‘Nourish the Body, Save on Your Pocket’
Alecia Surujlal – Senior Dietitian, POSGH
Cherice Bronte –Tinkew – Dietitian – POSGH
The Theme ‘Nourish Your Body, Save on Your Pocket,’ has been selected this year in celebration of National Nutrition Awareness Week (NNAW), which is held annually on the first week of June. You may be thinking that saving money while you eat healthy are two phrases that do not go together, however our aim is to convince you that yes, you can! Let’s take a closer look at how we can save whilst we eat healthy.
- Make a Food Budget
This may sound cliché, however a budget is one of the best ways that you can allocate funding and manage your financial resources when purchasing food. Save those grocery bills during the month and add them together to get an average of your spending on food. You can itemize your food shopping into the 6 Food Groups, to help ensure that you are supplying your family with the required nutrients. Here are some examples of the 6 food groups:
- Staples: Rolled Oats, Cornmeal, Wheat Bran, Rice, Flour, Ground Provisions;
- Legumes: Split Peas, Lentils, Black-Eyed Peas, Peanuts, Chia Seeds, Flaxseeds;
- Fruits & Vegetables: Pumpkin, Carrots, Patchoi, Bhagi (Spinach), Cucumbers, Ochro, Tomatoes;
- Foods From Animals: Chicken, Fish, Turkey, Minced Chicken, Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese, Eggs; and
- Fats & Oils: Soyabean, Canola Oil, Reduce Fat Margarine, Avocados.
- Shop your Food Pantry & Refrigerator
Many of us head straight for the grocery without checking what is in the cupboard or even in the freezer. Making a list will not only help you to prevent re-purchasing items that you already have but also help you to utilize existing items stored.
- To Market, To Market….here I go
When last have you visited your local market? This is a good place to not only get fresh produce, but to also grab some great bargains and stock up on fruits and vegetables that are in season. Spend money wisely by purchasing local produce that are packed with lots of nutrients, especially micronutrients (vitamins & minerals) and help support a healthy immune system. Fill your plate with the natural rainbow!
- The Freezer is Your Friend
After that shopping trip to the market, don’t forget to store your items away safely, so that they last longer. Some vegetables and fruits can be prepped, bagged, dated and stored in the freezer for later use. These come in handy especially during the middle of the month when finances tend to dip. Don’t forget to add pumpkin to your peas, ochro to your rice, bodi to your chicken. These help to get in much needed vegetables.
- Don’t Let Good Food Waste
The wisdom from our ancestors: now they were the real penny pinchers and good food makers. Leftovers are also a good way to save cash. Turn left over baked chicken into chicken salad or left over peas into a pelau. Even left over provision can be mashed and made into a pie. Don’t forget those over-ripe bananas sitting on your counter, don’t waste them. Turn them into treats that the whole family can enjoy from banana pancakes, to banana smoothies and so much more.
- Make your own Snacks
That’s right…use those social media apps such as Tik Tok, Instagram and Pinterest to get food inspiration. Did you also know that our very own App, the NWRHA Be Well TT app, also has lots of fantastic recipes for you to try? Tasty treats such as Pumpkin & Oat Muffin, Trail Mix, Savory Popcorn and Cassava Chips are just a handful of snack ideas that can be made at home, utilizing affordable everyday ingredients and guess what, you can feel guilt-free as you get to manipulate the added sugar, salt and fats to keep on track with your health goals.
These are just a few tips and tricks that can help you towards reaching and achieving not only your health goals but also your financial goals. Hope you can share some of your own!
NWRHA Be Well TT App Links
Apple – https://apps.apple.com/tt/app/nwrha-be-well-tt/id1468939361
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