Buying High Quality Food Without Breaking the Bank

It’s no secret that food costs are rising, and for a lot of people that means cutting back on things like grass fed beef and organic produce. But there are ways you can still eat good food without sacrificing quality. Read on for tips:

When buying organic, know where to save. For foods that you eat the skin, such as apples, peaches or grapes, you should buy organic if you can. Bananas, pineapple or anything else with a tough peel or rind, conventional isn’t that bad.

Buy in season. Berries are often ridiculous in the winter, and you’ll pay $5-6 for a pint of raspberries in the winter. In the spring and summer, there is often an overabundance and you can score pints for as little as a dollar. Bonus: They’ll taste better.

Buy produce at farmer’s markets. You’ll get the freshest in season produce available, and often, even though it’s not labeled, it’s actually organic, since a lot of small farmers don’t pay the fees for certification. You’ll find markets year round in a lot of places.

An even better option: Grow your own. All you really need are some seeds and some dirt, and when compared with the cost of buying fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. You get organic, fresh seasonal produce and you don’t have to go any farther than out your door.

Freeze or can any summer produce you can’t eat for a fresh summertime bounty all year long.

Buy fruits and veggies that you can utilize the whole thing, and be creative with the things you think you can’t use. For example, broccoli is often sold by the pound, and many people throw away the stalks, which can be used in soups, juices and smoothies, so when you throw it away, you’re throwing money away. Same goes for potatoes, carrots, or anything that can be peeled.

Buy veggies that have a long shelf life. Root veggies, cabbage, and winter squash are all things that will last for several days if you only go to the store once week or so.

Going to the store less is a great way to save money, however a lot of produce doesn’t last that long. Plan your meals in advance and eat the most perishable items early in the cycle (so seafood, and veggies like greens and tomatoes early in the week, and pasta and potatoes when you’re about to go to the store again).

Learn how to use your knife. Buying whole unpeeled produce and knowing how to chop it yourself instead of buying the pre-chopped stuff at the grocery store will save you a lot of money.

You can find coupons for healthy products and stores like Whole Foods even print out their own. Search online for coupons you can even upload to store cards. Just be careful not to buy things you won’t use just because you have a coupon.

You can eat healthy without breaking the bank if you just put a little bit of effort in it.

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Photo by Shannon At Zeer

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