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Friday, January 27, 2012

Eating a cheaper Rainbow- outside the Kitchen

Yesterday I was excited to share with you WHAT to make and HOW to use more fruits and veg to make sure unlike many families as prices hike, you're not the Mum that compromises her family's health by leaving out this goodness.  (I was shocked at the statistics!)

And since that post I've had some lovely colleagues sharing their ways of enjoying a maximum amount of fruit and vegetables on a low-cost budget.

Because many brought up simple and tasty ideas such as freezing individual portions of delicious dishes bursting with Rainbow produce, it got me thinking of not just WHAT to make on a budget, but HOW to save money in the purchase & distribution of the delicious Rainbow you want your family to eat!

So below you'll find a few more suggestions before the delicious cheap Rainbow meals are even being gobbled on the plates you serve.  

1.  Farmer's markets offer their best seasonal produce, often grown without pesticides and locally.  If you're not already a regular, you'll be pleased at how cost-effective local veg can be!

2.  Is your family too small for a home-delivered box of veg offered by your local farm or market?  Consider splitting a box with a neighbour or cooking up vegetable dishes in double quantities other families might give you a contribution towards!  sharing the love...

3.  Compare prices online to find the best stores offering fresh produce cheaply.  Here's such a tool.

4.  It's recognised our fresh produce isn't going to get any cheaper as the world population grows and new demands are placed for crops grown for fuel, instead of food.  So make it a goal in 2012 to begin to grow your own.  If you don't have a garden, consider window boxes, vertical window gardens, getting on the list for an allotment or volunteering to plant a friend's garden in return for some spoils!

5.  Buy loose.  It may sound obvious that pre-sliced onion, grated carrot or diced vegetables in bags cost more, but even netted bags of oranges and bagged-up potatoes can be priced up to 30% more per pound depending on where you shop!  Retailers take advantage of the fact that we are short on time and enjoy convenience, and place the pre-packaged items at eyeline & within easy reach.  Case in point: at my local shop yesterday I saved 70p just by selecting my own chestnut mushrooms rather than reaching for the plastic covered punnet!

6.  And lastly, the Rainbow of fruits and vegetables are just that- Fruits and Vegetables.  Whether it's Harris Farm Market in Australia, Trader Joes in America, and some independent stores in the UK plus Whole Foods, specialty Fruit & Veg providores all over the world also offer a bounty of other temptations that wave the banner "Healthy!".  Mixed nut bags, carob and yoghurt coated things, fruit bars, meat jerkys, confectionery, vegie crisps, bakery items from fresh to imported and gluten-free... these aren't part of the Rainbow and including them in your shopping basket will quickly blow your budget.

And remember a few key words: 
Fresh (or fresh-frozen).  Seasonal.  Local & Organic.  
Buy in bulk; use a variety of ways; freeze, and share! 

I wish you deliciously healthy living at a very happy price for your budget! 

P.S.  make sure you're on my list to receive delicious healthy lighter life tips and how to live to feel enegetically fresh all year... be my VIP, free to join here. 

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