Buying Healthy On A Budget

How can I eat healthy on a budget?

This was a recent question on Dr. Oz’s Sharecare site. Here is my answer:

1. Have some flexibility with your shopping list where it counts. It’s good to keep to a list to make sure you don’t end up buying on an impulse and only notice how it adds up at check out. Keep a list on what you definitely need and want but be flexible around items where prices fluctuate. For example fruits, poultry and seafood can have great deals and be easy on your pocket book.

2. Buying organic is great but can have an impact on your pocket book.  There are some fruits and veggies that do not need to be organic to be healthy because of their thick outer skin or peel and the minimal use of pesticides used on them. The following fruits and vegetables are great picks:

Fruits: cantaloupe, watermelon, mango, kiwi, bananas

Veggies: onion, avocado, corn, cabbage, asparagus

3. Buying online can help keep you in check on how much you are really spending and can help you stay within budget. You can also avoid the uncomfortable situation of tossing the extra “too expensive” stuff off to the side when it tallies up to too much at the cash register. There are some great sites like even where you can buy food items. There is the added delivery charge but sometimes these retailers offer good deals on shipping and handling. For example at freshdirect they’ll take 2 bucks off your bill if there is a delivery already in your area. On amazon you can get free delivery if you have amazon prime membership or order purchases $25 and up on selected items.

4. Go for basic brands. They can be just as good as the premium more expensive brands on basic items like oatmeal or salt. Insider tip: in some cases the big brands may even manufacture the same stuff for the lesser known or store brands.