Maintaining a wholesome diet or purchasing healthy foods may seem a little more difficult these days with increasing food prices. Perhaps you’ve noticed a difference in your grocery bill, or have seen the changes to Statistic Canada’s Consumer Price Index for food. One culprit is the current value of the Canadian dollar. With 81% of vegetables, fruits and nuts imported from outside of Canada, it’s an inevitable shift. Another factor is climate change and the effect this has on crops.
Regardless of food prices, we need to eat! There is some good news. We can all adopt a few habits to get the most bang for our buck while ensuring proper nutrition and reducing the impact the rising food cost has on our health and our wallets.
1. Cooking at Home vs. Eating Out
The University of Guelph’s Food Price Report states the average Canadian household will spend $8,631 on food in 2016, an increase of about $345 from 2015. Those figures include an average of $2,416 spent in restaurants. When you go out to eat, you are not just paying for the food itself, but also for the service, food preparation, staff wages, etc.
Get cooking to save money! Check the Healthy UBC Recipes Series.
2. In-season Produce
Foods that are in-season are often less expensive than when they are not in season. Check out a helpful chart for seasonal and local foods in BC.
3. Shop the Specials
Take a minute to read the in-store flyers and plan your meals accordingly. It may mean you need to visit a couple of stores to get the best deal. Stock up while specials last but make sure not to overdo it to avoid food waste.
4. Plan Ahead and Stick to Your Grocery List
When there is a plan in place for meals, there is a better chance that food will be readily available when you need it and there will be less tendency to eat out or purchase pre-made meals. It’s so simple and the payoff will be worth it.
5. Waste Less and Use Leftovers
6. Cook More Vegetarian Meals
If you are finding animal proteins are more expensive than what you can afford, you can add more vegetarian sources of protein to your meals. Check out a fantastic collection of healthy vegetarian recipes and 10 meatless high-protein foods.
7. Check the Best Before Dates
Make sure you check the date to ensure you will have enough time to consume it before it goes to waste. Read more on best before dates vs. expiry dates.