, so stock up when there is a weekly special.
Certain types of fish contain large amounts of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon is rich in Omega-3, but it can be pricey. Sardines and canned tuna (chunk light) are a thrifty and heart-friendly alternative. If you can’t find fresh sardines at the market, select sardines canned in water or packed in healthy oil.
Home cooking for on-budget health
Sometimes, the simplest way is the best way. Old-fashioned meal preparation makes sense for your heart and your budget. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out how far your dollars stretch when you buy raw ingredients and create your own entrees, snacks and sauces.