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How to meet the Canada's Food Guide recommendations on a budget

Below are some tips to help you and your family eat healthy and follow the Food Guide while keeping within your food budget. The tips are presented for each of the four food groups.

Vegetables and Fruit:

•    Choose vegetables and fruit in season (local if possible such as carrots, turnip, potatoes, blueberries and strawberries)
•    Choose frozen vegetables and fruit
•    Choose canned vegetables and fruit (lower sodium vegetables and fruit on water or juice)
•    Choose locally produced root vegetables during the winter months
•    Prepare your own salads instead of using pre-prepared kits
•    Chop your own fruit and vegetables instead of buying the cut up varieties

Grain Products:

•    When whole grain products are on sale, buy extra and freeze (e.g. bread, bagels, rolls)
•    Make your own whole grain bread and muffins. Lots of recipes are available online, at your library or even in garage sale cook books!
•    When whole grain pasta or rice are on sale, stock up
•    Compare prices when buying grain products - rice, oatmeal or quinoa may be more cost effective when purchased in bulk 

Milk and Alternatives:

•    Buy yogurt in a large container and put in your own reusable single serve containers
•    Buy skim milk powder to use for baking and cooking (or to drink)
•    Buy a block of cheese on sale and shred it, rather than buying pre-shredded. It can also be frozen in individual portions for later use.

Meat and Alternatives:

•    Buy lean meat and fish on sale and freeze
•    Buy whole chickens, turkeys or roasts and cut them up yourself
•    Use dried lentils and beans as an economical and delicious source of protein
•    Use leftover meat from dinners in a sandwich for tomorrow's lunch

Also check out Planning your Meals makes Good Cents and Tips for Sticking to your Food Budget

Source: Teri McComber
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