If you’re feeling the pinch when you go to pay for a cart of groceries, you’re not alone.
Rachel Iverson is a dietician, and even she, along with other dieticians are struggling to buy the groceries they want and need without breaking the bank.
“We know how to shop, and you know, we’re trained in it,” said Rachel Iverson, registered dietician at Sanford Health. “And even when we’re trying to keep things low cost, we’re walking away from Walmart or the grocery store with like a two-hundred-dollar bill.”
Shirley Reese is the general manager of the Bisman Community Food Co-op, and says that starting last fall, grocery prices were going up weekly.
“So that turns around and hits the customer really, really hard,” Shirley Reese, general manager, Bisman Community Food Co-op said, “and it’s been seen across the entire industry. It isn’t just a smaller grocery stores that are having to raise their prices, even places like the big box stores.”
So how do we all maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet without burning through a paycheck in one visit to the grocery store?
Iverson says it’s not crucial to always eat fresh because supply chain issues can really impact that freshness.
She says an apple, for example, can sit in a warehouse for eight to twelve months.
“That can decrease the quality of the antioxidants and degrade some of the nutrients coming in when it’s waiting,” Iverson explained. “I’m buying personally a lot of canned and frozen. And it doesn’t make a huge difference. It’s whatever fits your budget and whatever fits your lifestyle and your time.”
And when you do prefer to eat fresh, buying local is a great option.
“That produce is going to last a lot longer, because it was picked in the field and brought to that local source usually within twenty-four hours,” Reese said.
Reese also recommends cleaning soft fruits and vegetables with a vinegar-water wash, dry it completely, and repackage it in a glass jar.
“You might find that you’re gonna have that fruit last ten days … fourteen days,” Reese explained. “Usually when you get strawberries home, they’ll last a few days before they get gross. So your soft fruits, your lettuces, clean them really well make sure they’re dry.”
Iverson also recommends taking a step back from fad diets that restrict what foods you eat.
“Specifically, grains have been hit pretty hard in like the last ten years of dieting with the keto diet and things,” Iverson explained. “Grains are cheap, and they are high nutrient density.”
Iverson recommends food like whole wheat bread, rice, beans, which can pack a punch with fiber and protein, and potatoes, which can stretch a meal and provide nutrients, and, they’re cheap!
“I think some of those foods that maybe diet culture has scared us away from or the things that we’re going to end up turning back to,” Iverson stated, “because it’s okay for carbohydrates to be sixty-five percent of your diet. That’s standard healthy eating.”
Another helpful tip … add a can of beans to your ground beef for tacos!