Allocating serious shopping time for some trial and error to determine where you get your best deals is necessary. If you have more than one health food store available, learn which ones offer better deals on specific items.
Cooperatives or co-ops usually charge an annual membership fee to get the better deals. You'll have to decide if it's worth it. You may be surprised that sometimes the pricier stores will have better deals on some items than the less expensive stores.
If you think you cannot spend the money for quality, organic foods, add up all your eating out expenses and the chips and dips and other processed yummy food and snack expenditures. Processed foods have unhealthy additives that make you eat more. That can add up to an expensive addiction.
A few suggestions:
Breads: Try to find a local bakery that makes fresh, organic bread without bleached white flour or bromides (bromine).
Both of those are unhealthy. Organic sourdough and sprouted grain breads are the healthiest. If possible, invest in a bread making machine and make your own from items ordered online or from local bulk bins.
Grains and legumes: Also known as rice and beans. Organic rice and beans from bulk bins are healthy and cheap. Healthy oils, lemons, and spices can give you a variety of flavors. Avoid canned beans even if they're in non-BPA
The bulk dried beans should be soaked overnight for boiling the next day. Organic lentils are inexpensive and healthy, but they don't require any soaking time. Most other beans, like black or turtle beans and garbanzo or chick peas do need soaking.
Some anti-grain health foodies insist that grains should be soaked overnight to remove some of the nutrition-blocking phytic acid or phytates. Soaking steel cut oats overnight makes morning cereal preparation quick and easy as well as healthier. After the overnight soak, bring the oats to a boil, shut off the heat, cover with a lid and wait around 15 to 20 minutes.
Produce: This is the trickiest for budgeting when it comes to fresh organic produce. It requires serious shopping and coupon/flyer special scavenging. It's best to lightly steam or eat the veggies raw. A salad a day with dark greens and carrot slices is a good way to eat veggies. So is juicing.
If you can't find organic produce to fit your budget, at least avoid the "dirty dozen" and shop for the "clean fifteen" both listed here: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/.
Soups: Do not choose the MSG laden instant soups or convenient canned soups. Slow cook soups the old fashioned way with veggies and potatoes. Make enough to refrigerate for a few days.
Another way to boost nutrients for grains and legumes while granting variety is by sprouting. Sprouting broccoli seeds gives you a super food. Many other seeds and legumes can be sprouted.
To your vital health,