Want to afford healthy, affordable meals without going overbudget? This clever mom will show you how. For one week, she bought only frozen foods to feed her family and what she discovered on the seventh day, was truly shocking.
The Seven-day Frozen Food Challenge
Felicity Hannah, a mum of three young boys, decided to take on a challenge and feed her family nothing but frozen foods for an entire week to see how much she could save by the end of the seventh day. She knew the challenge would be hard because, like every other mum, she wanted to look after her family’s health and give them the most nutritious meals possible.
On a regular day, Felicity would whip up three healthy, low-sodium meals consisting of a combination of fresh vegetables, good source of carbohydrates and protein. When she thought of taking the frozen food challenge to lower the household expenses, her main concern was the amount of sugar, sodium and preservatives found in pre-packaged foods and harmful effects these hidden ingredients could have on her children’s health.
She was also scared that her family may not like the meals prepared with frozen ingredients since they didn’t taste the same as the fresh ones.
Will Frozen Fruits and Vegetables Taste as Good as the Fresh Ones?
It was time to put all her fears and theories to test. Felicity set out on a mission to hunt down the best frozen foods she could find and the perfect place to look was UK’s top supermarket, Iceland, which had an abundance of ready-cut and pre-prepared frozen foods.
Felicity hardly ever stored food in her freezer apart from French fries, an occasional dish of fish pie or her kids’ favorite chili so, the idea of eating only from the freezer for the next seven days, made her nervous.
She managed to find everything that she needed at Iceland to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next week, and surprisingly, the vegetables looked colorful and fresh despite the fact that they were frozen. But would they taste the same as the fresh ingredients that her family was used to?
Salt and Sugar Content in Pre-cooked Meals
Surprisingly, Felicity’s three kids, who were usually very fussy about what they ate, didn’t notice anything different about the food. Although the frozen vegetables and fruits weren’t as crunchy and crisp as the fresh ones they were used to, the children quickly grew accustomed to them. On a tight budget, Felicity was able to buy number of frozen fruits and vegetables that were too expensive for her in fresh form.
Some of the pre-cooked meals she bought were high in salt and sugar, but surprisingly, the vegetables and fruits were all free of any preservatives. Even though the meals were pretty decent throughout the week, by day seven, Felicity was craving fresh produce. She quickly grew wary of the limp, lifeless fruits and veg even though they very economical.
On the final day of the challenge, she cooked up a meal made entirely of fresh ingredients! She had really missed the crunch of fresh vegetables in her curries – but at the same time, the past one week had taught her a very important lesson.
How Much Did She Save At the End of The Week?
Despite being on a low budget, Felicity and her family were able to enjoy a large variety of fruits, vegetables, and meats that they wouldn’t normally get during any other week. The ready-cut ingredients made cooking such a breeze for her, especially when her children where in a rush to get to school or to their football practice.
Buying ingredients in frozen form also helped minimize food wastage since nothing would go bad or had to be thrown away. But the big question was: Had Felicity made any savings from eating frozen foods all week? After the challenge was over, she headed to the fresh foods section of her local supermarket to compare the prices of everything she had bought. And surprisingly, she had saved almost 40% on her expenses!
Felicity said that she will continue buying frozen fruits and vegetables from Iceland in the future but will also incorporate fresh ingredients for quality. In the end, she knows that she’ll be cutting down on expenses and food wastage.