Monday, July 11, 2011

Eating well ≠ expensive

Eating well is not cheap - but it doesn't have to be expensive, either. If you avoid ridiculously overpriced places like Whole Paycheck - excuse me, Whole Foods - and trendy bullshit gourmet/organic boutiques, you can load up on great foods at about half the price. That's right - HALF the price.

The catch is, this takes a little homework. You need to explore your neighborhood and find a good, reliable place to get your produce that's convenient (or you won't go). While you're searching, bear in mind that large grocers like Safeway (or Whole Foods) screw you on prices because they can - they know you only want to make one stop, so ... why not charge $2.50 for a head of iceberg lettuce? That kind of rip-off pricing is exactly what makes people think they can't afford to eat right.

So. When I lived in San Francisco (and Daly City) I hit my local bodega for frutas y verduras. Now that I'm in Pleasant Hill, I'm lucky enough to have family-owned Pleasant Hill Market right down the street. The photo above shows a recent haul - for $29:
  • Half a watermelon (organic)
  • Bunch of celery
  • Heirloom tomatoes (local)
  • Blackberries (organic)
  • Bell peppers (red and green)
  • Persian cucumbers
  • Carrots (admittedly, these are for the horse)
  • White nectarines
  • Corn tortillas (pack of 50)
  • Fennel
  • Bosc pears
  • Fuji apples
  • Vidalia onions
  • Apricots (FYI - these were 79 cents a pound, vs. $3.99 a pound at Safeway. Srsly.)
  • Cilantro
  • Lemons and limes
  • Navel oranges
  • Garlic
Twenty-nine bucks. If I'd bought this at a major grocer, it would have been at least $50, and probably more. It's obscene.

So find that local joint, eat better, and save money. Please.

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