Consumer Reports: Tips to eat healthy for less

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Consumer Reports has some tips for shopping healthy while also saving money. (WPVI)

Many people think eating healthy has to be expensive.

But Consumer Reports says that's not always the case.

Here's some tips for shopping healthy while also saving money:

Buying organic produce does help limit your exposure to chemical pesticide residues, but you can be picky.

According to Consumer Reports' testing, some non-organic produce is already very low in pesticides - like avocados, corn and onions.

If you do buy organic, limit it to fruits and vegetables you eat with the outer skin, look for store-brand organics and try to shop in season.

"Buying in-season produce means you'll eat cheaper, fresher fruits and veggies. But if you have to eat something like blueberries in the winter, save money and buy frozen instead," said Ellen Kunes, Consumer Reports.

Heading down the aisles, don't be tempted into buying expensive processed foods just because they say "healthy" or "natural" on the box.

A better rule of thumb is to look for a short ingredient list.

Those foods will probably be less processed, with more wholesome ingredients.

And think about how you'll use what you buy. Every year, on average, a family of four throws out $1,500 worth of food.

You don't always need to toss produce that's past its prime.

Save overripe fruits and vegetables in the freezer - those bruised bananas and berries can be delicious in smoothies or breads.

And imperfect veggies can make a perfect homemade soup.

As for pre-cut fruits and vegetables, they're typically more expensive. But they do save you time.

So it's good to compare prices and then decide what works best for your schedule.

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