Organic Food Shopping On A Budget – Tips and Tricks
When you’re trying to do your organic food shopping on a budget, it can be a challenge. We’ve got some great tips and tricks to make it easier on you:
1 -Buy Organic Foods in bulk
One of the best ways to make it easier to do your organic food shopping on a budget is to start buying bulk items. Instead of a brand name rice in a consumer-friendly size, buy larger bulk sizes. If you regularly use beans, grains, nuts, seeds, or dried fruits, get the largest size you can. Sometimes you can even get 25 and 50 pound bags and they’ll be significantly cheaper per pound than buying one or two pounds at a time.
2 – Shop and stock up when items are on sale
When you’re organic food shopping on a budget, it helps to be flexible about the foods you purchase and only by ‘treat’ items when they’re on sale. Also, if you use certain items regularly and they go on sale, buy enough to last you a few months or longer. It may cost more in the short term to stock up, but in the long run you’ll really be saving money.
3 – Choose produce wisely
There are some fruits and veggies that you’ll really want to make sure are organic, and some that aren’t as important to buy organic. When you’re organic food shopping on a budget, you’ll want to focus your organic purchases on the Dirty Dozen: Apples, Celery, Strawberries, Peaches, Spinach, Nectarines (imported), Grapes (imported), Sweet Bell Peppers, Potatoes, Blueberries, Lettuce, Kale/Collards. The Clean 15 is a list of produce that aren’t highly sprayed so you don’t need to buy those organic: Onions, Avocados, Sweet Corn, Pineapple, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Cabbage, Kiwi, Eggplant, Papaya, Watermelon, Broccoli, Tomatoes and Sweet Potatoes.
4 – Buy produce in season
Organic or not, all produce is cheaper when its in season. If you’re look for apples in the middle of summer, not only will they be two or three times the price as they’d be in the fall, they also won’t taste very good after being stored for months. Learn when different fruits and veggies are in season and use that as a guide to when the best time to buy will be. Your local produce departments will often put on sale the items that are in season but not always, so keep an eye out. Make use of your freezer or learn how to can, jar, or ferment your foods. This way you can buy organic produce when they’re in season and on sale and use it all year long. There’s a very short window when my local grocery store has organic strawberries for 99 cents a pint. I love strawberries and I won’t buy them if they aren’t organic, so when I see that sale, I really stock up and freeze them.
When you are organic food shopping on a budget, you’ll know that some items are quite expensive at the store. Greens, which are so important to buy organic, can really get pricey. Thankfully, its really easy to grow your own. Choose some organic seeds that work well with your climate (I like ‘Marvel of Four Seasons’ because it is heat and cold tolerant) and start planting. With many varieties of greens, you can pick leaves off for your salads and the plant continues to produce more throughout the season. It is a great cost-effective way to get organic greens very inexpensively.
6 – Look for store brands
Another great tip for organic food shopping on a budget is look for the store brands, wherever you are. Typically these are much less expensive because those brands don’t have the marketing budget that the larger brands do. The products are often the exact same as what you’d get buying a brand name so don’t be afraid of trying the least expensive organic brand. Larger stores like Whole Foods (365 Brand), Safeway (O Brand) and Kroger (Simple Truth) have their own store brands. Even in some smaller health food stores have an organic private label brand called Cadia that is just as good as the big brands.
As you can see there are many ways to make organic food shopping on a budget easier. If you have other tips and tricks that you use, please share them in the comments below.