If you’re a seasoned bargain shopper, chances are you avoid certain healthy foods like designer juices or anything that boasts “organic” on the label. To be honest, some of these so-called “healthy” foods should never make it into your shopping cart in the first place. But with the right strategy, you can find others at incredibly reasonable prices. Consider this your guide to choosing the best budget-friendly health foods, so you can start saving money on some of your favorite items and ditch the ones that aren’t worth the extra cash.
1. Coconut Oil
The hottest item among Paleo and keto followers tends to carry a hefty price tag. Coconut oil is becoming more mainstream these days, so you’ve likely seen it at your local supermarket—along with coconut oil cooking spray. Though it’s easier to find, it’s no easier to afford—it still will probably run you $10 to $20 per bottle. But don’t worry. If you’ve been dying to try the tropical oil but don’t want to drop the dough, there are a few options. Look for generic brands at Whole Foods for $5.99 per bottle or check out the food section at HomeGoods to find bottles for as little as $3 each.
2. Organic Quinoa
Although it’s a staple among healthy foodies, there’s no need to buy the organic version of this protein-packed seed. Quinoa contains a chemical compound called saponin, which deters pests and tastes pretty bitter. Because of this coating, quinoa farmers don’t need to spray the plant with any pesticides to keep the bugs at bay. In other words, the “organic” versions of quinoa are completely unnecessary. Go for the traditional variety instead.
3. Vegan Desserts
Here’s a little secret about vegan desserts—the mere fact that they don’t have butter or cream doesn’t automatically make them healthy. Many vegan desserts have just as much sugar and oil as their dairy-filled counterparts.
Unless you’re vegan, don’t waste your money on a plant-based dessert just because you think it’s going to spare your waistline. Chances are, it isn’t any better for you—so save yourself the extra few bucks and buy that butter-filled chocolate chip cookie. Or if you really want to avoid the dairy, make this banana “nice” cream sundae instead.
4. Pureéd Fruit Pouches
There’s definitely something to be said for convenience, but really, you should start making these at home. The ones that are actually good for you—or at least have no added sugar—are no more than pureéd fruit in a squeezable packet. So basically, baby food.
If you’ve been splurging on packets for pre-workout fuel or snacks for the kiddos when you need something in a pinch, that’s totally fine, but if it’s an everyday snack, you can stop wasting $2 on something that can easily be made at home. You got this: You can easily put two pieces of fruit in a blender and press the “on” button.
5. Cold-Pressed Juices
Cold-pressed juices aren’t always worth their designer prices. If drinking a green juice makes you feel good, then by…