While most consumers now understand the benefits of consuming organic foods for both their family and the environment, many still shy away due to price concerns. Once difficult to find, organically grown meats, dairy products, fruits and veggies have become much more affordable as their availability has increased, yet they can still be a bit more expensive to purchase than the less healthy, commercially produced versions. If this price difference has kept you from incorporating more healthful foods into your diet, consider using these tips from to help you go organic easily, even on a tight budget!
Focus on Ingredients
One of the best ways to is to focus on purchasing basic, versatile ingredients instead of pre-packaged, convenience type foods that only last for one meal. For instance, purchasing a large bag of organic rice will help you create several meals for your family instead of just one pre-packaged, seasoned rice side dish.
Eating organically is not something that must be implemented all at once. Instead of overloading the budget with huge purchases of organic foods, use a more gradual approach. For example, when you run low on a specific item in your pantry or fridge, opt to replace it with an organic one. After only a few weeks, you will find that you are eating a much healthier, more organic diet without bankrupting your grocery budget.
Eat Seasonally, Eat Local
Learn to ! Watch for both the harvesting schedule of local growers and seasonal specials on certain items in the grocery store, such as strawberries and blueberries in the spring, tomatoes in summer, apples and potatoes in the fall and citrus in the winter. This will often be the least expensive times to purchase these items for several months or even the entire year, so consider buying in bulk and freezing or processing the excess to use throughout the year.
Opt for Store Brand Organic
Popular brands of commercially processed foods always cost more and this fact often holds true in the organic food industry too. To save money, experiment with store brand organic products. In most cases, the taste and quality will be just as good, yet the price will be far less.
Take Advantage of Quantity Discounts
The freshest, least expensive organic foods will usually be the ones grown locally. Develop a relationship with reputable growers in your area or search them out through farmer’s markets, roadside stands or direct farm sales. When you find a great deal on delicious, organically grown meats, fruits or veggies, purchase them in quantity and learn to freeze, can or dehydrate the excess for future meals.
Change Up Menu Plans
Another great way to enjoy the quality of organic foods on a budget is to change up menu plans a bit. Learn to make delicious soups with veggie trimmings and the rich broth made from poultry or beef bones or substitute protein-rich foods like beans for some or all of the meat in traditional recipes.
With smart shopping and a bit of creativity, you may soon find yourself enjoying a pantry, fridge and freezer full of delicious organic foods, even on a budget!