This is part two in a series on saving money while eating healthy. You can check out Part 1 and the first two tips here.
Money-Saving Tip #3: Avoid Health Food Stores…Shop Discount Stores and your Supermarket
Whole Foods and other health food stores typically offer the highest prices. So, unless there is a good sale, I only go to these stores for special items I can’t find anywhere else. Instead, I take advantage of the increasing number of affordable healthy and organic options that are now available in discount and big box stores.
For instance, when I shop at Target, I get a bunch of organic grocery items that are cheaper than almost anywhere else: pasta sauce (they have many great varieties), pasta (gluten-free and regular), apple sauce snacks for kids, organic spices, fruit leather snacks, Navitas Naturals Hemp Seeds, and frozen wild salmon. Target also offers a limited selection of organic fruits and veggies. If you prefer to buy in bulk, Costco, Sam’s Club, and other big-box stores have great values, too. These stores sell organic mixed greens, spinach, baby carrots, quinoa, eggs, hummus, frozen organic fruit and veggies, and more, all at great prices. Trader Joe’s, if you’re lucky to have one nearby, has some of the best prices around for produce (organic and conventional). I also shop my local supermarket’s organic produce section, and save money by choosing grocery items made by the store brand’s “natural” line.
Amazon offers low prices on some pantry items, but you usually have to buy in large quantities. “Add-on” items can offer a deal on buying one, but I still tend to get the best value by visiting brick and mortar stores.
Money-Saving Tip #4: Shop In-Season
We are used to being able to eat whatever we want, when we want it, but you’ll always save money buying produce when it’s in season—not only are the base prices lower, but these foods often go on sale during their peak growing months. For instance, at my local supermarket and even at Whole Foods, organic berries of all kinds are on sale throughout the summer, so I save $1-2 for each box I buy. Not surprisingly, we eat lots of berries during warm months! In the fall and winter, you can get deals on organic apples, oranges, and bunches of clementines.
Money-Saving Tip #5: Stock Up During Sales
When there are sales at Whole Foods and elsewhere, I buy as much as I can. (By the way, you can check out Whole Foods’ circular here). If it’s fresh produce, then it’s on the menu for the week. Otherwise, I stock up on sale items and store it in my pantry or freeze for later. Here are some tips on how best to freeze your low-priced goodies:
- Organic Fruit: cut up and freeze in chunks; use for smoothies, baking, and baby food!
- Organic Veggies: Frozen veggies are great for baking and roasting. Broccoli, zucchini, peas, and green beans are some examples of veggies that can be frozen and used in tasty stir fries.
- Organic Herbs: freeze minced herbs in ice-cube trays in olive oil, then pop cubes into the pan when you are ready to cook.
- Free-range meat and wild fish: divide into family-friendly portion sizes, then freeze portions in air-tight Ziploc freezer bags
My frozen stock of wild Alaskan salmon. Normally about $18.99/lb, I got these on sale at Whole Foods for $12.99/lb! I divided the fish into dinner-size portions, and voila! Ready to go any time.
Stay tuned for part 3, with more money-saving tips!