With the organic industry growing leaps and bounds around the world, more and more people are considering switching to a more organic diet due to the health benefits associated with such.
What keeps some people away from eating organic is the fact that organic food is pricier than non-organic food. Despite the better quality of food and less toxicity, quite a few people just won’t pay the higher prices.
But what if you could eat more organic foods without having to dig deeper into your pocket book? Are there ways you can save money and eat organic without breaking the bank? Absolutely.
Today, let’s look at 10 ways you can begin eating a healthier, organic diet without having to spend a considerable more amount of money.
1. Plant yourself a garden
One of the easiest ways you can save money when it comes to organic fruit and vegetables is to put the time in and plant your own garden. You can find affordable organic seed packets online or at your local garden store for lower prices and plant your very own garden in your yard.
Not only does this afford you fresh, organic produce, but you can also let your children help you in gardening, teaching them valuable lessons when it comes to hard work, sowing, and reaping.
2. Join a Co-Op or Community Supported Agriculture
Check your community to see if there are organic farms that sell their produce via Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) or ask around to see if there are co-ops. If you join a CSA, you’ll get weekly produce from a local organic farmer, which helps you and the farmer. There are many communities that have at least one CSA opportunity. Talk to your organic farmers to see if they offer such an opportunity. It’s a win-win situation for all.
3. Purchase locally
One of the best places to purchase organic food is at a Farmer’s Market. There you will find organic farmers who are selling their products for less than they would be sold at a store, as you’re getting it directly from the source and not a distributor.
In addition, spending time at a Farmer’s Market is quite an interesting and exciting experience. For example, in small towns across Louisiana, the Market will have lively Cajun or Zydeco musicians on a stage and people will be celebrating life through dance and good food.
4. Consider buying in bulk
To get a price break, consider buying things in bulk. You’ll oftentimes find that the health food or natural grocery stores sell bulk items cheaper, such as beans, grains, coffee beans, and nuts. Take a look at what is in the bins in the store, as many stores are adding more and more bulk items. If you buy in bulk, in the long run you are saving money.
5. Purchase more staple items
You may be tempted to buy gourmet organic items that you don’t necessarily need. Don’t be fooled with the marketing tactics of some companies who simply package average food in “gourmet style” to try to get a sale. You can purchase organic food that is not outrageously expensive, and you can stick to buying staples, or foods that you use on a more regular basis.
6. Consider your options wisely
You’ve got to really think about what you’re buying when it comes to shelf life. You don’t want to buy a lot of foods that expire quickly, and risk having to throw some of them out.
For example, bananas are only good for about 5 to 7 days, so if you buy them in abundance and don’t eat them regularly, by the end of the week you’ll be tossing them into the garbage, essentially wasting money. Think about what you’re buying and the expiration date as well.
7. Refrain from frozen foods
It is wonderful that some companies are offering organic meals frozen, but sometimes the prices you are paying for such a product may not really be worth what you are getting. You are better off to purchase the ingredients and make the meal yourself, as you’ll get more out of the meal, perhaps leaving you with leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
You’d be surprised at just how simple it is to make many of those frozen organic meals, so you don’t have to purchase a lot of ingredients in order to do so. Give it a try.
8. Shop in season
When it’s berry season, go all out on berries. When it’s winter and berries are being shipped in from afar, you may want to pass because they will be marked up. Shop seasonally as best as you can and consider heading to farms that give you the opportunity to pick your own produce, like blueberries or strawberries. Take the kids and let them have fun picking their very own bucket of fruits.
9. Vary your weekly shopping list
If you love avocados, but don’t love the price, vary your weekly shopping list. For example, maybe one week you can buy 5 avocados and cheaper produce like bananas or apples. The next week you can only get 2 avocados and a variety of other produce. Get to learn the prices of organic food and create a budget for the week and stick to that budget, choosing different things each week. The more often you shop organic, the better you’ll get at managing the money aspect of it.
10. Don’t buy pre-cut produce
Sure, buying pre-cut produce sure beats having to cut fruits and veggies ourselves, but the added price may not be worth it. If you think about it, it only takes a couple of minutes to dice up fruits and vegetables, so paying extra isn’t really worth it.
You may spend a little bit more buying organic foods, but overall it is worth it. You’ll feel better mentally and physically, and you’ll be encouraging those that farm organically. You don’t have to go all out though. If you want to simply begin incorporating organic foods into your diet slowly, that’s fine. You can also begin cutting out unhealthy foods, which will help balance out the costs.
Have fun with the process of changing to a more organic diet and know that your efforts will serve you well.