Surviving Grocery Shopping (Without Donating Your Whole Paycheck)
Have you seen the article floating around on the internet about Whole Foods? The Huffington Post put it out… and it’s hilarious because it’s true. Here’s the link to the Huff Post article “Surviving Whole Foods” in case you haven’t caught it floating around just yet.
Surviving Whole Foods indeed! Some of my friends refer to Whole Foods as ‘Whole Paycheck’ because it’s so gosh-darned expensive! But healthy eating doesn’t have to turn your budget on its head! Walking through a pricey place like Whole Foods can almost make you feel worse rather than better, and shouldn’t we feel great about making good food choices and patting ourselves on the back? But the good feeling from shopping at a store known for healthy food items can be eclipsed by the empty feeling in your wallet when you leave. That’s not going to do any of us any good! Good health is about sound body and mind (and wallet! Ha!).
So you might be asking by now “Well Morgan, where the heck am I supposed to shop?” Here’s some of my tried and true ways to eat well while still sticking to my budget:
- Farmers markets are great, and there are pros and cons. The parking sucks, and it can be crowded, but you can actually talk to the farmers which is pretty darn cool. You can bet you’re getting great quality because the market managers approve every vendor before they’re allowed to set up shop. On one of my trips the Suzie’s Farms guys at OB talked to me for 30 minutes about micro-greens… they actually made me excited to try something new! (Wasabi micro-greens, by the way, are delicious!) Here’s a link to the OB market’s page: OB Market. It’s one of my favorites; they have a fantastic selection of produce and the widest selection of ready-made foods, breads, chocolate, and even cool jewelry.
- Check out Farmstands. These are different than market vendors. Typically, you’ll find them in rural areas of the county. The great thing about these guys is that you know they are always there, they’re always open, and you can count on them having the same products everyday. Here’s a cool website to give you more information about one of the county’s better known farmstands: Farm Stand West There’s also a great little hidden gem in Clairemont called The Fruit Stand. Here’s the link to their google+ page: The Fruit Stand
- Look into CSAs. You can get great local produce delivered to your door. The only downside (or if you’re a fan of surprises maybe it’s exciting?) is that you never know what you’re gonna get. Some of you with picky eaters might not go for the eggplant or aloe vera! For those that are new to CSAs or have never heard of them, here’s a great website with tons of information: Local Harvest CSA’s
- Sometimes the big name stores are your only option. I really like Albertson’s for their produce and Ralphs for everything else, but that can depend on the area you live in and what you’re tastes are in produce. Those two stores are so big you can find just about anything.
Now, back to Whole Foods for a moment… I know everyone likes to give Whole Foods a hard time, and they are outrageous for some things, but we all know that sometimes you just need something special that you can’t find anywhere else. Maybe for you it’s Whole Foods, or maybe it’s another specialty store. When I make my grocery list every week, I allow myself a couple of items from Whole Foods that I like to splurge on and it’s oh-so-worth-it! I go for the cheese (they have the best selection!) and the olives. Good olives are my kryptonite…and cheese…and chocolate. Oh dear…
Bottom line: Your family probably doesn’t care what store the food comes from as long as it tastes good. Feel good about getting healthy food and produce for you and your family at great prices, nothing more nothing less!
Have a great tip or favorite store? Share in the comments section below! I’d love to hear where you all shop!
[Morgan Torres Blog Tag]