This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com
When you’re trying to stay health-conscious, it can be difficult to rationalize skipping out on the freshest produce at the grocery store in order to save money.
It’s hard to know when, and with which foods, you’ll be compromising nutritional value (and taste) for when you decide to go with the prepackaged, frozen alternative to the natural options.
Luckily, we’ve rounded up seven specific grocery items that pass the test nutritionally when frozen, making them much more worth it to buy the cheaper way.
A few general rules of thumb?
Most of your favorite greens and veggies are so overloaded with nutrients that even if some are lost in the process of freezing and recooking, it won’t make an overall difference in the nutritional value of the food.
Also, any vegetable or food that’s rich in fat-soluble nutrients (like vitamin A and carotenoids) are best frozen as those nutrients are better able to withstand different food processing and storage methods.
Shopping organic or locally is without a doubt great for the economy, the community and of course, your body.
But the caveat, of course, is the expense at which those benefits come.
While it’s always good to switch up between frozen and fresh, these are the items you can head straight to the freezer for.
1. Staples are placed in the back
Necessities such as milk and eggs are always packed in the rear, so consumers have to walk through the entirety of the store even if they just want to pick up a few things.
2. Flowers and bakery items are in the front
These fragrant and visually appealing products are deliberately placed in the front of the store to activate shoppers’ salivary glands and makes them hungry, which leads them to buy more during their trip. These are also high margin departments, so grocers place them in the front when a shopper’s cart is empty and they’re more likely to add to it.
3. Fresh produce is near the front
These bright and aesthetic items excite the eye, prompting consumers to spend more.
4. Shelving is based on adult shopping habits and children’s habits
Expensive and leading brands are at eye-level, and kid-friendly products like sugary cereals are typically at kids’ eye-level.
5. Foods are paired together
Shoppers are much more likely to buy a complementing item if it’s right next to it, such as chips and salsa, or bread and spreads.
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