Kids love lunch snack packs, but don’t fool yourself — at $2 for a 3.2-ounce molded plastic dish containing a handful of crackers, cheese food slices and processed meat, it’s a rip-off. Let your child pick out a reusable sectioned plastic container at the dollar store, and prep a healthier version together for much less per serving.
Imported Olive Oil
Imported olive oil is one of the items that don’t deserve the big price tag at your grocery store. Oil from Europe is likely older — and less tasty — than oils produced in California, as EU producers have incentives to store it longer. Domestic oils also have more rigorous standards overall and often come with freshness dates, making them the better buy. They’re also one of the best deals at Whole Foods.
The golden liquid in those cute plastic bears on grocery store shelves isn’t necessarily what you think it is. Honey mixed with high-fructose corn syrup is common, meaning you might be paying higher prices for cheaper ingredients. Buy your honey by the gallon from a local beekeeper or farmer’s market. Ask where the hives are located. If they have no idea, it’s probably fake.
A steep price tag isn’t the only difference you’ll notice when buying organic produce in your local supermarket. The fruits and veggies might look withered, pale or even semi-withered unless your grocer does a lot of organic business. Shop at stores that sell organic produce regularly, such as Whole Foods or Aldi, and you’ll spend money on food that looks better and lasts longer. Better yet, head out to your local farmer’s market.