Eating Healthy on a Budget

How can you eat healthy on a budget? Over and over I hear “It costs so much money to buy organic and whole foods.” I could get into a discussion on why NOT buying organic and fresh foods will cost you more in the long run because it is costing us our health and, ultimately, more money. But today I writing about where and how to shop on a budget. Shopping on a budget is not a about the “experience”. Yes, it is more pleasurable to walk into an upscale supermarket like Whole Foods, with its beautiful produce section, delicious looking ready-made foods, and tasty samples abound but you are paying for that experience.

My first grocery stop is always Aldi. It’s clearly not an experience but in the end I walk out with a smile on my face while holding my receipt. Aldi has an organic brand called Simply Nature. I get canned goods, quinoa, fresh produce (Kale, arugula, spinach), and coconut oil just to name a few things. They also carry a small section of organic fruits and veggies. I may not buy all organic produce if it’s not available, so in that case I have a fruit and veggie wash. After I leave Aldi, if I haven’t gotten everything I need, I head to Trader Joe’s. TJ’s offers a more inviting atmosphere and offers organics at a more reasonable price than Whole Foods or Fresh Market. Not only is their high quality seed and nut section plentiful, the cost is a fraction of other grocery stores. TJ’s sells wild caught fish in their freezer section.

For those of you who are opposed to buying frozen meats, the fact is that most meat is frozen immediately after processing to ensure freshness. It’s then brought into a supermarket and thawed before putting it in their refrigerated meat/fish display. They also sell organic chicken and grass meats approximately 30% less than other grocers’. They have an abundant amount of inexpensive fine cheeses. They are well known for their large wine selection. They have their private label on many of their reserve wines from upscale vineyards. Trader Joe’s can be your one stop shop if you are entertaining for a party, especially on a budget.