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The Cost of Eating Well

Eating healthy may cost more in the short run, but eventually it can pay off for you and your family.

I received some great feedback from my first column and wanted to provide readers this week with some ideas on where to get healthy foods. This might seem pretty obvious, but what people often say to me is that eating healthy can be more expensive than eating unhealthy. Sadly, this is true. 

When an apple costs $1.50 or more, and a whole meal at your favorite drive-thru costs maybe $2 or $3, it's easy to understand why many people choose the less expensive options.

What I have to remind people when they bring this up is that it is less expensive to stay well than it is to be sick.  It sounds clichéd, but you are either investing in your wellness or subsidizing your illness.

I wanted to make some suggestions about where to shop, specifically for fruits and vegetables, and to give you ideas and encouragement to choose that apple over the fast food.

My favorite places to shop are and The best day of the week to hit Henry’s is Wednesday, which is double-coupon day. You might have to fight harder for a parking spot, but it’s worth it! Trader’s has great prices on berries, and both markets offer some organic options. I do try and buy organic as much as possible, especially for produce such as berries and apples, where we eat the skin.

My other favorite is the t on Sunday afternoons at the Plaza de la La Paz shopping center. The best time for bargain hunters to buy is after noon. The farmers start offering deals then because they don’t want to pack up their produce and take it back to the farm.

The other suggestions I have received by some produce-loving friends include Jordan’s in Laguna Hills and Smart & Final in Dana Point.  Sometimes it's not convenient to get on the freeway to go buy cheap produce, but if you plan it right, you can take advantage of lower prices.

Last, you can take advantage of your backyard or patio and grow a small garden. What better way to get the freshest produce possible at the best price? I bought two small tomato plants a few weeks ago at , and they are thriving! I can’t wait to eat our first crop of the season!

Lisa Blaisdell June 12, 2011 at 05:00 AM
Love the ideas on great places to buy produce and Anne loved meeting you this a.m. at Starbucks! BTW I agree a little coffee is only good for you especially if it makes you happy which it does for me! See you soon! And Susan thanks for giving me great ideas for this column, I am so appreciative!
Debbie L. Sklar June 12, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Lisa: Why is organic produce and other items so darn expensive? Do they really differ from the rest? Could be a possible column in the future!
Debbie L. Sklar June 12, 2011 at 06:03 PM
Anne: What a small world. Not only that, I saw you pull over and rescue that dog a few weeks near Alicia. I was at the intersection and was so glad to see someone stop, and get him to safety. What happened to him?
Lisa Blaisdell June 13, 2011 at 02:13 PM
Hi Debbie, well organic produce has less pesticides (they should have none but there are no guarantees) and the produce is grown in better quality soil so the nutrition content is better. Hence the higher price. Some produce you really want to be sure is organic, like strawberries, apples, all fruit and veggies where you eat the skin, becuase the pesticides stay on the skins of berries, apples and things like that. Other things like oranges, pineapples, bananna's, avocado's, where there is skin, I am not as concerned becuase you peel that off. I am not an expert on organic but I could definately gather some data and put a column together if you'd like and if you think the readers would enjoy! Thanks so much for your question!
Caprice Crebar June 14, 2011 at 03:32 PM
Hi Lisa - great articles! You are so genuine in your desire to educate people about what nutrition does to help keep them healthy! And your tips are very helpful!

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