Health

8 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

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Of course you’d like to eat better — if only it didn’t cost so much! To the rescue: First polled the pros for the best ways to save on produce, meat, organic fare, and more. Check out their best tips for eating healthy without breaking the bank below!

Get your share of fresh fare here.

“Pick up fresh, whole foods for less at a co-op. You pay about $10 for a share, which means you are part ‘owner’ of the co-op, most of which specialize in low-cost, organic, locally grown food. Many co-ops sell grains in bulk, plus maple syrup, honey, and coffee for one-third less than at the supermarket. Most people think co-ops are only available in the warmer months, but you can shop all year. To find a co-op near you, check CoopDirectory.org.

-Monica Amsterdam, Director of Nutrition at the Medical and Wellness Center of New Jersey

Get wholesale prices on produce.

“You can find fantastic deals, like $5 for 10 pounds of oranges or 20 pounds of bananas, when you buy wholesale. The best way to find a wholesaler is to Google ‘wholesale produce market’ and your city. You can then freeze the fruit and veggies you can’t use immediately or ask friends or neighbors to share in the buy.”

-Kristen McCaffrey, cofounder of SlenderKitchen.com

Snag organic food with these coupons.

“Many shoppers don’t realize you can use most coupons on organic items. So if a coupon says ‘good on any Barilla pasta sauce,’ you can use it on Barilla organic sauce. Manufacturers never show photos of their organic items on the coupon, so people assume these selections aren’t included, but coupons are certainly good for those items as well.”

-Teri Gault, author of Shop Smart, Save More

Look past the label.

“Pick up store-brand organic products for the best prices, bar none. Large retailers like Costco, Stop & Shop, Whole Foods Market, ShopRite and many more have private-labeled organic foods like sauces, condiments and breads. These items are at least 33 to 50 percent less than their branded counterparts. Plus, stores will also often offer coupons on their branded products so you can save even more. If you took off the labels, you wouldn’t even notice a taste difference!”

– Melissa Eboli, chef and founder of ViaMelissa.com

Go late to save big on convenience foods.

“For ready-made meals from Whole Foods Market or specialty markets, a good tip is to go in about an hour before they close. That’s when they tend to reduce prices on things they might have to throw away, like soups or prepared salads. As the workers are closing up, ask if there are any reductions on items. They’re more than happy to sell something marked down to half price or throw in a few freebies rather than throw it out.”

-Jamie Logie, author of The Strategic Grocery Shopping Guide

Find the best deals at the warehouse.

“Warehouse clubs have really stepped up their game in terms of selling healthy, organic food. Recently Costco became the number one seller of organic food in the country, their aisles are full of organic soups, canned goods, packaged foods, meats, and more. For example, you can find Amy’s Organic Burritos for $10 for a box of eight — they usually cost $3 or more for one burrito at the grocery store. Plus, they have sales or coupons on top of the warehouse club savings. You’ll save tons.”

-Hope Padraza, founder of Balance fitness and wellness studio, San Antonio

Stock up on spices for pennies.

“Spices come in handy when trying to eat better-they help healthy choices like fish and veggies taste delicious, but they can be expensive. You can find spices for less at ethnic grocery stores or the ethnic sections in supermarkets. If you don’t have an ethnic market near you, check your local dollar store-they have many spices for a dollar a pop.”

-Stephanie Stanley, founder of recipe site CopyKat.com

Hit the salad bar for just the toppings.

“For the best deal on new ingredients to try out healthier recipes, hit a salad bar, where you can find healthy and tasty ingredients like marinated artichokes, hearts of palm, sun-dried tomatoes, and nuts. You can often find gourmet cheeses like blue cheese or Parmesan as well. Buying these items on the salad bar is a lot cheaper than buying them in other parts of the store, where you’d most likely end up with big blocks of cheese or bags and jars of expensive specialty items in order to get all the ingredients that a recipe calls for. But at the salad bar, you can choose the exact amount you need. You’ll end up saving a ton and there’s no waste.”

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