Organic food, while healthy, can also put a strain on your wallet. Your food bill will not be as low as your couponing neighbor there are some things you can do to reduce your costs and still maintain a healthy lifestyle that you are aiming for. Here are the 10 tips for saving money when you pay for organic groceries.
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- Learn the “Dirty Dozen”
One of the best ways to stretch your dollar is to know what you should buy organic and when it is unnecessary. The worst offenders according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) are the following 12 fruits and vegetables; apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, kale/collards, and summer squash. These foods when grown conventionally test positive for over 40 chemicals.
While organic is best for soil, farmers, and the environment in general these 15 foods are considered the least likely to have pesticides after a typical washing and are therefore considered safe to eat; asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mango, mushrooms, onions, papayas, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, and sweet potatoes. You can save here and skip on the pricier organic counterparts.
- Opt for Store Brands
With the growing demand for organic products many grocery chains have begun their own product lines. Making the switch will make a noticeable difference on the amount you pay for the items at checkout. Check your local health food or Whole foods store as well for the same savings.
- Grow your Own
There is no better way to know exactly what your food has been exposed to than growing it yourself. Even if you don’t have a green thumb with a little persistence you can grow a garden. No space? No problem. Tomatoes, squash, beans, potatoes, onions, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, and herbs all do well in containers.
- Shop Locally
Farmers’ markets are a great place to find lower-priced organics. If there is not a market near you then look for local grown organics at you grocery store. You will have the added benefit of supporting local growers, and economy.
- Consider joining a Co-op or CSA
You may find this an affordable and money-saving option for your family. If there is a co-op or CSA in your area, check into pricing and details for joining. If you can’t find one in your area, you could consider starting your own co-op.
- Look for Coupons
While you won’t find the windfall of coupons that processed food seem to have, they are available. Search websites for popular organic products and look for the coupon tabs. Call, write, or email to your favorite organic company, most companies will be thrilled for your feedback and will send you coupons.
- Buy in Bulk
The warehouse stores like Sam’s, Costco are a fantastic source for lower-priced organic goods. Another growing market for bulk staples is online. Stores like Amazon are throwing their hat in the grocery ring.
- Shop Seasonally
It is always wise to buy produce in season. When fruits and vegetables that are out of season in your area are flown in from other countries it stands to reason that there will be markups to offset the cost.
- Eat more meatless dishes
Not only will you reap the health benefits of eating less meat, organic meat can be cause for the bulk of your food bill. Instead of having an organic steak for dinner consider adding it to a soup or stew to stretch your dollar.
- Shop Online
Amazon is an excellent source for buying natural foods online. You can usually find great deals without even leaving your couch!
Do you have tips for saving on organic foods?
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