Going organic is expensive, or at least it can seem that way.
The truth is that most people have gotten used to buying cheap, highly processed foods and by comparison, a bag of organic apples can seem expensive compared to a box of instant noodle packets. The truth is that the benefits of organic food make them worth every cent. The “extra expense” is an investment in your future health. Although it’s harder to quantify, poor health is more expensive than good food; but that’s not a compromise you have to make. You can include whole, organic food into your life without losing your shirt. Here’s how:
The easiest way to go organic without breaking the bank is to slowly integrate organic food into your diet by replacing “dirty” produce with organic options and dumping highly processed food. Getting rid of the processed snacks will help free up a few dollars in your budget and cut combat your cravings for processed food. The “dirty dozen” as this list is known, are the foods that most heavily compromised by the use of pesticides. If you can’t go 100% organic, simply replacing these twelve items will have the greatest impact.
The best thing about a farmer’s market is the opportunity to talk to the farmers themselves. There are some small farms that aren’t yet certified organic, though they may be using organic practices. You can join or form a buying group or even a Community Supported Agricultural Program. These groups make arrangements to buy in bulk and buy in season. You can also do this as an individual, but the quantities may be overwhelming.
Staples like sugar, rice, nuts, and beans can be bought in bulk and kept for a long time when stored properly. Buying these dry-goods in bulk from stores that skip the packaging and allow you to purchase at nearly wholesale prices. Can’t find a store in your area with bulk bins? You can now buy bulk organic food online. A number of food delivery services have popped up with bulk buying and organic options.
You can buy everything from organic cereals to organic fair-trade coffee in bulk quantities online. You aren’t limited to what’s available in your area or wedded to local pricing. You can find fabulous organic items online and many online retailers offer free or reduced shipping. You can also buy bulk organic food online and stock up on staple items at Otte Foods. The one drawback? Buying online might be a challenge if you are moving into a zero-waste lifestyle. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to check for deals on organic food.
When thinking about how to get the most out of your food budget, don’t be ashamed to take lessons from serious coupon-users. Clear out some space in your pantry or freezer for deals. If you have coupons, or an unbeatable sale comes along, feel free to stock up. Put excess items away in storage for later. Most importantly, enjoy the process knowing that you’re not only scoring great deals, but you’re also eating better too.