Enjoy healthy food on a budget

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Trader Joe’s is a well-known health food store that gained a large following in recent years. The casual Hawaiian theme found within the cedar- lined walls invites customers in and sets the tone for the organic and all-natural treasures within.

Unlike its local grocery store competitors, Trader Joe’s has everything from fresh to frozen to foreign. The store also offers delicious seasonal items perfect for spicing up the holidays.

Once guests pass the sea of fresh flowers and red shopping carts, they find themselves surrounded by wholesome food, smiling employees and an abundance of great deals.

Here are five healthy Trader Joe’s meals that can be prepared for a party of two or more, each for under $15. Right next to it you’ll find a list of the same ingredients and their prices from Stater Brothers. The prices may be better in some cases but the food is not as healthy.

On that note, the buzzwords “organic” and “whole wheat” found at Trader Joe’s should not be viewed as synonyms for unfavorable foods. These dishes are delicious and much better for you than the food picked up at other local grocery stores.

Most of these meals will have left-over ingredients that can be used to re- peat the meal at least once, if not many more times, saving you hard-earned dough in the long run.

It seems almost everyone has been grilled on the importance of health food these days but it cannot be said enough. Eating the right foods will fuel your body and your mind for physical, mental and emotional activities in a way that “everyday” foods cannot. And, as clearly stated here, it won’t fry your wallet any more than the average market will.

Samples can be found at Trader Joes, like at Costco. There are always samples of food and coffee in the back of the store.

Be sure to check out their Red Flyer newsletter for delicious recipes at a great price.

COMPARING PRICES OF LOCAL GROCERY STORES

Blueberry waffles, strawberries, coffee

Trader Joe\’s
8 pk Frozen Blueberry Waffles – $3.98
Fresh Organic Strawberries – $2.99
Fair Trade Organic Espresso Coffee – $7.99
TOTAL – $14.96

Stater Bros
Eggo Blueberry Waffles – $2.99
Strawberries – $2.99
Folgers Coffee Classic Roast – $4.99
TOTAL – $10.97

BURRITOS

Trader Joe’s
Organic wheat flour tortillas – $1.99
1 can black beans – $.89
1 can refried beans – $.99
4 pk Roma tomatoes – $1.99
Bag of Mexican blend cheese – $2.99
TOTAL – $12.93

Stater Bros.
White tortillas – $1.99
1 can black beans – $1.49
1 can refried beans – $.79
4 Roma tomatoes -$1.69
1 bag Mexican Cheese blend – $2.99
TOTAL – $18.33

CHICKEN, CORN, SALAD

Trader Joe’s
5 pk. Chicken Legs – $3.70
Frozen Sweet Corn – $1.29
Organic Pre-Bagged Caesar Salad – $3.49
Fresh French Baguette from before! – $0.00
TOTAL – $8.48

Stater Bros
Chicken Legs – $4.31
Frozen Corn – $1.69
Bagged Caesar Salad – $3.39
Fresh French Bread from before! – $0.00
TOTAL – $9.39