Budget-Friendly Ways to Get More Veggies on Your Plate

October 29, 2022

The average adult should aim to get half their plate at each meal filled with fruits and veggies (with veggies being slightly more than fruits).  Many acknowledge the challenges in doing so – cost of fresh fruits and vegetables, not knowing how to prepare or cook certain vegetables, or simply not liking them.

Here are some budget-friendly ways to get more veggies on your plate:

  1. Buy vegetables that are in season. Visit your local farmer’s market or corner farmer’s stand to get best deal on freshest produce.
  2. Stock up or plan ahead. When you find vegetables in season or on sale, stock up or plan and freeze ahead.  Did you know that winter squash can stay in a cool, dry space (think basement) for up to 2-4 months?  Just be sure to check on them regularly for soft spots and keep them from bruising.  Otherwise, cut up butternut squash and freeze for future use.  Foods like spinach can be frozen and used to add to smoothies, soups, or even muffin mix at a future date.
  3. Plan several meals that all use the same (larger) vegetable, such as cabbages, kale, celery, etc. I don’t know a single recipe that calls for a whole head of cabbage.  So find a few that you can stack back-to-back or for the week where you use the same ingredient in different ways/recipes throughout the week.  No waste, more budget friendly, and helps you avoid the same exact dish with left overs x 3.
  4. Google recipes with vegetables that may not be your favorite and you are bound to find something interesting that you would be open to trying. You may not like them, yet, because you just haven’t found the best way to cook or recipe in which to use them.
  5. Learn how to best store your produce. When you get home from the grocery store, take that plastic containers of spinach or other lettuce and put a paper towel on the top of the container.  Flip the container upside down and store in the fridge.  Any moisture from the container will pull down to the paper towel.  Most produce is best washed right before use.

Don’t forget to plan different color foods and vegetables to “eat your rainbow” to maximize nutrients and best balance your body.