The feeling of freedom of moving to an apartment or a dorm is pretty exciting especially for a upperclassmen. But there are a lot of changes that they’ll have to deal with. Bathroom cleaning will become a regular chore, a table once filled with different kinds of meals will be replaced with a kitchen filled with ramen noodles, and a can of tuna. Being tight on budget, how will you survive on your own without spending too much?

Using healthy ingredients is the key to good cooking. Stacey Zawacki, a Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, and the clinical assistant professor of nutrition and director of BU Sargent Choice Nutrition Center will take us on a guided tour on how to shop wisely for fresh produce and protein-rich foods. With some proper care and planning, a single visit to the grocery can last enough for a week without worrying about spoilage, she says. More of her tips are listed below:

Fruits and Vegetables

  • A good serving of fruit and veggies a day is essential for your body. Two servings of fruits and a three for vegetables every day will help you get those nutrients you need.
  • A combination of ripe and unripe produce is good enough for a week. Broccoli can last more than lettuce. Green bananas will turn yellow over time and will be good enough to eat.
  • Making sure picking the right produce is a must. Once you go grocery shopping, always ask the produce manager to make sure the ones you put on your basket are ripe.
  • Always buy fresh produce during a season as it ensures you the best quality. But don’t worry if there’s no fresh produce to buy at the moment, frozen fruits and veggies is a great alternative in times like these. Cauliflower and blueberries are picked and flash-frozen and can be served anytime.

Protein-rich Foods

  • If you’re looking for the leanest cuts of meat, skinless chicken and turkey breast is the way to go. If you don’t want to spend much on buying meat, “select” meats with the likes of sirloin and round is a good choice for your wallet, and they’re much healthier too.
  • A salmon twice a week can give you that special benefits of omega-3 fatty acids that’s good for the heart.
  • Eating fresh fish from the day you bought it is the best way to consume them. Frozen and canned varieties are far more affordable and convenient.
  • No need to be a vegetarian if you want to enjoy the health benefits of such plant proteins like nuts, beans, hummus and tofu. Try to be a flexitarian. It’s okay to eat meat occasionally as it’s good for both the environment and your wallet.

Plan a Healthy Shopping list

  • Always make sure you choose the right items when you go grocery shopping. Make a shopping list, jot down the ones you need and not the ones you don’t. And make sure that it’s easy for your wallet.

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