You want the best for your family and the environment, so going green seems to be the right decision. However, shopping solely for organic produce hardly fits into your food budget. A recent report describes how organic food costs 47% more than conventional foods grown using synthetic pesticides and herbicides. Farmers spend more money in harvesting without these chemicals.
Doing the best for you sometimes comes with a cost. But what if there’s a way to shop organic food without breaking the bank? Rather than shopping randomly, it’s necessary to focus on priority items that will feed your family. Always look at the labels before making a purchase. For instance, organic honey and maple syrup cost cheaper than conventional ones.
Check out these tips on how to eat organic food on a budget:
Build Your Garden
For many consumers, this is the last resort on their organic eating journey. Here’s why that’s the opposite. Growing your food allows you to control which nutrients and pest control go into what you eat. From fruits to vegetables, you can plant different foods depending on the available space and soil quality. Even if you don’t have garden space, you can hang some of them by your window.
Beyond the absence of chemicals, home-grown foods also save you a lot of money on transport. There’s also the advantage of not wasting food. Rather than buying an entire bunch, you get to harvest what you need.
Coupons and Sales
Coupons offer discounts on different products, including organic food. Many stores also offer sales at intervals. Use these offers to your advantage by stacking them. Buy a product on sale and purchase it with coupons. You can find digital coupons in newspapers, coupon sites, and grocery store fliers.
Some organic food companies also mail special coupons to their loyal customers. However, always look for the ones that include organic food in their offers. Subscribe to loyalty apps that provide a database of coupons for organic products.
Meal Delivery Services
Another affordable way to eat organic food for less is through meal delivery services. These companies prepare the ingredients you need in measured quantities to prevent wastage. Some of them offer delivery of cooked organic food to save you the time spent in the kitchen.
Eat Less Meat
Food activists and social impact groups classify organic meat as high welfare produce. The term implies that the animals are pasture-fed and raised to roam outdoors instead of in cages. Many brands mislabel their products with terms like free-range and farm-fed.
Look for the FDCA stamp on your meat. However, consider cutting down your meat consumption instead of worrying about the labels. Switch animal protein for vegetables and other protein-rich foods like tofu and mushrooms.
Store Brands and Bulk Bins
Store brands cost less than brand-name products, and this applies to organic foods as well. However, many supermarkets don’t carry store brands. Instead, shop at places that carry their products like Farm Boy and Whole Foods. Farm Boy has its line of organic products across stores in Ontario.
While Whole Foods also offers organic produce via their 365 Everyday Value line. Through their Great Value brand, Walmart provides items like quinoa and spices at affordable rates. You can also shop wholesale organic food from Costco and store for the future.
Some of these stores also have bulk bin services where you buy dry food items by weight. The food products also don’t come in packaging, so they cost cheaper than other packaged organic products. You’ll have to shop with your container at the store. Shops like Bulk Barn, Walmart, and Sobeys offer this service.
Buy from the Farm
While shopping from grocery stores opens to you a world of variety, this opportunity comes at a cost. Why not skip the middleman and go directly to the source. Many shops buy from the farm to sell to retailers. You can buy from the farmer or pick your produce depending on what is available at your location.
The downside of shopping from the farm is that you’ll have to spend precious time cleaning the soil from your food. Either way, it’s worth it since you’ll save lots of money.
Eat What’s In Season
Vegetables have different harvest seasons, and they come cheaper during these months. You’ll save more money if you only shop what’s in season. For instance, in the summer, tomatoes sell for as low as $5.99 per box. Organic potatoes also come cheaper in the winter compared to other seasons.
To make the most of the season, buy in bulk and store for other seasons. You can either freeze your tomatoes for up to six months or sun dry and store them in jars.
Who says eating fresh is the only way to consume organic food? Buying frozen foods is another way to eat organic products on a budget. Incorporate frozen fruits and vegetables into your meal plan since they cost less than fresh foods. Get the most of them by trying smoothies and roasted veggie recipes.
How do you eat organic on a budget? Let us know in the comments below!