Organic foods are all the rage, as consumers seek ways to lose weight, reduce the risk of disease and illness and eat healthier for more energy and vitality. But going organic means your grocery bill will be considerably higher, and you could find yourself shopping at specialty food stores if your local grocer doesn’t have ample organic products. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can join the organic craze without spending all of your green.
Depending where you live, it’s not always possible to have a garden year round. But growing your own vegetables and herbs when you can saves some cash at the grocery store. Look into options such as an indoor herb garden to stretch your ability to grow your own ingredients no matter what the season.
Look for Organic Co-Ops
Chances are, there’s an organic co-op or food buying group near you. Organic food-buying groups and o-ops look for deals on bulk organic foods, splitting up the products among its members and passing the savings on to the families. Joining this type of organization also helps take the guesswork out of going organic, especially if you’re just starting out. Rely on the group’s organizers to choose the best products at the best prices, and learn as you go.
Buying in-season fruits and vegetables is always cheaper, because you can buy foods grown locally instead of incurring shipping costs to import foods from other regions. But that doesn’t mean you’re limited to eating fruits and vegetables only when they’re in season. Buy larger quantities when foods are in-season, and can your fruits and vegetables to enjoy healthy, organic goodness throughout the year. Another option is to buy frozen organic foods in the off-season, which are more affordable than fresh produce.
Buy from Local Farmers
Back in the 1920s, about a third of the U.S. workforce consisted of farmers, according to Ken Fisher, Contributor to Forbes magazine. But now farmers comprise less than one percent of the workforce, primarily due to increases in technology and productivity. Farmers are facing tough economic times, and not all can afford the costs of an organic certification. Buying direct from farmers in your local area is considerably cheaper than shopping at the grocery store, because you’re skipping the added costs of foods traveling through the supply chain and retail markups.
Shop Around and Buy in Bulk
Comparison shopping isn’t just for technology products. Check around at the local grocery stores in your area to learn where you can obtain organic ingredients at the most affordable cost. Ordering pantry items online, such as organic whole grain products, can also save you some cash—especially if you buy non-perishables in bulk.
Be Selective and Buy Organic Only When Necessary
There are certain foods that are more susceptible to pesticides and should always be purchased organic, such as peaches, strawberries, bell peppers and others. But some foods are less likely to have much pesticide residue, so it’s safer to buy these traditionally to save a few bucks. These include broccoli, bananas, pineapple and more.
Going organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Follow a few simple money-saving strategies, and your family can eat healthier for less.