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The Most Overpriced Items at Your Grocery Store

The Most Overpriced Items at Your Grocery Store


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Save money by avoiding these overpriced items at your grocery store

Pre-cut chicken is seldom a good bargain. Try buying a whole chicken and cutting it up at home; you’ll save money per pound and can use the bones to make your own chicken stock.

Pre-Cut Chicken

Pre-cut chicken is seldom a good bargain. Try buying a whole chicken and cutting it up at home; you’ll save money per pound and can use the bones to make your own chicken stock.

Vanilla Beans

At the store, you’ll find one or two vanilla beans per jar. Online, you can buy vanilla beans in larger quantities, for a lot less money per ounce. Don’t think you need 1/4 pound of vanilla beans? Share with friends, or use them to make vanilla extract that will keep almost indefinitely.

Breadcrumbs and Croutons

Bread crumbs and croutons are simple to make, and a great use for leftover bread that’s starting to get a little dry on its own. To make croutons, just cube or shred the bread before drying it in the oven; if you’re making bread crumbs, pulse the dried croutons in a food processor.

Crème Fraîche

If you can find it, crème fraîche is packed in small containers and way too expensive. There’s no need to buy it: it’s easy to make at home, using heavy cream and buttermilk. Click here for a recipe.

Seasoned Salt

Most seasoned salts taste like salt because that’s the main ingredient. You’re paying a premium for a lot of salt mixed with a little bit of colorful paprika and a hint of other flavors. Make your own with plain salt and your favorite spices or seasonings.

Whipped Butter

It’s a little easier to spread, but you’re paying extra and getting less. If you prefer whipped butter, allow your butter to soften slightly on the counter before whipping it in an electric mixer.

Pre-Cut Produce

Who cut that pineapple, anyway? Were those mushrooms cleaned before cutting? Are all the bruises, dings, and dents cut off? You pay extra for pre-cut produce, but it goes bad faster and still needs a looking-over before using. Cut your own to save money and control quality.

Out-of-Season Produce

Sure, you can buy strawberries in December, but they are tasteless and overpriced. That doesn’t mean you have to subsist on potatoes and cabbages from your root cellar all winter, but be selective; sometimes a bag of frozen berries is a better bargain, and more flavorful, too.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.


15 Tricks to Save Money on Food But Still Eat Well

Think eating healthy has to be expensive? Try these 15 budget shopping tips to save money and score at the grocery store.

Being prepared before heading to the store is the best way to make sure you stick to your grocery shopping budget. But there are also some strategies to keep in mind and ingredients to keep an eye out for at the store to make budget shopping easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of our favorite ways to save while shopping-and still load up on delicious and healthy food.

1. Skip the Prepackaged Salad Mix

Sure, bagged salad mixes are convenient (and anything that makes it easier to eat your veggies is a good thing), but they&aposre expensive and can go from crisp and fresh to wilted to downright slimy in a heartbeat. Opt for buying heads of lettuce instead, and make your own mixes. Try mixing up romaine, radicchio, red leaf, escarole or any other head lettuce that&aposs looking fresh. You can store your mix in a gallon zip-close bag in your crisper. The key to longevity? After you wash and cut your greens, make sure they&aposre completely dry before returning them to the fridge.

2. Keep Food Waste to a Minimum with Proper Food Storage

Buying food at the grocery store is only half the battle. In order to get the most bang for your buck, you have to know how to store it once you get it through the door. If you&aposre a fruit lover, you should know that some fruits (apples for example) emit ethylene gas that can ripen (or over-ripen) the neighboring fruits in the fruit basket. Being on top of how quickly your fruit is ripening and moving it to the fridge or away from its hyper-ripening neighbors can help cut down on food waste.

3. Save on Spices

Spices are key to keeping your meals delicious and healthy. They offer up bold flavors so you can back on added salt and sugar. The downsides are that they can be expensive and they have a shelf life. After a year or two of just sitting around, they don&apost retain their flavor well. For spices that you tend to use less often, consider buying them from the bulk section-the price per ounce is often less expensive, and you can buy just what you need. That way you&aposre less likely to have old spices sitting around that are ready for the trash can-a serious waste of money.

4. Get to Know the Clean 15

Organic produce tends to cost more than conventional produce. If exposure to potential pesticides is something that concerns you yet you still want to save money, knowing which foods have the highest levels of contamination (and which have the least) can help you make the choice between organic and conventional produce and ultimately help you save money. Each year, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list of the highest and lowest offenders. Strawberries, spinach and kale topped the list of worst offenders last year, while avocados, sweet corn and pineapple were the cleanest. Check out The Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods You Should Buy Organic and 15 Foods You Don&apost Need to Buy Organic to help tailor your shopping list.

5. Consider Club Stores

Warehouse club stores, like Costco or Sam&aposs Club, are an investment up front, usually charging around $45-$60 for a one-year membership. While throwing down money just to walk in the door doesn&apost sound like a great cash-saving strategy, it can pay off in the long run, especially if you focus your shopping efforts on staples like extra-virgin olive oil, nuts, dried fruit and pasta. These items can often be half the price of the same product at a conventional grocery store. Sure, you have to buy more to save, but staples get used up quickly. Plus, if you know how to store them properly (olive oil in a cool, dry place, nuts in the freezer) they will stay fresher longer.

6. Go Meat-Free Once a Week

Meat is expensive. You can save money, expand your cooking repertoire and lighten your environmental footprint by opting to eat vegetarian or vegan once a week-or more often. Russet potatoes cost a mere .99 per pound and are easy to stuff or roast, while a 16-ounce block of firm tofu comes in at around $2. Enjoy eggs for breakfast (you can easily find them for around $2 a dozen) and, next thing you know, you&aposll be swimming in savings.

7. Opt for Store Brands

It used to be that store-brand products were at the bottom of the barrel in terms of quality (and price), but luckily times have changed and store brands are meeting the standards of big-name brands while still keeping their prices low. Entire grocery store chains have dedicated themselves to their own store brands (think Trader Joe&aposs and Aldi) and have become hugely popular with consumers wanting savings on their grocery bills. If you don&apost have a specialty store in your area, most large-chain grocers have their own store brands for less too.

8. Get the Most out of Fresh Herbs

Pictured recipe: Basic Herb Pesto

Fresh herbs are pricy. But as with spices, we would never say to skip them-they&aposre key to making your food taste great. Look for combination packages of fresh herbs they may be labeled "poultry mix" and typically contain a couple of different herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. That way you get a bit of a few different herbs and you&aposll likely have less waste. Growing your own fresh herbs is another great option and easy to do even if you live in a smaller space. Many herbs need just a small pot and a bright windowsill to grow. And, though the flavors will be slightly different, you can replace fresh herbs in a recipe with dried. The rule of thumb is to follow is a three-to-one fresh-to-dried ratio. So if a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon (i.e., 3 teaspoons) of fresh thyme, use 1 teaspoon of dried. Rosemary, oregano, sage and thyme are good bets when going from fresh to dry. Avoid making swaps with cilantro, parsley or chives as those dried herbs don&apost carry much flavor.

9. Embrace the Beans

At about 50 cents or less for a ½-cup serving of canned beans, you just can&apost go wrong. They&aposre packed with fiber and protein and, when prepared well, they&aposre also delicious-just check out our Healthy Recipes That Start with a Can of Chickpeas for more than dozen wonderful ways to use one of our favorite legumes. We always keep cans of beans such as chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans and cannellini in the cupboard and whip them out to use in salads, pasta, stir-fries, soups, dips and sandwiches. Dried beans are even less expensive than canned and cook up easily. If you plan on cooking dried beans on the regular, you may want to invest in a pressure cooker such as an Instant Pot or a multicooker. You can skip the time spent soaking and have most beans done in under an hour. And don&apost forget to freeze any extras!

10. Buy Whole Grains in Bulk

Whole grains are a staple of many healthy diets-like the Mediterranean diet-and luckily they&aposre readily available. Whole grains like brown rice and barley are easy to find, and cheap too, while "fancier" grains like quinoa and farro tend to be a little more expensive. We wouldn&apost want you to miss out on these delicious whole grains, so we recommend buying them from the bulk section. This way you can buy exactly what you need without wasting a thing.



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