Tuesday, July 23

10 Cheap Canned Foods That Will Save You Time AND Money

The costs of essentials are rapidly increasing, especially when it comes to food. One of the best ways in which you might reduce your food bill is to buy the best canned foods. If you want to save even more, you can get canned food items at your favorite discount stores, such as Big Lots and Dollar General, and budget grocery chains such as Aldi.

As an alternative, you might opt for generics or even in-store brands and buy more when on sale. When you’re at the market, don’t forget to stroll down the canned food aisle, even if you don’t plan on using any of those items right away.

Non-perishable canned foods are known to have some of the best and longest shelf lives. Plus, they can be easily stored in your pantry for longer, so don’t hesitate on getting what you need! Here are our top picks:

canned
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Beans

Beans are one of the best ways to introduce canned foods into your daily meals, mostly because cooking them is just as easy as opening the can. They are super versatile and much more convenient than dried beans because they require more time and effort to sort, soak, rinse, and cook before adding to any dish.

If you’re not used to eating beans that often, you could always try something new, right? Beans are a wonderful source of folate, magnesium, and iron. Besides, when you pair them with foods rich in vitamin C, such as broccoli and tomatoes, beans can easily help you increase iron absorption.

Vegetables

I know that the healthiest choice would be to buy fresh vegetables. If they’re close to harvesting, it’s even better. However, you probably couldn’t help but notice how expensive vegetables are nowadays. In these circumstances, that’s where canned vegetables step in.

The USDA recommends we eat somewhere around 4 cups of vegetables per day if we want to maintain a healthy diet. Well, canned vegetables will allow you to do just that, because you’ll always have something within arm’s reach.

Besides, you won’t have to worry anymore about what veggies you’ll serve in the evening! You’ll find anything you can think of, from corn to peas to carrots to green beans, so give it a try!

Potatoes

If you’re tired of finding spoiled spuds in your kitchen drawer (like me), then you should give canned potatoes a try. They will easily replace the fresh ones, and you can easily cook anything you want. Besides, there’s another huge advantage: they already come peeled and cooked, which will save you the hassle of preparing.

But here’s the best part: You can even find them sliced, which will ease your job even more. Who knows? You might even become fond of how easily you can cook canned potatoes. Needless to say, if you’re 5 minutes away from crashing on the sofa in a deep sleep, you can even eat them straight from the can.

Tomatoes

Another versatile, shelf-stable option is canned tomatoes. They’re super easy to cook, and they’re just as nutritious as the fresh ones. They have a concentrated flavor, a bright, beautiful color, and that juiciness that you need when it comes to great pasta dishes, soups, and warming stews.

You can easily use them in almost everything, from homemade marinara sauce to eggplant Parmesan and chili. Truth be told, nothing compares to juicy, fresh tomatoes, but the best ones only appear in the summertime, so even if you can’t add canned tomatoes to a salad, they could be perfect for a tasty sauce, curry, or chili recipe.

canned
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Fruits

What’s great about canned fruits is that they’re always picked at their peak ripeness. Just think about those peaches and pears and that tasty pineapple juice. Try to go for fruit packed in juice with no artificial color. You can genuinely use these delicious canned “candy” for anything: over yogurt, blended in a healthy smoothie, and in baked goods.

If you love baking, then you must know by now that any proper carrot cake has an adequate quantity of canned, crushed pineapple in it. And if you’d rather drink a soothing cocktail than eat anything sweet, there are so many options out there!

Tuna

Canned tuna has the right amount of protein, is low in fat, and has the needed dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids. The American Heart Association, along with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends that adults eat two servings of fish every week.

For most people, fresh fish is simply not an option, and that’s why canned tuna is so great. I think it’s fair to say that there isn’t a kitchen pantry out there in the world that doesn’t have at least one pack of canned tuna. It’s easy to cook, healthy, and you can make a quick sandwich anytime! You’ll spend less than 5 minutes preparing something while getting enough protein!

Soups

When cooler weather is just around the corner, you know what the first thing to do is: soup! Well, what if I told you that you can get the best soup out there—in a can? They’re super easy to prepare, and they can be easily customized to your own taste: you can add more ingredients, whether we’re talking about noodles, vegetables, or even beans.

Canned soups are known to have a bad reputation for being too high in sodium and sometimes getting mixed with other bad thickeners, like egg yolks, cream, and even cornstarch. While it’s still true in some cases, you can always look for soups that are labeled as low in calories and sodium and fully organic.

Heinz canned
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Chili

Chili is probably one of the best dishes in the world. It’s true that nothing compares to cooking everything from scratch, but still, it might take some time and effort, and why waste all that when you also have the canned option? It’s a meal-in-a-can, perfect for any busy weeknight dinner.

You can easily serve canned chili in all kinds of forms, and if you can’t wait, you can even eat it straight from the can. However, my recommendation would be to prepare a warm cornbread to go alongside your chili dish, or even a steaming baked potato, crisp nachos, and some golden French fries.

Luncheon meat

If you really need to stretch that dollar, this is one of the most affordable and shelf-stable choices you can get. Luncheon meats have meat, water, and other curing ingredients, such as salt and nitrates. Canned meat might also have spices, fat, and additives, and yes, they’re very high in calories, but you don’t have to eat the whole thing.

Also, no one says that you should eat this every night of the week, but who knows? Some canned meat now and then (especially at the end of the month) might really come in handy. Besides, there are a bunch of creative ideas in which you might use luncheon meats: sandwiches, ramen soup, fried rice, and even stir-fries.

Pasta sauce

I probably cooked pasta sauce from scratch on a very breezy weekend now. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I had a breezy weekend, so needless to say, my pantry is filled with canned pasta sauces.

The process is so simple it’s actually confusing: you open the can, pour the sauce in a pan, stir, add condiments, wait a couple of minutes, and that’s it! Sure, maybe we won’t win any culinary awards this time, but who needs that when I can eat my favorite pasta in less than 15 minutes?

I have a whole other bunch of practical advice on shopping, so if you want to read more, here’s what I recommend: These 8 Cheap Pantry Foods Last Longer Than You Think

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