Trying to live healthy and on a budget can sometimes be tough, especially when it seems that the cost of living keeps rising. So when I see reduced healthy items at the grocery store or farmer’s market, I quickly try to think of things I can do with the awesome food find. Since food waste is a big no-no in my book, you should always have a game plan when buying extra food goodies. So here are a few examples of ways to use and store some specific “reduced sale” items to make sure that nothing goes to waste when purchasing healthy items on the cheap:
Apples for applesauce: Throw several pounds of apples into a crockpot, cleaned, cored, and sliced with the peels still on if you desire, and let cook for several hours on high. When extremely soft, let cool and then puree in a blender and pour into ice cube trays and freeze. You can use these for snacking or cooking by replacing even amounts of oil for unsweetened applesauce. Each cube is ¼ cup.
Yogurt: Freeze yogurt by opening your yogurt containers and pour them all into ice cube trays and eat a few cubes for frozen yogurt, use in baking instead of oil (equal part substitution), or use in smoothies. Just remember that defrosted yogurt has a different texture after it is frozen, so only freeze if you plan on using it in other ways.
Cheese: Cheese freezes very well! I just throw the whole bag in the freezer and then defrost it in the refrigerator when I am ready for it. When purchasing a block of cheese, I grate it before freezing and it defrosts just fine.
Carrots and Onions: These are great cut up and frozen. You can also put the ends in a separate bag and use them when you make homemade bone broth so that you don’t have to use your good sliced up pieces.
Milk: Milk can be frozen just fine. Portion into 1-2 cup servings to use in baking or to drink. Just make sure your milk has room to expand in whatever container you use.
Almost any kind of fruit: I like to juice fruit I find on sale/clearance for the week and use the pulp in baking, such as in muffins, waffles, and pancakes, and freeze for a quick and healthy breakfast.
Bananas: I love finding big bags of spotted bananas on clearance. Just peel the bananas, break into halves, and freeze in a Ziploc bag. You can use these in baking or smoothies. For bananas, it is best to freeze immediately so that they do not get any browner before they are frozen.
Any type of veges or fruits: In my experience, almost anything can be frozen and used later. Take advantage of the bounty of the season and store up your great food finds like a squirrel!