Expensive Healthy Foods
Is it me or do grocery prices seem to get steeper with every new year? Within my host of New Year’s resolutions, eating healthier and getting in my Five-A-Day of fruits and veggies is always a hard one to keep. Eating healthy, one would think, theoretically, would be cheaper than eating processed foods or fast food, but it’s often more expensive and more work to prepare, which is why most of us don’t do it.
Recently, I took a trip to Whole Foods, the Neiman Marcus of all grocery stores and was floored by my bill, though happy with my experience and the natural high that I get from all of their amazing products. However, the high was short-lived once I realized how pricey those organic blueberries and gluten-free snacks were. That’s when it hit me that shopping at Whole Foods is definitely not for the underpaid.
A Better Option for Healthy Choices
In order to support my healthy eating mission, I came to the sad conclusion that there’s no way I can afford Whole Foods on a weekly basis. However, I was determined to find a better selection of produce and fresh meats than what my neighborhood market offered, so I started venturing to ethnic markets that often have impressive and exotic produce sections like the Latino Super Mercado. Much to my delight, while finding organic items is virtually non-existent, I can now afford to actually eat 5 fruits and vegetable servings and not be broke by the end of the week. Visiting ethnic markets has also proven to be an adventure into another culture and quite educational, as I have been able to employ my college Spanish and discover new items like plantain and yucca (which is not yucky at all, but delicious!)
My funniest shopping experience was to the Asian “Ranch” market, where this over six-foot, tall American woman drew a lot of attention as I grabbed a few stalks of fresh forest green Bok Choy. Another reason why I enjoy Asian markets is for their seafood and live seafood tanks teeming with fresh lobster—and again, all at a fraction of the costs you pay at mainstream stores.
So, if you are trying to eat healthy and stretch your mighty dollar, a little adventure and exploration, venturing into new ethnic grocery territory is a cost-effective way to save money, get more veggies and fruits into your family’s diet and to learn a few new words in a different language.
This post was contributed by Yasmeen Muqtasid, a fanatic for of all things frugal and fabulous.
Photo by ?Sage very busy!