One of the challenges of relying entirely on canned and frozen produce is the lack of variety available. If you’re only eating frozen peas and corn, you’ll only get the nutrients available in those vegetables, and you’ll be missing out on others that play important roles in our health. Texture, flavour and palatability also play a part, and fresh produce will almost always win out here.
If you can continue to afford fresh produce, buy it. Not only to help our growers and farmers, but also to get the nutritional variety your body needs.
There are ways to do this on the cheap. For starters, get familiar with what’s in season. Prices fluctuate based on when and where produce is grown, and sometimes there’s an abundance of a product, which drives down prices. Just look at avocadoes over the past few years, which have ranged from $1–$8.
You can also create meals around what’s on special that week. Many grocery stores have a section with further reduced products that are about to go bad. These can be used in creative ways. For example, a sad-looking bunch of spinach can be frozen and added to soup or smoothies. Apples can be stewed and eaten with porridge in the morning.
With a little bit of awareness and planning, you can certainly prioritise nutrition and health on a budget.