Q: I feel organic fruits and veggies are best to purchase. However I have found it to be a bit pricey and find it hard to manage eating well on a budget. Is there a way to get the most nutrient dense foods without suffering a large grocery store bill?
A: Great question! You will be happy to know my answer is YES! The "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" will be your key to shopping organic and when you can save some extra cash.
Watch out for items such as Apples, Peaches, Strawberries, Grapes, Peppers, Spinach, Cucumbers, Snap peas, Tomatoes, and Potatoes. These are part of the Dirty Dozen list. Their thinner skins do not protect well against pesticides. Make sure to clean them very well before consumption. Best to purchase these foods when they are in season and organic as much as possible. To have access to things like strawberries or snap peas year round you can always freeze them to later add into a smoothie or stir fry dish when desired.
Produce such as Avocados, Bananas, Cantaloupe, Kiwi, Onions, Pineapple or Mango are part of the Clean 15 list. This means they have a more protective outer layer and are exposed to much less chemicals. These are the items you can save some cash on and shop around for the best deals on. For something like an avocado you can always buy them when green and ripen in a sealed brown paper bag in a day or two. Place clear wrap over the top stem of you bananas to keep them green longer and lock in their freshness by leaving them out on the counter until needed.
I hope this simplifies your shopping needs and helps you save some extra cash in the long run!