If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for inexpensive fruits and vegetables to fill your cart and feed your family. Stocking up on fresh produce can make costs add up quickly, so it makes sense to find affordable options that still offer plenty of nutrition. Luckily, you have year-round choices at your fingertips, no matter where you shop. So make the switch to inexpensive fruits and vegetables for the sake of your wallet and your waistline.
Perhaps one of the most inexpensive fruits and vegetables available, apples offer loads of nutrients. They are especially affordable in the late summer and early fall. Some varieties are cheaper than others, but the chances of finding apples for a reasonable price at your grocery store are pretty good. Have an apple at lunch or dice one up and toss it in a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast.
At under a dollar per pound in most places, you can’t go wrong with bananas. Not only do they taste great, but they offer up plenty of potassium and fiber too. Use bananas to beef up the nutritional value of your cereal or oatmeal, or mash it up and use it as a substitute for oil or butter in muffins or sweet bread. And, of course, a banana also makes a portable snack for busy days.
You can usually get a few kiwis for under a dollar. I love buying kiwis for a quick and easy breakfast. They make a great addition to the old lunchbox too! Kiwis are packed with vitamin C and fiber, so they’re a healthy choice. Just slice the top off and scoop out the delicious flesh with a spoon.
Carrots are so versatile and cheap that you can’t really afford not to put them in your shopping cart. Serve them up with low-fat ranch dressing for a quick and easy snack. You can also slice them into salads or shred them into wrap sandwiches. Add diced carrots to soup or stir-fry for an extra dose of fiber and beta-carotene.
They vary in price, but many green, leafy vegetables are affordable and healthy. Chock full of vitamin K, fiber and iron, many greens are part of a healthy and well-balanced meal plan. Use them to make salads or add them to a sandwich. You can also sauté a few cups of greens in a dab of olive oil and serve them with a grilled chicken breast or a fish fillet.
Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes because they contain more nutrition and have a sweeter flavor. I’m not one to turn down a potato, but sometimes opting for the sweet version feels virtuous. Full of beta-carotene and potassium, sweet potatoes make a great side dish, as long as you don’t cover them with a load of brown sugar and marshmallows. Instead, top a baked sweet potato with cinnamon and just a tablespoon or so of sugar.
Much like apples, pears are full of nutrients and are inexpensive during the fall and late summer. A pear makes a juicy and sweet snack between meals, but they also work well in cereal or a grilled cheese sandwich. Add pears to a blue cheese salad for a sweet and salty combination you won’t want to miss.
What’s your favorite fruit or vegetable? I like most of them, but I also like saving money on my grocery bill, so I try to buy the less expensive options when I can. How about you?
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