Eating Healthier Foods on a Modest Budget If you have tried to buy healthier foods at the grocery store, you might have been put off by the price. After all, organic apples are so much more expensive than conventionally grown ones, and whole grain snack crackers cost more than white soda crackers. But those price comparisons are not the whole picture. Maybe whole grain snack crackers cost more than white ones, but have you compared that to the price of a bag of flour, from which you could make your own snacks? Sometimes you have to rethink the way you view food prices to really get the healthiest food for the best price. Here are some tips on how you can buy and eat healthier foods, even on a modest budget. "Cheap" Food Isn't Always as Cheap as You Think So your favorite brand of potato chips is on sale for $2 a bag, and you have a coupon! Before you gloat about your good deal, have you checked the price of a 3-lb bag of organic potatoes? They may be on sale, too and guess how many more potato dishes you can make from that bag than you can from a bag of potato chips. The same goes for nearly all processed foods, they may seem cheaper, but buying the whole, healthier foods version is often cheaper. Think of it this way: instead of buying completed, processed foods, buy ingredients instead. Rather than buying two loaves of bread, buy a bag of whole wheat flour for the same price (or less) and make far more than just two loaves of bread. Stick to the Edges Overall, whole foods are cheaper than processed, prepackaged ones and the whole foods are generally sold along the outside edges of the average grocery store. In the center of the store, you'll find cereal, candy, bread, canned foods, and so forth, while along the edges you'll find produce, meats, and dairy. The exception to this might be whole grains and dried beans. Many stores stock their whole grain flours and dried beans in the center aisles. It might take a couple of investigating trips to the store to find your better buys but in the end to get the healthier foods, it's well worth it. Cut Back on Meat When it comes to budgeting your groceries for healthier foods, you may find that meat takes up a big chunk of the budget. However, replacing meat with processed meat substitutes (such as tofu burgers) is not particularly cost effective, either. Instead, consider replacing meat with other protein sources, such as brown rice and/or beans. Buy in Season Buying foods in season can save a lot of money, and some health experts claim your body processes seasonal foods better. Buying local foods helps, too, and stocking up on favorites when they are in season can save a lot. Canning, freezing, and drying seasonal fruits and vegetables helps boost your diet in the winter months, and it's easier on your budget. So the next time you reach for a bag of chips, and all that...think !