Eating healthy for less
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin , CTV Vancouver
Published Friday, March 17, 2017 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, March 17, 2017 7:20PM PDT
When you grocery shop and pick between two items, do you assume the more expensive one is the healthier choice? According to a study in the Journal of Consumer Research, a lot of us do.
But stocking up on healthy foods doesn’t need to be pricey.
While buying organic produce is a great way to avoid pesticides, you can be picky about your picks to save money. Some non-organic produce is very low in chemical residues. The Environmental Working Group just released its Clean 15 list, which puts corn, avocadoes and pineapples on top.
But even if you do choose organic, it doesn’t mean you have to pay more.
“You can save money by buying store-brand organics and by getting them in bulk. In fact some organics are actually cheaper than regular brands,” said Ellen Kunes of Consumer Reports.
Don’t be tempted into buying expensive processed foods just because they say “healthy” or “natural” on the box. Instead, experts advise that a good rule of thumb is to look for a short ingredient list. Those foods will probably be less processed, with more wholesome ingredients.
On average, a family of four throws out $1,500 worth of food a year, and you can save money by thinking about what food you’re going to buy, and how you’re going to use it.
Buying in-season produce means you’ll eat cheaper, fresher fruits and veggies. But if you have to eat something like blueberries in winter, save money and buy frozen instead.
And don’t toss produce that’s past its prime. Save overripe fruits and veggies in the freezer. Those bruised bananas and berries can be delicious in smoothies or breads. And imperfect veggies can make a perfect homemade soup.
Finally, take a pass on those packages of pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the fresh produce section. You’ll pay a premium and they don’t have any additional nutritional value.