It seems like eating a specialty diet can be very expensive, but eating a plant-based diet can be different. It can be in very inexpensive if you follow these few tips.
Buying fresh vegetables and fruits are always best when you can get them. If not, frozen is the next best. Stay away from canned items as undesirable things can be added, such as sugar to canned fruit and sodium to canned vegetables. Also buy whole instead of prepackaged, such as cut-up fruit or vegetables. Already cut won’t be as fresh and you’ll pay more for the labor of having someone cut it up and package it.
Like with many other things when purchased in quantity, fresh fruits and vegetables can be cheaper than when purchased in smaller batches. For example, a bag of apples is less expensive than one or two apples purchased separately.
Buying a flat of strawberries is cheaper than buying a small box. However, before doing so, make sure you have a plan to use them. If you have to throw away half a flat of strawberries, then it wasn’t such a good deal after all. Freeze what you can’t use up in a few days.
Many stores have a bulk area where you can buy dried beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds at prices far lower than for the same packaged product. Consumers pay for the labor and packaging.
Many areas have Farmers Markets, roadside stands or truck farms where you can buy fresh from the field. It doesn’t get any fresher than this; literally, just hours before it was still growing in the ground or hanging on the plant. And most of the time, they sell it cheaper than you can buy it in a store.
If it is getting toward the end of the season, and your stores don’t stock that item out of season, be sure to stock up and freeze it when you get home. Not only can you get a good deal on small batches, but many times an even better deal when purchased in quantity.
Shop the store adds for plant-based items that may be on sale for that week. Stock up while the price is low. What you can’t use right away, freeze so you’ll always have a supply available.
Studies have shown that organic fruits and vegetables are better for a healthy diet as they are certified free of pesticides and herbicides, but they are also more expensive. Controlling weeds and insects naturally it takes more time and money than if controlled by commercial, but potentially harmful products.
With organic, it is a trade-off, do I buy for my health or my budget. Only you can make that decision.