Know what you mean about the money.
When I eat dried fruit, I feel like I haven't eaten a full meal. I don't feel satisfied. I find dried fruit works best for me when I'm in need of calories but not having a formal meal, 'on the go', because if I eat them as my formal meal, I don't get hunger signals to stop until the bags empty (And I still feel uneasy about this...). It's also great for me when I add them to a smoothie. I used to make banana + raisin (banana + date / banana + dried fruit leather ...) smoothies and liked 'em.
dried fruit is not ideal as a staple foods .. it is harder to digest, as it does not contain as much water as it should! fresh fruit & veggies are always better.. conventional dried fruit contains several additives, preservatives added during the drying process or after (so also not always raw!) and they’re not necessarily on the food label, could be sugar, dextrose, glucose syrup, fruit juice, colouring derived from fruit, glycerin (422), sorbic acid (200), sulphur dioxide (220), paraffin, edible fats, and oils.
so make sure to get organic, naturally dried fruit and again it should be a treat but not a food source!
how about fruit that's in season like apples, pears, grapes? it should be cheaper than mangoes or other exotic fruit?
are organic brands not able to add ingredients that may not be on the final label? thanks
not really, at least in Europe, they are not allowed to, and sometimes you can even see that certain fruits has been treated with chemicals, for instance dried apricots - conventional are usually bright orange and they often have a slightly bitter aftertaste.. where as organic ones are dark brown
and of course it's better to check that the following is mentiones at some point as well: No Sulfur Added, No Preservatives, Naturally Sweet, No Sugar Added :)