8 Foods You Shouldn’t Buy If You’re Trying To Save Money

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Do you want to save money on food without sacrificing your health? No problem. You can buy all the same food, but with a few rules in mind.

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Below are 8 foods you shouldn't buy if you're trying to save money.

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1. Organic everything

If you want to spend less money at the grocery store without totally sacrificing your health, stick to buying the dirty dozen organic only.

Generally, foods with skin should be bought organic (if you're eating the skin).

If the food has a skin that you cannot eat (ex. avocado), you don't necessarily need to buy it organic.

Dirty Dozen List (foods that you should try to buy organic)

  • strawberries
  • spinach
  • apples
  • peaches
  • pears
  • cherries
  • grapes
  • celery
  • tomatoes
  • potatoes
  • hot peppers
  • sweet bell peppers

Foods that you don't necessarily need to buy organic:

  • sweet corn
  • avocado
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • onions
  • frozen peas
  • papayas
  • asparagus
  • mangoes
  • eggplant
  • honeydew
  • kiwi
  • cantaloupe
  • cauliflower
  • grapefruit

2. Name brand foods

There's only one difference between name brand and generic brand food.

Name brand food has a huge mark-up from generic brand food.

For example, you can buy name brand food at Walmart or choose the Great Value brand instead.

3. Prepackaged or pre-cut food

Prepackaged or pre-cut food is notoriously expensive simply because the food is ready to go.

So unless you're in a hurry to get a meal (which even then, it's not worth the price) opt out of prepackaged foods.

4. Out of season food

Buying fruits and vegetables that are out of season can become very expensive.

Check out the months below to see which foods are currently in season.

A general rule to remember: bananas and potatoes are always in season.

January: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges, parsnips, rutabagas (my fav!), and tangerines.

February: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, lemons, oranges, parsnips, rutabagas, and turnips.

March: Artichokes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, pineapples, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.

April: Artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, honeydew, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, pineapples, radishes, and spring peas.

May: apricots, artichokes, asparagus, cherries, green beans, honeydew, lettuce, mangoes, okra, pineapples, radishes, spring peas, strawberries, swiss chard, and zucchini.

June: Apricots, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries, corn, kiwi, lettuce, mangoes, peaches, strawberries, swiss chard, watermelon, and zucchini.

July: Apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, corn, cucumbers, green beans, kiwi, lettuce, mangoes, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, tomatoes, watermelon, and zucchini.

August: Apples, apricots, blueberries, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, figs, green beans, kiwi, lettuce, mangoes, peaches, peppers, plums, raspberries, strawberries, summer squash, swiss chard, tomatoes, watermelon, winter squash, and zucchini.

September: Acorn squash, apples, beets, butternut squash, cantaloupe, cauliflower, eggplant, figs, grapes, green beans, lettuce, mangoes, mushrooms, peppers, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, and tomatoes.

October: Acorn squash, apples, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, swiss chard, turnips, and winter squash.

November: Beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cranberries (surprised? LOL), leeks, mushrooms, oranges, parsnips, pears, persimmons, pomegranates, pumpkins, rutabagas, spinach, sweet potatoes, tangerines, turnips, and winter squash.

December: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, grapefruit, kale, leeks, mushrooms, oranges, papayas, parsnips, pears, pomegranates, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, tangerines, and turnips.

5. Meat

Meat is expensive. To cut costs, I recommend eating less meat or cutting it out altogether.

Even worse, animal agriculture does terrible things for our environment. When the environment suffers, humans suffer as well.

To save money, I recommend buying plant-based protein sources such as lentils, beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and many vegetables.

Here's a helpful resource for people trying to lower their meat consumption or cut it out.

6. Spices

Buying spices and seasonings at a regular grocery store can be very expensive. A tiny jar of spice can run up to $10.

To save money, buy all of your spices and seasonings at ethnic food stores.

The spices are the same but at a much lower cost.

While at an ethnic food store, you can also stock up on beans, rice, and other foods for super cheap.

7. Snack foods

Snack foods are incredibly expensive. These brands make you think you're saving money by buying a bunch of small snack bags when you're actually spending more money.

For example, if you buy a box of 10 oreo snack bags, you may as well buy a box of Oreos instead.

And if you buy these snack bags for your children, you can easily put the food into a reusable bento box or reusable ziplock.

8. Gluten-free food

If you don't have celiac disease or a gluten allergy, you're probably fine eating gluten.

If you feel no difference between eating gluten and not eating gluten, you may as well save your money and opt out of gluten-free foods.

Gluten-free foods are incredibly expensive and if you're trying to save money, ditch the gluten-free foods and it can quickly add up to a lot in savings.

➡️ What to read next: 50 Ways To Make Extra Money

What foods do you eat to save money? 

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Great list. I try to watch the ad to see what produce is on sale because that is what is normally in season.

    1. That’s a great idea!

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