So, the question becomes which of these groups are most cost-effective, and how can you prepare these foods in a way that is both delicious and nutritious?
To get the most for your money when it comes to fruits and vegetables, buying in season, buying frozen and buying tinned will serve your wallet well. Shona Gomes, Registered Dietitian at NZ Nutrition Foundation, expands on this, saying, “From a health perspective, if using tinned veg look for no added salt versions and choose fruits soaked in juice rather than syrup.”
Shona recommends legumes as one of the most affordable and nutritious food you can buy. “You can extend meals by halving the amount of meat and subbing with a can of chickpeas, lentils or beans, for example,” she says. “Also, while seafood can be expensive, the guidelines do encourage us to incorporate it into our diet (more so than meat and poultry), so look for cheaper options like tinned tuna or mussels, with both providing heart-healthy omega-3 fats.”