Healthy Eating on a Budget with a Twist

During this busy time of year, people may not be thinking much about healthy eating. And their plan to stick to a budget may have gone out the window on Black Friday. But come January, lots of folks will be resolving to do better in both of these areas, making it a great time to talk about healthy eating on a budget.

Our Healthy On a Budget poster shows four steps to choosing foods that are good for your wallet and your health:

  1. Buy in season and on sale.
  2. Buy whole ingredients in bulk, not processed foods.
  3. Buy only what you need.
  4. Skip junk food that runs up your grocery bill but provides little nutrition value.

To add a twist, incorporate food safety into this conversation by talking about leftovers. Whether it’s a serving of stir-fry or a bag of carrots, throwing out food is like throwing money away. At the same time, there’s food safety to consider.

Cover all the bases with these resources we found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website:

  • Handle leftovers properly! This keeps them safe to eat, but it also helps preserve the quality of the food. After all, who wants leftovers that taste like whatever else is in the refrigerator? Follow these tips from the USDA on wrapping, storing, thawing, and reheating leftovers.
  • It’s a fact: leftovers get lost! Whether it’s a container of stir-fry in the back of the refrigerator or a bag of carrots hidden in the bottom of the produce drawer, sometimes you don’t know whether it’s time to throw it out or keep it. Take the guesswork out of it with this chart or use the USDA FoodKeeper app.
    • You can download the free FoodKeeper app to your phone or tablet, or use the online version on your computer. It’s a great way to make sure you’re not keeping food too long or throwing it out too soon. For example, a simple search will tell you that carrots keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks but broccoli stays fresh only 3-5 days.
    • You can search foods in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
    • If you use the app, you can add products to your device’s calendar and receive notifications when they are nearing the end of their recommended storage date. You may never lose leftovers to the back of the fridge or freezer again!