We’ve all seen the short cuts in the store – the precooked and shelled edamame, the shredded carrots and the bagged lettuce greens. We all probably think one of two things, either I’m glad someone did the work for me or it’s cheaper if I do it myself. And whether you’re in the first group or the second, you’d be right.
The grocery store is filled with easy, but more expensive short cuts and many of them are worth avoiding. Prepackaged mashed potatoes for the price of a good steak? No thank you. But when it comes to some produce short cuts you may be paying a bit more, but you get what you pay for. Because of the time savings these shortcuts create, you may discover you are actually saving lots of time prepping and that you are eating the item instead of letting it sit in your refrigerator unused.
Some great produce shortcuts include:
Baby carrots – become a quick snack with a tub of hummus, spinach/artichoke dip or all alone
Shelled edamame – a handful tossed in a salad makes a tasty addition and a great source of protein
Shredded carrots – because who really has time or the urge to shred carrots? Yet they’re so easily sprinkled into a variety of dishes like salads and sandwich wraps. Having them at the ready means you and your family will likely eat more of them. And that’s worth something.
Packaged mixed lettuce greens – grab a handful for an individual salad or half a bag for two people and you’ll have salad in just a few minutes. Plus you get a variety of lettuces without having to purchase each one.
Grape or cherry tomatoes – even just using the smaller version of something means you can avoid all the slicing as well as watching the unused half rot in the produce drawer
Peeled and chopped squash – because the majority of cooking time to roast, mash or cook squash into a soup is often the time it takes to peel and core the squash itself.
The list of shortcuts is probably as long as the list of vegetables you eat so keep this tip in mind when you are out shopping. Often it’s these items that go on sale and you may actually save money and time. But even if these items may cost a bit more, if it means you will buy healthy choices or use them all up then it makes a lot of sense to add these shortcuts to your list.