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.

I went from clinically obese to fit and healthy all on a tight budget. It’s more than possible and feels amazing. You can do this!

To save even more money, use Ibotta to get cash back on groceries. Ibotta is so easy to use. All you have to do is download the app, find your grocery store, and then start redeeming coupons. You even get $10 for signing up through Ibotta here. If you’re downloading Ibotta on your phone, the app will ask if you have a referral code. Use my referral code: lwyxxrb and you’ll get $10 for signing up.

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

Before we get started, make sure to sign up for my free resource library and get access to exclusive printables all about saving money and building wealth, meal planning, and more.

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.

P.S. Sign up below for the FREE ultimate financial planner that includes printables like: debt tracker, income tracker, annual budget summary, savings challenges, financial goals, and debt thermometers!

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.

P.S. Here’s one of my favorite ways to save money on groceries…

Walmart Grocery Pickup

My new favorite app is Walmart Grocery Pickup for 2 major reasons: 1) It’s a huge time-saver 2) Convenient, easy pickup. You don’t even get out of your car to get your groceries. 

How to get started easily:

  1. Click here and get $10 off your first Walmart Grocery Pickup.
  2. Order groceries online.
  3. Schedule your pickup.
  4. No fees, no tips accepted, no subscription model. It is free to use Walmart Grocery Pickup.

If you’re new to Walmart Grocery Pickup, you get $10 off your first purchase here. That means you can get $50 worth of groceries for only $40.

I needed 1 substitution because they didn’t have the item I ordered, so they gave me an even better item for the same price as the original item I ordered. You also save money on groceries because you don’t even get the chance to impulse spend since you’re not in the store.

Bonus: Are you bad at picking fresh produce? Their grocery experts know exactly which to pick from for maximum freshness. If you aren’t satisfied with the freshness, you can get a refund. 

Even better, once you fall in love with Walmart Grocery Pickup (which you will), you can start referring friends and family. Just get 5 friends to try out Walmart Grocery Pickup and you’ll get $50 toward groceries. 

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

Don’t forget to sign up for the free resource library and get exclusive access to free printables & planners related to saving and making money, meal planning, and more!

What foods do you eat to save money? 

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Holly

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

    1. Alexis

      That’s a great idea!

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