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How do I save on vegetables while on a low budget diet?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many fresh vegetables are cost-effective, but there a few that are exceptional for weight loss.

$1 Diet find: rutabaga
Health benefits include: high fiber, vitamin C, folate, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. Try replacing your favorite high-carb potato dish, like mashed potatoes, with rutabagas. The bottom line: Rutabagas are versatile, healthy and cost just $.37 per serving.

$1 Diet find: kale
Health benefits include: calcium, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C and K, manganese, fiber, folate, iron and potassium. Kale costs just $.75 per serving – it’s even cheaper if you plant it yourself. Kale is resistant to frost and thrives from summer through late autumn, practically growing itself.

 $1 Diet find: butternut squash
Health benefits include: vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C and E, folate, calcium, potassium, selenium, manganese and fiber. Butternut squash can be purchased for as little as $.39 per serving, and can be roasted as a delicious autumnal side dish or pureed into soup.

In-store strategies
Buy in-season vegetables and produce. If your town has a farmer’s market or is flush with independent farm stands, try purchasing produce there. For out-of-season veggies, try buying frozen; they contain the same nutrients and less sodium than their canned counterparts. Additionally, for salads, buy whole greens you can wash instead of a pre-washed mix to save up to 75%.
Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics

You don’t have to break the bank to eat your veggies. Try these tips to meet your vegetable goals with money to spare! 

  • Make a list and stick to it. Prioritize vegetables over treats like soda, candy, chips or ice cream.
  • Opt for less expensive vegetables like green beans, cabbage and carrots.
  • Stretch your cooking skills and try new dishes based on the vegetables that are on sale at your market. If you've never tried asparagus, give it a go in the spring when it's usually less expensive.
  • Eat fresh veggies that are in season and grown locally. They are often cheaper, taste better and are more nutritious compared to fresh veggies that travel hundreds or thousands of miles to your plate.
  • Freeze fresh vegetables at home when they are in season. With this, you can enjoy the flavor of fresh summer corn, green beans and beans throughout the year.
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables when they are on sale. Frozen produce can be just as nutritious as fresh because it is picked and quickly frozen after harvest. Skip those with special sauces which add unnecessary sodium, fat and calories.
  • Store your vegetables properly and eat fresh ones as soon as possible. Remember, spoiled vegetables cost you money!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.