Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tips for spending less on produce

The biggest reason that people do not eat healthy is primarily because of the high cost of produce. While it does cost a little more to live healthier, it is still a great investment. I provided a few tips on some ways that you can try to save money by buying more natural foods.

* I will always suggest the local farmer's market as the best bet because you are guaranteed freshness and the prices are significantly more affordable. As an added bonus, you interact with the farmers yourself so you may ask questions regarding how the plants were grown and harvested.
* Grow a small garden yourself; if you stick to simple plants such as tomatoes and green beans then that will save you a little bit of money during the months that they are in season. You may even have enough to share with neighbors and friends. It is not difficult to grow your own garden and you will save a little money in the process.
* Check out your local health food store. While a majority of the items in a health store are highly priced, some may offer sales at certain times in the month. Ask if they have any ads that display items that are on sale or ask if they have any specials or discounts. Especially find out when they get new produce and breads in. Because everything is natural and free from preservatives, a lot of items can't stay on their shelves for long so they lower the prices to get rid of them before they spoil.
* Buying fresh produce from the grocery store is not always as nutritious as people may believe. If fruits and vegetables have to be transported from great distances then the nutritional content of that produce is less than that of freshly picked produce. For this reason, frozen fruits and vegetables are sometimes better choices. Most of the frozen produce was picked and then immediately frozen to maintain freshness. The purity of the produce is maintained greater during the freezing process. It's also easy to prepare and you may use as much as you like and store the rest. It will save you money because you won't have to constantly throw away the produce that goes bad.
* If you are buying from the grocery store, then try to shop between Monday and Wednesday because the grocery stores tend to restock around the middle of the week and prices go up closer to the weekend. Always check your sale ads and it pays to have a membership card for items that go on sale to valued customers. I also checked out a website that compares prices of local store items that go on sale in your area. It's GroceryGuide.com and all you need to do is input your zip code and choose the stores that you would like to browse. I called one of my stores to verify the prices and they were all correct. If you are in doubt, call ahead so you don't waste a trip.

It's easy to be seduced by the inexpensive canned fruits and vegetables; however, they offer no nutritional value because of the sodium and other preservatives. Anything that is heavily processed will only cause more harm then good which is why eating fresh fruits and vegetables will benefit your health greatly. Not to mention, fresh produce tastes a lot better too!