produce One comment I hear a lot… “Eating healthy is expensive!”  I agree to some extent.  Organics are more expensive than conventional.  Some superfoods, fancy greens powders and gourmet almond butters can be pricey.  But many plant foods are very economical and will go a lot further than packaged snacks that leave you unsatisfied and hungry an hour later.  I do spend a significant amount of money on food.  I figure we are going to pay for it now or pay for it later (in the way of medications and doctor’s bills), so I have made peace with my grocery bill.  But I do always try to find good deals.  Here are my top 5 money-saving tips for those of you, like me, who appreciate high-quality food:

  1. Buy superfoods and other pricey foods online (ie. sunflower seed butter, almond butter, tahini, maca, protein powder). Sites like Thrive Market and Amazon are good to check out.
  2. Shop sales – when my co-op puts something on sale, it’s not just 50 cents off. The savings are significant and well worth adjusting your menu to take advantage!
  3. Shop a couple stores to complete your list. I know it can be a pain, but if you’re really on a budget or have growing kids, it’s worth a couple stops. Check out my Trader Joe’s, Costco and Target lists for ideas on what I save money on at those stores vs. buying everything at my co-op. Embrace farmer’s markets and CSA’s in the summer for great deals on high-quality food.
  4. Eat more plants. If you want to eat high quality ie. grass-fed beef, organic dairy, organic chicken and wild-caught fish, the price is going to be a little higher. The key is to build your meal around plants (vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds) that are filling and inexpensive. (Bonus: you’ll find weight management a lot easier when you fill up on veggies!)  Think of your meat as a side dish instead of the entrée. Adopt Meatless Mondays! Organic eggs are a good choice as well, and they are a pretty inexpensive source of protein.
  5. Use the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists to prioritize organic fruits and veggies. Then, buy what’s in season to avoid crazy prices. Like strawberries. I refuse to buy fresh strawberries in December when they are $8+ for a small carton of organic. But right now through the summer, organic strawberries are reasonable (and even available at Costco!).

What did I miss that you do to stretch your dollar in healthy food shopping?  Let me know in the comments below!