One of the first things I hear when discussing organic is: it’s too expensive. Yes, some foods are slightly higher in price but you pay more in the long run with conventional foods and the effect of harmful chemicals on your health and the environment. Plus, with a little savvy you can still buy organic and not break the bank.
Here are 12 Ways to Eat Organic on the Cheap:
- Prioritize: A cheese puff is still a cheese puff! Use your organic food budget on things like produce, meat, and dairy. Plus, are you dropping $5 on a latte and complaining about 27 cents more for an apple?
- Watch for sales: Yes, organic foods do go on sale –organic food stores have weekly specials just like every other grocer.
- Eat with the Seasons: Food that is in season is usually what’s on sale and is often less expensive than if off season. (Not to mention it’s at its peak of freshness and deliciousness!)
- Clip coupons or go online. Check your favorite organic brands’ websites, many of them offer coupons and special offers.
- Choose your battles: Organic ketchup may be less important than organic milk. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen for the 12 produce items you should by organic, plus the 12 cleanest where conventional is ok.
- Be flexible: If you’re looking for sales, you might have to try some new foods or vary your recipes slightly.
- Buy produce in large amounts when in season and freeze.
- Cook more: Most convenience or ready-made foods are more expensive regardless of organic or not.
- Meal Plan: Grab the sale paper, clip some coupons, and plan out meals. You will ALWAYS save money by meal planning before you grocery shop, which also saves multiple trips to the grocery store throughout the week saving even more money.
- Hit the Farmer’s Market: Hands down the cheapest, highest quality, totally in season produce available. Plus you support your local farmers and spare the environment a waste of fossil fuels transporting produce from across the globe. Many farmers at the farmer’s market do not use pesticides but do not pay the fees to become Certified Organic, passing the savings onto you, so just ask if you are concerned.
Local is often better than organic. If you can get a fruit or veggie grown in your neighborhood, it’s much better than one that is organic from Argentina. Unless, of course, you live in Argentina…