Seniors who live on a budget may miss out on important nutrients due to high food prices according to health experts at the AARP. Buying food with the highest nutritional value and paying as little as possible is key for seniors on a strict budget. Fortunately, there are some inexpensive, nutritional powerhouses lurking on your grocer’s shelves. Here are eight of the best budget-friendly groceries for seniors, brought to you by the Tampa senior care experts at Home Care Assistance.
1. Brown Rice. Expect to pay about $1.75 per pound for this fiber-filled staple – and a single bag can make plenty of meals for a senior. Brown rice is a great side with dinner, and can be used in rice salads or added to low-sodium soups.
2. Carrots. Weighing in at under a dollar per pound, carrots deliver fiber, essential vitamins, and are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene as well. The humble root veggie is surprisingly useful, showing up in recipes from salad to dessert.
3. Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt. A good source of calcium and protein, this versatile staple can be used instead of sour cream in most every recipe, added to smoothies, or enjoyed as part of a balanced breakfast. Prices vary, but during sales you can pick up a single-serve Greek yogurt for your loved one for under a dollar.
4. Bananas. For about forty-cents per pound, bananas are full of potassium, which lowers blood pressure, helps remove sodium from the body, and is important for heart health. Put fresh bananas over cereal in the morning or keep them around for a healthy snack alternative.
5. Beans. Cooking dried beans can take a little while, but they are one of the most affordable and healthiest staples in the grocery store. Packed with protein, fiber, potassium, and magnesium, beans are a nutritional powerhouse that can help digestion, energy levels, heart health, and aid in stroke prevention. Canned beans are also very affordable, but seniors with sodium restrictions may prefer to avoid the extra salt.
6. Sweet Potatoes. The sweet potato is affordable, filling, and under $2 per pound. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, and chock-full of beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that can help prevent certain chronic diseases.
7. Eggs. Not much beats an egg in terms of protein and nutrition for seniors. For about $2.00 per dozen, eggs provide lots of protein and have been shown to increase the good type of cholesterol. Eggs are great at any meal, and you can boil a bunch at once to provide a quick and easy snack for your senior loved one.
8. In-season produce. Availability will change throughout the year, but buying whatever produce is in season will allow seniors to eat healthfully and affordably throughout the year. Make lots of salad or low-sodium soups with fresh veggies, and keep fresh fruit on hand to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Get Help with Grocery Shopping and Meal Prep
Another reason senior nutrition can slip is because seniors don’t know what to look for at the store or don’t have the energy to cook healthy meals. Find a caregiver in Tampa who can assist your senior loved one and promote his or her health and wellbeing on a daily basis. Home Care Assistance has caregivers available 24/7, provides ongoing training in the best care practices, and never requires you to sign a long-term contract. For more information or to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call (727) 330-7862 to speak with a qualified Care Manager.