Organic and natural foods are extremely expensive–out of reach for the average American, including me. But packaged foods are full of additives, starch or high fructose corn syrup. How do you find affordable healthy food in America?

In the realm of groceries or food products, there are only three ways to acquire nutritious portions and avoid the additives, salts and sugars.

1. You can grow your own food.

It may sound a little ridiculous, but lots of people have a small parcel of land where simple vegetables can be grown with some ease–especially things like tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and squash.

2. Look for mark-downs.

Some grocery stores are very willing to mark down produce and even meat when they are near expiration. Find those stores, learn their patterns and be there when these various products are discounted for a more reasonable price.

3. Adjust your menu for the week to what is on sale.

Sometimes produce and vitamin-rich products are set at a lower price in order to lure people into the store. They often keep those prices for ten or twelve days, hoping to “hook” people on the taste before they raise the cost.

Don’t lock into bananas when it turns out that strawberries are on sale. Don’t insist on grapefruit if they have a deal on tangerines.

And I guess I should add a fourth point:

If you’re going to get nutritious food at a reasonable price, you have to adjust to the fact that you probably will be traveling to more than one grocery store. Make shopping a joy by beating the system through finding the deals, taking advantage of the mark-downs, and then supplementing your choices with a few things grown from your own garden.

If you will do these things, you will find that your budget will permit much healthier choices.

Published by Jonathan Cring