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Eat healthy for less: How to save money on health-conscious foods

Posted March 22

Many people want to be health conscious and price conscious when grocery shopping, but a recent study shows that many people wrongly believe that a more expensive item is healthier.

According to Consumer Reports, stocking up on healthy foods does not need to be pricey.

While buying organic produce is a great way to limit exposure to chemical pesticide residues, be picky about your organic choices. Some non-organic produce is very low in pesticides. According to tests by Consumer Reports, avocados, corn and onions are a few examples.

When you buy organic, be thrifty.

"You can save money by buying store-brand organics and by getting them in bulk," said Ellen Kunes with Consumer Reports. "In fact, some organics are actually cheaper than regular brands."

Experts warn to not be tempted to buy expensive processed foods just because they say "healthy" or "natural" on the box.

Instead, Consumer Reports says that a good rule of thumb is to look for a short ingredient list. Those foods will likely be less processed and include more wholesome ingredients.

Being less wasteful also saves money. On average, a family of four throws out $1,500 worth of food a year.

"Buying in-season produce means you'll eat cheaper, fresher fruits and veggies," Kunes said. "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 - bruised bananas and berries can be delicious in smoothies or breads. Imperfect veggies can make a perfect homemade soup.

Another way to save is to pass on those convenient packages of pre-cut fruits and vegetables in the fresh produce section.

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