Is the simple errand of grocery shopping adding more stress to your day? Is relying on take-out becoming too costly?
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, serving home cooked meals every night that are both nutritious and delicious may not be your primary concern. However, it is still important to consider the best ways to keep you and your family safe and healthy.
Although efforts to stay at home are encouraged as much as possible, we need to go out for essential activities, like grocery shopping. Even for those who use grocery delivery services, multiple orders can add up. While ordering take-out supports the local community, it can become costly to do so every day.
Reduce the need to go grocery shopping with the following tips to save time and money!
- Repurpose ingredients. Don’t let leftover vegetables go to waste. Add them into existing meals or throw them all into a pot to make a soup.
- Get creative. Have a food competition at home with yourself or loved ones. See how creative you can get with what you have.
- Double it. Don’t feel pressured to cook a different meal every night. When cooking your favorite meal, make a double batch and have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. You can also freeze the extras for a convenient emergency meal.
- Make the freezer your new BFF. Use your freezer to extend the shelf life of many foods. You can freeze meat, leftovers and even bread.
- Shop from your pantry. Instead of searching for recipes to create your grocery list, build your weekly menu around what is currently in your fridge and pantry. Use up that can of beans hiding in the corner. You may have more than you realize.
- Try a plant-based protein. Plant-based proteins such as tofu and beans are often less expensive and last longer than meat. Substitute them in a dish you would normally use meat in.
- Be flexible. Spaghetti may be sold out but try a new shape like fusilli. You may discover a new favorite from going outside your comfort zone.
- Go back to basics. Now may not be the time to try a complicated recipe with new ingredients. Keep it simple on days you know you are going to be busier. Stick with a protein, vegetable and grain. For example, a basic dinner of roasted chicken with broccoli and rice.
Cooking for your family can be less stressful by being more resourceful. You can reap the benefits of not only saving money but staying safe and healthy as well.
To learn more about health and wellness services at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare, visit TMHHealthyLiving.org
Written by: Susan Cheung, Florida State University Dietetic Intern and Master’s Student
Precepted by: Afaf Qasem MS, RDN, LDN, Director of Quality of Life Services at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.