Whether or not you live on a budget, it makes sense to save money when possible. I am inherently frugal, but I do choose to spend money on healthy grocery shopping. My research has lead me to associate ‘healthy food’ with plants that provide the necessary minerals to fuel our bodies and I choose to keep a variety of produce on hand (eat the rainbow) because healthy bodies fuel healthy minds. Here are a few of my favorite markets in town to stock up on organic produce & nutritional foods:


organic groceries

The Meijer on Kalamazoo has wonderful deals on all fruit, including exotic. A cherimoya was $6.99, for example, compared to $9.99 everywhere else. Meijer also carries an organic, natural line of products which are typically priced lower than competitive brands. If you venture to the back of the store, you’ll find the organic frozen aisle and gluten-free section, which is expanding every month to include a wider range of options.

The Fulton Street Farmers Market

The $3 savings could afford you a gorgeous basket of fruit at the Fulton Market (open Tues/Wed, Fri/Sat). I love meeting farmers here and learning about where my food comes from. They are always happy to answer questions and provide information about the nutritional content of their food. Also, many share how to cook and prepare the produce. During the warmer months, you’ll find everything from canned goods to freshly baked bread. When you first walk in, you’ll find local vendors selling everything from local meat to kombucha to sourkrout. They’re eager to provide samples and share more about their business. Also, there’s typically a local musician strumming on the guitar and fresh coffee sold for a $1. Enjoying it fresh from the pickin’ is best!

Fresh Thyme

healthy organic groceries

I appreciate Fresh Thyme (Burton) for many reasons, but mostly because the store considers health and offers FREE fruit for children. Fresh Thyme also offers a vast array of vibrant, fresh, local produce. Their produce section is always well stocked and I rarely have difficulty finding obscure items or organic options. Also, Fresh Thyme’s non-perishable section is packed with an assortment of healthy brands, including Siete Foods and Primal Kitchen. It’s comparable to a health foods store, and they even sell essential oils and organic makeup. The bulk section is also impressive. It includes fresh cashew and almond butter, and a variety of healthy baking alternatives. Fresh Thyme’s display is well cared for, and very high quality.

Horrocks Market

healthy organic groceries

Horrocks is known for an assortment of affordable, healthy produce options. The produce section dominates the store and they offer every kind of fruit and vegetable imaginable. The customer service team is always available to help find what you need, and it’s evident they take grade pride in their store. I’m especially impressed with Horrock’s range of novelty food items and lunch options.  If you love Horrock’s because it’s a superbly fresh market, you’d tip over after 2-minutes in the Lansing store. I now go monthly to buy produce I cannot find locally, or that is incredibly inexpensive. For example, giant, ripe papayas were often $1/each this summer. Try to beat that!

Trader Joe’s

healthy organic groceries

Trader Joe’s is my go-to for frozen falafels, organic fruit (2lbs of organic strawberries for $7, thank you TJ’s!), fruit leather (my kids are obsessed) and 10lbs of other random things that turn out to be really great! They have the best selection of affordable perishable products, including chia seeds, hemp seeds, healthy baking alternatives, flaxseed, vegetable stock, and protein powders. I usually stock up on my smoothie and supplement essentials whenever I visit Trader Joes.

Ken’s Fruit Market

healthy organic groceries

I try to stay away from Ken’s on Plainfield because they offer the best roasted nuts, right near the checkout. Every time I go, I eat 2lbs of almonds within 2 days. It kills me, but I can’t stop! Ken’s is community oriented and wonderful, offering great deals like $1 for a giant bag of potatoes. They also offer a great selection of local products and produce, and it definitely has a more local, genuine vibe.

Martha’s Vineyard

healthy organic groceries

Once you save money on potatoes, head to Martha’s. You’ll need a few extra dollars to spend here, with a selection that includes delicious vegan treats, hot pizzas, the best wine selection, or a fresh baguette, because they make bread, too! Also, they’ve expanded their produce section to include all kinds of options, such as leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. Their deli offers healthier options and they have the most diverse selection of hummus I’ve seen!
There are wonderful markets in every corner of GR, and I love exploring them all! I will always appreciate great savings and delicious, fresh food! I’d be happy to share these finds with you, as long as you promise to share your great finds with me!

Marin Darr is a local vegan and developer of the IG account CoconutsforPlants. Professionally, she’s entangled in the world of startups. To balance that stress, she studies plant-based nutrition, takes walks, rides her bike and practices mindfulness while standing on her head. She tries to live humbly, volunteers occasionally and appreciates family time. She resides in EGR.

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