In a world where drive-thru hamburger joints and $1 pizza slices outnumber farmers markets and grocery stores, eating healthy can be a challenge. Even when you make up your mind to resist deep-fried temptation and go for a salad, you too often end up in sticker-shock.
Trust me, I know how this goes - I've been that person in shock at checkout. A small bag of jerky or green juice shouldn't cost 7 times the cost of french fries! So, this week I'm sharing my top 5 tips to eat well without breaking the bank. Yes, it absolutely can be done!

Watch my recent segment on KTVU Channel 2 News for all of the details plus more tips just below!

Heirloom tomatoes are in season right now so buy up!

Heirloom tomatoes are in season right now so buy up!

1. Buy in Season :: Head to you local farmers market and buy fruits and vegetables that are currently in season. Then, so that you are always stocked with exactly what you need, try freezing some of the fruits and veggies that you buy; this will preserve nearly all of the nutrients in the food. Now, when these fruits and veggies are out of season, you won't have to pay more to get them! Below is a list of fruits and vegetables currently in season: 

Summer Fruits and Veggies :: Apples, asparagus, avocados, basil, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, grapefruit, collards, cucumber, eggplant, grapes, kale, mushrooms, raspberries, spinach, strawberries, tomatoes. 

2. Shop the Clean 15 :: These are 15 fruits and veggies that you can buy conventionally (non-organic) because they are not sprayed as heavily with pesticides or have a protective outer layer. 

Onions, Avocado, Sweet Corn (watch for GMO), Pineapple, Mango, Sweet Peas, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Asparagus, Kiwi, Cabbage, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Sweet Potatoes, Honeydew Melon

3. Buy Less Expensive Cuts of Meat :: If you are eating animal protein, it's very important to do your best to buy quality meat. When you're shopping, look for words like organic, grass-fed, pasture raised and wild. Now, buying organic meat can add up quickly, so instead of buying your typical cuts of meat (think boneless skinless chicken breast, filet or ribeye) try going for fattier and even tougher cuts. Buy cuts like bone in, skin on chicken thighs, a whole chicken, pork shoulder or chuck roast. Soften up the pork shoulder or chuck roast by cooking them on low in a slow cooker with some spices and veggies. It tastes amazing and you'll have food for several days. Also, don't be afraid of these fattier cuts of meat, especially if you're trying to lose weight! Try my crockpot shredded beef stew or crispy turmeric chicken recipe!

4. Make a List, Have a Plan :: Never go to the grocery store without a list of exactly what you need. When you don't have a list and aren't sure what you're going to cook for the next week, you end up making sporadic purchases. As a result. you'll end up with spoiled food that never gets used in a recipe. Talk about a waste of money! So, pick 2-3 recipes, decide how much you want to make (I'm a big fan of leftovers) and then shop just for those recipes. 

5. Buy from Online Retailers :: Specialty stores like Whole Foods and Sprouts drive most of their prices up really high but I LOVE a lot of what they sell. So, rather than pay the high price tag, I use online retailers like Thrive Market to buy my specialty items. Thrive is kind of like Costco meets Whole Foods but no need to buy in bulk. For less than $5 a month members can shop 4,000 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products all delivered straight to your door at 25-50% below retail prices. Woohoo!!! 

As you can see, eating well doesn't have to break the bank. Get organized and make a plan so that eating well and saving money can go hand in hand. If you have other tips for saving money while eating well I'd love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below!