Consumer Reports gives shoppers advice on buying groceries

SAN ANTONIO – When you shop for groceries and have to choose between two items, do you assume the more expensive item is a healthier choice? A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research said many people do think that. As it turns out, consumers are skeptical of health claims on cheaper packaging and rely on price to guide them toward healthier food.

Stocking up on healthy food doesn’t always have to break the bank.

Buying organic food is a great way to limit your exposure to pesticides. Consumer Reports says you can be picky about what you buy organic. Its tests show some non-organic products — such as avocados, corn and onions — are very low in pesticides.

Want organic food? You can still be thrifty.

“You can save money by buying store brand organics and by getting them in bulk,” said Ellen Kunes, with Consumer Reports. “In fact, some organics are actually cheaper than regular brands.”

Kunes said don’t be tempted into buying expensive processed foods just because they have the word "healthy" or "natural" on the box. Experts said a food rule of thumb is to look for a short ingredient list. Those foods will probably be less processed.

On average, a family of four tosses out $1,500 worth of food a year, so your family can save money by planning on what to buy first.

Don’t toss produce that’s past its prime. Save overripe or imperfect fruits and vegetables in the freezer. They can be used in smoothies, breads or homemade soups.

Produce that has been pre-cut and packaged in the store is the same as the produce that is whole. People pay more for the convenience of having it cut. 


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