Eating Organic On A Budget Can Be Fun
Tips For Eating Organic On A Budget
Get more nutrients and fiber into your diet today!
We are living in a different world. Over the last decade, emerging infections in the form of new diseases or stronger old diseases have become a concern. Despite this, modern medicine has been fast enough to catch up and protect the human world. However, modern medicine can only do so much. The entire onus of protection in modern medicine is based on having a healthy immune system. This means we must create and nurture a healthy body by eating healthy.
Where do we start with healthy eating?
Organic is the way to go and we already know this. The term ‘organic’ refers to agricultural products grown and processed with the minimal use of chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers. In some countries, the term will also cover the use of GMO or genetically modified produce. Most countries now have specific labeling requirements for organic produce and all supermarkets or stores will have a separate section with organic products.
So it’s all good?
No, even though organic products are easily available, there are a few hiccups regarding availability and costing. As these are agricultural products grown without chemical pesticides, fertilizers or preservatives, they tend to have a shorter lifespan as compared to non-organic products. Produce also has to be picked when ripe and transported quickly to prevent deterioration. This makes them a little more expensive. Moreover, although most small farmers are organic, getting certified as an “organic” farm is expensive and most farmers cannot afford the official labeling. Due to this same restriction, less than five million acres of farmland in the US are certified organic, and less than 1% of US farm produce is certified as organic. However, organic food sales rose by as much as 23% in the last decade.
Ooh…sound expensive…are there tips for eating organic on a budget?
Not to worry. Even though organic food is slightly on the expensive side, there are places and ways to get affordable organic produce.
Here are a few tips to help you out so you can eat organic on $100 a week
- Focus on the food: Not all foods need to be organic. For example, the Environmental Working Group lists 20 vegetables that should be ideally consumed organic. At the same time, the “CLEAN 15” group consisting of avocado, eggplant, sweet corn, etc. are naturally low in pesticides are do not need to be consumed organic. We recommend checking a few online sources to find more references. By buying smart, you can save a lot during your grocery shopping.
- Shop at the local farmer’s market: As we’ve already stated, local farmers are more like to grow organic produce and sell locally. Farmer’s markets are usually held weekly. This might be difficult if you are located in a large city. However, local farmers usually sell at a discount to local grocery stores. Visit the farmer’s market once and find out where they retail their produce. This should help with your weekly grocery bills. You can also refer to online sources to find local farmer’s markets, food cooperatives that specialize in organic produce or community-supported agricultural farms.
- Buy frozen: Organic food does not have to be consumed fresh or preserved. Retailers also have their in-store flash-frozen organic brands that will be priced better. Buying frozen organic products in bulk will help you save on your weekly budget as well. Most retailers have clear out sales every week in which at least 2-3 organic products are listed for bulk sale. Large retailers like Costco are your best bet for the most affordable groceries.
- Coupons: We love couponing. Just keep an eye out on local newspaper inserts, back-of-store receipts, and sign up with all coupon websites. By setting up an email alert, can combine online and in-store discounts to get really great deals on a range of products including groceries.
- Understand the labels: Not all organic food is priced the same. The USDA organic seal is the first thing to look for on all organic products. However, other companies too offer organic labeling. For example, tags like “certified humane, cage-free, certified naturally grown, free trade, fair trade, natural” can be confusing and can cause considerable price variations. We recommend reading up the labels and finding products that meet your requirements.
- Bulk buy: Retailers like Whole Foods have sections in which grains and nuts are sold in bulk bins. You can buy as much as you want of an ingredient and save a ton.
Organic Food Online
- Find deals online: Organic products are available online and delivery is usually within 24-hours.
The bottom line.
Buying organic is not expensive if you do your research well. City dwellers may not have access to the freshest produce, but online shopping and wholesale retailers like Whole Foods and Costco are a huge help. On the other hand, suburban dwellers are well set with a wide selection of local farmer’s markets and retailers to choose from for their weekly shopping. No matter where you shop, make sure you buy smart to save on your grocery bills.