2. Produce

Timesaving Produce: Frozen Vegetables in Steamer Bags
Do you end up throwing out rotting produce every week? Then stop overbuying fresh vegetables and stock up on frozen vegetables in steamer bags. First, they retain about 85 to 90 percent of the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts. They’re blanched before frozen, which kills off bacteria so they wont spoil. Plus, they’re microwavable in about 5 minutes or less.

Cost: About $2 a bag.

Money-saving Produce: Canned Tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are not only less pricey than fresh, but are an even better source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that becomes more effective when heated up during canning. Use canned tomatoes as a staple ingredient in sauces, soups, stews and chili (many chefs prefer to use canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones). Also try replacing ketchup with another canned tomato product: Tomato paste. It tastes similar and contains less sodium and sugar. Look for “no salt added” varieties of canned tomato products.

Cost: About $1.50 per 28-ounce can.

Next: Quick, convenient, budget-friendly protein sources


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