Getting ahead of holiday meal costs, Part Two

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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By Sheila Gregory, Currituck Extension

As the holiday season approaches, canned foods are likely to be found on the menu. Canned items offer convenience over fresh or frozen since they can be stored in the pantry for extended periods of time (check the label) and in some instances the canned variety of some food items can be preferred.

In Part One, we focused on getting the kitchen ready and having favorite recipes on hand. In this article, we will feature canned foods with the hope of assisting you in planning to fill your shelves with tasty foods. Canned goods offer a wide variety of foods. Canned fruits, vegetables and meats are found at most local grocery stores and typically cost between $1-$3 depending on the brand.

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There are plenty of canned fruit fillings/toppings which may be used for pies or other pastries. Canned fruit fillings can still maintain the shape and texture of fresh fruit. Some of the most popular include:

  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Lemon
  • Mixed Berry
  • Peach
  • Pumpkin
  • Raspberry

Don’t forget to add vegetables to your list. Canned vegetables can be purchased individually or in a six pack at some stores. Pick up some green beans for your casserole, mushrooms for the dressing and so much more. For example:

  • Asparagus
  • Beans (black eyed peas and baked beans)
  • Beets (sliced)
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots (sliced and baby)
  • Corn (sweet and southwest)
  • Cranberries
  • Green beans (cut and string)
  • Mixed vegetables
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Potatoes (including sweet)
  • Sauces: gravy, tomato paste, tomato sauce
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes (whole, petite, mixed with okra or peppers).

Don’t forget the great cakes and cookies you will bake. Be sure to check the aisle for sweetened condensed milk and coconut milk, both popular items during the holiday season. Plan your meal, make your shopping list and start with shelf stable canned items! All the canned items mentioned in this article are SNAP eligible.

Preparing for the holidays can be challenging, but following the tips above can make it easier. Let’s kick off holiday meal planning right by finding the best deals. Happy shopping!

For more information, please contact Sheila Gregory at or via phone at 252-232-2261. The “Getting Ahead of Holiday Meal Cost” series is sponsored by the More In My Basket (MIMB) Program.