Eating healthy doesn't have to be expensive, despite the price tags you may have seen on the products of some major health-forward brands. The truth is, organic foods often come at a premium in comparison to conventional ones for a number of reasons.
For one, the organic food supply is limited compared to its demand. Another factor to consider is the marketing and distribution processes of organic foods—both are costly and inefficient due to the relatively small volume of production. However, you don't need to buy organic to eat a healthy diet.
Below, we offer five easy hacks you can employ on your next trip to the grocery store so that you can save money while stocking up on nutritious foods. After, don't miss The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Buy produce that's in season.
This should be a no-brainer. Why? Not only do fruits and veggies taste better and are more nutritious in the season they're cultivated, but they're also cheaper. For example, have you ever tried to buy strawberries out of season (aka in the winter)? They can be quite pricey compared to when you buy them in the summer months!
Another way you can ensure you're buying produce in season is by joining a local farm's CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program with a friend. This will allow you to buy the fruits and veggies farmers are growing each season so you're getting the highest quality produce items on a weekly or biweekly basis! Not to mention, you get to know where you're food is coming from all while supporting a local farm.
Opt for plant-based proteins.
Meat can be expensive, which is all the more reason to incorporate more plant-based proteins into your diet including tofu, beans, tempeh, and lentils—all of which are inexpensive. Try cutting out meat once or twice a week and instead, swapping in a plant-based protein. Your grocery bill may just drop in price!
Don't miss What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Tofu.
Skip the name brand.
We all love buying a name brand, however, if you can opt for the store brand or another generic variety for some food products, that could definitely help to bring your total grocery bill down. For example, if you're at Kroger and want to buy organic, consider checking out the chain's Simple Truth line—many of its products are cheaper than its competitors.
Buy more frozen fruits and veggies.
Don't forget to check out the frozen aisle! Fruits and veggies are frozen when they're in their most nutritious and ripe state, so you can enjoy them all year long—even when they're well out of season! Not to mention, they're considerably cheaper to buy when they're in this form.
Buy in bulk.
Maybe this means getting a membership at Costco and stocking up on nonperishables such as trail mix, oats, seeds, and dried legumes (think lentils and garbanzo beans). This can also include canned goods such as canned tomatoes, beans, and fruit.
Again, joining a CSA is one way you can buy fresh produce in bulk. Just keep in mind that you may need a house full of people to help you eat all of it or, alternatively, convince a friend who lives nearby to split the cost and basket of food with you.
For more, be sure to check out Popular Costco Foods That Are Making You Gain Weight, Say Dietitians.