The fact is that buying organic food as well as buying other “green” products (or making your own) makes the world less toxic for all living things, including but not limited to humans. Buying organic supports the idea that we want the food we eat to be raised without the use of toxic pesticides, fertilizers, and drugs. But, we all know buying organic can be EXPENSIVE.
Here are some ways that you can shop more efficiently for organic ingredients while saving money:
#1 – BUY THE STORE BRAND FIRST:
I mostly go for the organic generic store brand first. The private label organic brand is just as good a quality as the brand name organic brand. Again, it’s going to come down to preference and availability of some things, but this can make a HUGE difference in pricing.
#2 – PRIORITIZE THE SHOPPING CART:
Consumer Reports estimates that your food budget will rise by a whopping 50% if you choose an organic item as a substitute for each item you need. Prioritize what items you need to buy organic and choose the generic or cheapest brand for everything else.
#3 – BUY ACCORDING TO THE DIRTY DOZEN:
Speaking of prioritizing the shopping cart, the Environmental Working Group puts out a list each year that categorizes the top 12 produce that has the most pesticide contamination. You can use this list to reference which produce items absolutely need to be bought in organic form. (The full list contains 40+ produce items in total, but the top 12 make it easier to manage).
#4 – BECOME A LABEL LEADER:
Along with a lot of confusing labels, it’s hard to know what is organic and what is not. Become a smart label reader to ensure you are buying organic products and not spending money on fancy expensive goods that may look good, but are not organic.
#5 – SAVE A LITTLE MORE EVERY WEEK:
Since your food budget will increase with the addition of organic items, you may need to set back a little more money. If you save only $5 each week instead of buying that expensive coffee, you can have that $25 or $30 at the end of every month to treat yourself to healthier organic food.
#6 – MAKE THE MARKET LOOP:
If you make the trip to a farmer’s market to buy some of your organic products, do not buy everything at the first stand. Instead, take a trip around the market first to compare quality and prices. Bear in mind that farmer’s markets are perfect for discussing bulk items. Needing a large amount of fruit for smoothies? You could save cash by purchasing in bulk here.
#7 – STOCK UP AT THE BIG BOX STORES:
Big box wholesalers enable you to buy a selection of organic products in bulk, including granola, cereals, peanut butter, and so much more. If you are a member of a wholesaler, it’s a great idea to check the prices and sales to see if you can get these healthy items at a bargain price.