Trying to go organic without going broke? Here are eleven ways to squeeze organics into any budget – big or small:
1. Buy Store Brands
Photo © Erin Huffstetler
A growing consumer interest in organics has prompted many grocery chains to launch their own organic product lines. Make the switch to store brand, and you could shave an easy 25% off of your bill.
2. Look for Coupons
While you probably won't find many coupons for organics in your Sunday paper (yet), coupons for organics do exist. Here's a list of manufacturers offering coupons:
3. Grow Your OwnPlant a garden in your yard and grow your own organics. You may spend a bit more for organic seeds, but otherwise it won't cost you any more (and may even cost you less) to grow organic produce.
4. Seek Reduced ProduceThe organic trend is still new, and that means many stores haven't figured out how much to order. Look for reduced prices on produce (and other goodies) that need to be used today or tomorrow, and you could snatch up organics at or below the price of traditionally grown produce.
5. Buy in BulkWarehouse stores like Sam's and Costco are a great source for bargain-priced organics if you're willing to buy in bulk, as is Amazon.com – a newcomer to the grocery market.
6. Buy Unprocessed FoodsProcessed foods are more expensive than whole foods, whether they're organic or not. Spend the bulk of your grocery dollars on basic foods – fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains – and you'll be able to afford more organics for your money.
7. Shop LocallyFarmer's markets are a great source for value-priced organics. No markets in your area? Then, look for locally grown organics in your grocery store. Since local produce doesn't have to travel far, the prices are often lower.
8. Shop Seasonally
Foods--organic and otherwise – are cheapest when they're in season. Here's a guide to what's in season now:
9. Join a Co-Op
Farm Co-ops and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) groups allow you to buy a share in a local farm in exchange for a portion of the food that the farm produces – a real bargain. Locate an organic co-op or CSA in your area through Local Harvest.org
, and enjoy more organic fare for your money.
10. Stick to the Dirty DozenCan't afford to buy all-organic produce? Then, stick to the twelve fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide levels. According to The Environmental Working Group, this includes: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, pears, spinach, potatoes.