The Obstacle Meter – 07: Access

07: Access

It is difficult for me to gain access to healthy food (for example: no grocery stores close to me, limited transportation, out of delivery range).

Meal kits, meal delivery, and grocery delivery are great options if you have limited transportation and cannot get to the grocery stores.  These are also going to cost you more and if financial considerations are preventing you from accessing healthy foods, please see our Money (02) Obstacle Solution.

Also, if the problem is that you are not close to any grocery stores, you may be out of delivery range for many companies. This means that when you do get the chance to go to the store, you need to make it count. Don’t be scared to buy in bulk. Although fresh food is desirable, if you purchase the right products and store them properly, you can make your food last. Here are some tips:


  • Frozen and canned are just as nutritious as fresh, so stock up!  Just be sure they aren’t packed in syrup.
  • Buy large quantities fresh and dehydrate or can them.
  • Do not wash produce before refrigerating, they will spoil more quickly.
  • Know where to store fresh produce (on the counter or in the fridge, it depends; take a cue from the storage conditions at the grocery store for a quick cheat or our friend Google is also a great resource).
  • Freshening produce bags delay spoiling and ripening (ex. Fresh Bags, Green Bags, Produce Pouch)


  • Bread can be stored in the freezer for 6 months.
  • Do not store grains in direct sunlight.
  • Whole wheat flour has a shelf life of 1-3 months, oatmeal 18-24 months, and whole grain pasta and rice 6 months.
  • Invest in airtight containers, exposure to oxygen causes the shelf life of grains to shorten.
  • Consider dry packing grains in 5-gallon buckets for long-term storage.


  • Canned meat can be used in casseroles.
  • Buy large packages of meat and freeze part of it (make sure to date the package).
  • Eggs will last for up to 6 months in the fridge.
  • Stock up on canned and dry beans.
  • Nuts have a shelf life of 4-9 months and can also be stored in the freezer. Peanut butter will last for 1 year in the pantry.


  • Non-fat dry milk can be used in recipes instead of milk.
  • Cheese can be stored in the fridge for 2-4 months and the freezer for 8 months.
  • GoGurts are fun to put in the freezer! Plus it will make them last longer.
  • Aseptic (shelf-stable) milk will, if left unopened, last in the pantry for 4 months. Once opened, make sure to keep it in the fridge.

Check expiration dates when you are at the store. Buy the freshest option available.  Sometimes you will have to dig to the bottom or the back of the shelf and doing so can make you feel a little guilty but hey, someone who is going to be able to eat the food sooner can choose the foods that are closer to expiring.