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16 Cheap, Healthy, Organic Foods

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16 Cheap, Healthy, Organic Foods

Can you eat a healthy, whole foods, organic diet, even on a shoestring budget? As a frequent and thrifty shopper, I know it can be done — even if you’re not a vegetarian. First, a few rules:

  • Eat in. Restaurant meals are pricey and rarely use the highest quality ingredients. Learn to whip up a few cheap and easy meals — a great omelet, a highly spiced bean and vegetable stew — and you’ll save yourself a bundle.
  • Eat in season. It’s almost always cheaper, and probably better for your body.
  • Eat less meat. Meat’s expensive on any budget, and most people eat too much of it. Shift your intake to vegetarian (cheaper) sources of protein, and use meat in small portions, as an addition to meals, rather than the main feature.
  • Eat less in general. What would happen if you cut your daily caloric intake by 10 percent? In theory, you’d cut your food budget by 10 percent as well, and you’d probably fare better for it. (And some very compelling research suggests that restricting calorie intake can increase lifespan and reduce the incidence of age-related disease.)

On your next shopping trip, choose from this thrifty list of 16 screamin’ deals — and see how much you save:

1. Cabbage. It’s rich in cancer-preventive compounds. Broccoli has similar nutrition; it’s a little pricier but versatile and worth it. Buy it in season, keep your eyes open for sales, and be sure to use the stems.

2. Carrots. Loaded with fiber and beta carotene, they’re a screaming deal. Sweet potatoes contain the same array of nutrients but cost more; still, they’re a great buy.

3. Kale. It’s more expensive than other produce items, but it’s a dense source of many nutrients, and a little goes a long way. Likewise with other greens, like chard, collards, spinach and turnip greens.

4. Bananas. Buy a bunch — the organic varieties are usually a hard-to-beat price.

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Health, Inspired Eating

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Lisa Turner

Lisa is a chef and nutritionist with more than 30 years of professional experience and formal training in food, nutrition and product development. She’s written five books on food and nutrition and is the creator of The Healthy Gourmet iPhone app, and has been a featured blogger for many national sites, including Huffington Post and Whole Foods Market. Lisa is a faculty instructor at Bauman College of Culinary Arts and also teaches food and nutrition classes and workshops to individuals and corporations. She's a black belt in Ninjutsu, an active volunteer in the Boulder Valley school lunch system, and an avid wild food forager.

157 comments

+ add your own
6:13AM PDT on Apr 21, 2014

Yes, organic is best, and I went vegetarian so I have no problem finding organic meat.

11:24AM PDT on Aug 21, 2013

dzięki, najlepsze są warzywa i owoce sezonowe, zwłaszcza te, które rosną tam, gdzie mieszkamy

11:59AM PDT on May 19, 2012

Thanks for posting!

10:43PM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Not bad ideas.

7:07PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

thanks

7:07PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

thanks

7:06PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

thanks

7:06PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

thanks

7:06PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

thanks

7:06PM PDT on Mar 26, 2012

thanks

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