Times are tough and the budget is tight right now for a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up on a healthy diet. Many people think eating healthy automatically costs more because you have to buy everything organic. This is simply not true. You don’t have to buy "organic" everything and there are wallet-friendly ways to shop the health food isles. Here are some of my tips:
- I have read many times that the higher up the food chain you go, the more important to be "quality" food such as organic and grass-fed. So, the first priority should be to spend money on quality meats dairy products. It is sometimes hard to get these at a regular grocery so try to stock up at the farmer’s market and through CSAs from local farms. Check out Local Harvest to find sources near you.
- Next, when shopping for produce, there are certain friuts and vegetables that are more "at risk" than others when it comes to buying organic. Check out this post for a list of the "dirty dozen."
- Also, keep in mind that seasonal produce for your region will likely be priced better, especially when shopping at a farmer’s market or through a share in a CSA, and it will taste better because it is enevitably more fresh.
- Buy in bulk. Even though I shop at Whole Foods, which is sometimes thought to be more expensive, They have a great bulk section which allows me to get a better price and reduce packaging waste on a lot of items like flour, grains, nuts, granola, dried fruit and dried beans.
- Pay attention to the price and try different brands. I’ve been really impressed with quality and price of "Whole Foods 365" brand. Also, remember the lower price is not always the better buy, Whole Foods does a wonderful job of posting the price per ounce or pound which can reveal the real deal.