• Lisa Ericson

Healthy Grocery Shopping with Limited Resources Tips

Guest post by Emily Rosen

While you are in self-quarantine and practicing social distancing, do you find yourself snacking on processed junk food? Well, trust me, you’re not alone. It is common to eat more than you typically would when trying to pass the time due to boredom. With limited resources and the need to spend money consciously during this COVID-19 pandemic, set yourself up for fulfillment with a healthy stockpile of food for the upcoming days.

When it comes to cooking meals, the name of the game is dry goods. Forget about milk and eggs in times like these; you want to fill your shelves with as many non-perishable items as possible. Pasta and rice are the essentials. They are easy to make, reasonably priced, long-lasting, and extremely versatile. Don’t forget, they’re sources of essential carbohydrates, which are vital for pushing through the cabin fever. You must feed your brain during this time, especially if you are a student or a professional working remotely. When you least expect it, beans will be your best friend.

Questioning what to make after having the same lunch for five days in a row? How about some simple rice and beans? Beans bolster a multitude of healthy nutrients like protein and antioxidants, which are essential to boost your immune system. Nut butter might not be as versatile, but they are just as effective and healthy. Bring back your elementary school eating habits and enjoy an almond butter and jelly sandwich. Both simple and nutritious. Freezer foods can be a life-saver during this uncertain time. Bread, soup, fruit, meat, fish, and vegetables can all be frozen to increase their longevity.

Fresh fruits are more likely to spoil after days of not consuming them. With that being said, frozen fruits can easily be the solution to such a problem. Are you addicted to smoothies in the morning, post-workout? Do not let this quarantine challenge your routine. Along with all of the typical ingredients, add a handful of frozen fruits into the blender, and enjoy your breakfast just like you normally would.

Since we are on the topic of breakfast food, cereal is an excellent thing to add to your grocery list. However, we are not talking about the cereal with high fructose syrup and sugar; we are emphasizing those with whole grains or hot options. Oatmeal is an alternative to the “fake” cereals that are so commonly advertised to the public. You can jazz up your hot cereal with the addition of nut butter, fresh fruit, or chia seeds. This epic combination is sure to keep you on your toes for your busy work life at home.

When it comes to vegetables, you have got to get your greens. Buying canned veggies is the most logical option due to the current situation. However, if you are confident that fresh vegetables will not go to waste, cabbage and root vegetables are great items to have around. They last longer in the refrigerator and are nutrient-dense to help strengthen your immune system. Other important vegetables to purchase are winter squash, carrots, and peppers.

Hungry for a midday snack? Get yourself some hummus and dip a vegetable of your choice into the spread. Having the urge to snack on a chip or candy bar is completely normal, but instead of reaching for Doritos or a Snickers bar, other options will keep you further satiated. SkinnyPop, Hippeas, and trail mix are all great options to choose from when you need that little crunch. Dark chocolate is also a healthier choice when your craving kicks in. These are alternatives to the snacks that you believed you could never rid yourself of. No longer depend on the basic potato chip or buttery popcorn; the previous options will give you the same kick that the others do.

When all of your virtual meetings are over for the day, it is vital to decompress. Hot tea can be the perfect solution. If you do not have any tea bags accessible, hot water can be an effective alternative. Add a slice of a lemon, and this combination leads to an increase in your metabolism. Instead of looking at this pandemic in a negative light, view it in a way to improve your bad habits. Use this time to self-reflect and think about ways to spend your money the most efficiently. The current economic hardships are evident, and being conscious about the way you finance your life during this time period is critical to staying afloat. Food, being a large part of everyday life, is an important aspect to hone in on. These tips will allow you to enjoy all of your meals, without your wallet feeling empty!


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