“Vegetarian – that’s an old Indian word meaning ‘lousy hunter.’”
- Andy Rooney
Living healthy is an important variable in an entrepreneurial lifestyle. I try to eat as much fresh, raw and organic produce as possible. However, this is not cheap. By utilizing these ten tips you will not only save your health, you will save your wallet:
1. Buy flash-frozen fruits and vegetables
When it comes to buying fresh vs. frozen fruits and veggies the only consideration is the nutrient content. However, the small loss of nutrients in a flash-frozen fruit or green is insignificant and thus makes a great alternative for buying fruits, especially varieties that are out of season. Also, frozen fruits are ideal for smoothies.
2. Not everything needs to be organic
(prelude: while the fact that organic is always better for the environment, it’s just not always better for the wallet) There is a common misconception that all produce needs to be organic, while in fact there are many options in which non-organic will suffice if cash flow is tight. One such example is a banana in that the peeling helps protect the inner fruit from any pesticides or other harmful chemicals used in the growing and distribution process. Conversely, keep your items such as leafy greens, berries, and other produce that would have direct contact with the outside world should stay as organic as your budget allows.
3. Farmer’s markets
If you shop at your local farmer’s market, not only will you help save the environment and support your community, you can find extremely good prices. A tip to keep in mind is the later in the day you attend the market, the cheaper you can negotiate the price as the farmer would rather give a discount than have to bring back their crop.
4. Sales on older produce
Depending on your supermarket, you can find great deals on produce that may be approaching or exceeding its recommended life span. These products may limit you to eating them that day but when saving 50% of more, it’s usually worth the concession.
5. Buy in bulk
Bulk warehouse stores can often hold amazing buys for produce. While initially you may wonder what you are going to do with 5 lbs. of oranges, a little creativity can go a long way. One tip we use is shopping with a friend or small group and split the products and the costs.
6. Grow your own
Whether you live on 80 acres out in the country or in a studio apartment in the city, everyone has the ability to grow some produce. For example, tomatoes not only look beautiful when growing, they taste amazing right off the vine.
7. Stick with in season produce
Long distance transportation of produce not only puts a strain on the environment, it adds additional justifications for a higher price. For example, if you live in an area that has growing seasons, stick with produce such as squash in the wintertime.
Do you truly need that $5 head of boston lettuce when the $2 romaine will do? Can that heirloom tomato be replaced with a regular tomato? While a majority of salads and other meals are very dependent on the exact ingredients, recipes such as green smoothies can alternate ingredients while maintaining their nutrient content and taste, ultimately saving you money.
9. Wash the produce yourself
Prewashed and bagged greens may be a time saver but they cost much more than unwrapped, unwashed alternatives. A 4-ounce bag of prewashed and precut salad mix may cost $4 while cutting and washing 4-ounces of salad ingredients may cost you under a dollar. (besides, many reports have been released stating that prewashed produce should still be washed before consuming)
10. Correctly store your produce
Once you spend money on fruits and greens make sure that you can keep it long enough for you to also enjoy the produce. Keep the fruits out of the sun and preferably in fruit-saving green bags. Additionally, store the refrigerated produce in correctly calibrated crispers or purchase containers designed for produce.
With these ten tips, you can rest assured that you will save your wallet while ensuring excellent health. If you have any further tips that may help other readers feel free to mention it in the comment section below. Good luck shopping and have a healthy day!