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Shopping Tips for the Convenience QueenSusie Buonanno, 28, Tarrytown, New York
Susie is six months pregnant, and cooking dinner for herself and her husband is the last thing she feels like doing when she gets home from work. While she scores high marks for choosing nutrient-rich produce and dairy, her cart also contains some prepared and packaged foods that deliver a side order of excess sodium and sugar.Her Go-To Groceries
Rice mixes, premarinated steak and chicken, deli ham, roast beef, American cheese, canned corn, apples, strawberries, grapes, grapefruit, string beans, 12-grain bread, rye bread, whipped yogurt, nonfat milk, low-fat chocolate milk, cranberry-grape juice drinkBetter Grocery Buys
Choose the Right Sides
When we met Susie and her husband, Devin, they were stocking up on packaged rice mixes. Just one serving delivers half the sodium that Susie should have in an entire day. We suggested that she make her own by buying unseasoned brown rice and adding dried herbs or spices, such as parsley and oregano, and microwaved frozen veggies to it. Brown rice is naturally salt-free and a good source of fiber, and it was on sale for $1.25 that week.
Make Your Own Marinade
The premarinated chicken and beef kebabs Susie chose are heavily seasoned with salt to add flavor. And she's paying about $2 extra for the supermarket to do the prep work. A healthier, less expensive alternative is to buy plain chicken or beef, cut it into kebabs, and whisk together a marinade of olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, and dried rosemary.
Swapping salmon steaks (on special for $5.99 a pound) for beef or chicken one night a week would give Susie and Devin a good dose of omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart health and can help their baby's cognitive development.
Susie was ready to buy a cranberry-grape juice drink until a look at the nutrition facts revealed that an 8-ounce glass has 160 calories and contains only 25 percent juice. We helped her find a 100 percent cranberry juice blend that had 120 calories.
Total savings: about $30
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