ŌShopping for HealthÕ


Think you canÕt afford to shop in the health food store? The cost of organically grown foods, cold pressed oils and high quality supplements are too rich for your budget? Wondering why anyone would pay $5-7 dollars for a pint of cold pressed olive oil or a $1.99 a pound for tomatoes? I can tell you those who do shop in the health food store wonder how you can afford not to.


The cost of food has markedly gone up with the increased cost of shipping and itÕs understandable why everyone wants to reduce food costs. The average American spends $150- 200 weekly to feed a family of four. But, before you rule out shopping at the health food store letÕs take a look at the grocery list, maybe there are some items you might want to rethink.


The study is older but ÕThe 1999 Top Ten AlmanacÕ by Michael Robbins listed these top ten items ranked by dollar amount spent at the grocery store as: Marlboro cigarettes, Coca Cola Classic, Pepsi Cola, Kraft Processed Cheese, Diet Coke, CampbellÕs Soup, Budweiser beer, Tide detergent, FolgersÕs coffee and Winston cigarettes. Not only expensive the nutritional value of these items with the exception of the soup is a negative net.


You can free up literally hundreds of dollars every year budgeted for groceries, spend less on over-the-counter medicines, have fewer illness related visits to the doctor, fewer sick days and increased productivity by shopping and eating more wisely. ItÕs a win win.


Better shopping at a glance:


Stay out of the mid section of the store. This is where all the high priced, overly processed junk food lives. I have yet to see a store that doesnÕt make you walk all the way to the back to buy milk. Since milk is a staple on most everyoneÕs list itÕs one way of getting you to walk clear through the store. Fine, so you get some exercise. The deli is right up front and another big money maker for the stores. Steering clear of deli foods is proven to lessen the total bill.


Plan at least one meal a around fresh fish, vegetables and fruits. Meat is another really big-ticket item.


Many consumer wise stores now have an organic section. The prices are sometimes better than the health foods stores so take advantage of that.


Buy toiletry, laundry and cleaning supplies at the discount store or in bulk. Or, you might want to try concentrated earth friendly cleaning products that last longer and therefore cost less.


Look for high quality brand name supplements in the discount store but donÕt substitute quality for price. On the other hand donÕt get sold a bill of goods, high quality good supplements should not break the bank.


Buy your spices in the health food store where you can buy very small amounts very inexpensively. TheyÕre fresher and still have some of their original value as healing and balancing agents. After you get your spices, walk over to the bulk bins and stock up on rice, grains, legumes and beans. Bulk is a very inexpensive way to buy.


If you have a large family group together with friends and family and join a food co-op. This is a wonderful way to take advantage of high quality foods at lower prices.


It will take some time and effort to change your shopping habits, what you eat and how you prepare food. The immediate rewards are better tasting nourishing meals for less, less waste and more money in your pocket. Long-term rewards are increased energy and vitality, a better quality of life and maybe even more of it. Till next time, Rebecca