There’s a common misconception that organic foods are always more expensive and difficult to fit into the average grocery budget. However, many savvy consumers have found ways to cut toxins and hormones out of their diets without breaking the bank. Take for example, Hannah Wallace, who did an all-organic food stamp challenge with her fiancé for Lent last year. “We ate nourishing, fulfilling meals–some of them more inspired than what we regularly cook–and I’m proud to report that we stayed within our budget of $526 a month for a family of three, with a few dollars to spare, Wallace shared.”
Here are a few tips on how you too can begin eating more organic foods in an affordable way.
Shop at the Local Farmer’s Market
Support your local farmers and save money by buying locally-grown foods that cost less than those that are shipped from far away. Some shoppers are even able to develop personal relationships with their local farmers and negotiate prices. Hang around farmers’ markets at the end of the day, because some sellers will cut prices at closing time so they don’t have to haul produce back to the farm.
Buy Raw, Unprocessed Foods
Organic foods aren’t necessarily unprocessed foods, as there are many processed organic products for sale at the supermarket. However, the most cost-effective way to buy organic foods is by choosing food items in their raw, natural, and unprocessed form. These are staple foods that require you to get creative in the kitchen and make time for cooking meals at home.
Plan Meals and Cook at Home
Not only is cooking meals at home healthier for you, but it’s also a great way to save money. When you cook your own foods from scratch, you know exactly what it in them, meaning that you can safely avoid chemical additives and preservatives. Planning meals ahead of time and staying organized with a food budget takes time and effort. However, you can save a great deal of money by learning how to portion foods, prioritize ingredients, and keep track of your food spending habits.
Buy in Bulk
There are lots of organic foods that can be bought in bulk, including legumes, beans, rice and dried herbs. Organic cereal, nuts, and grains also last when stored for quite a while, so skip the excess packaging and stock up!
Look for Coupons and Sales
Take advantage of “buy one get one free” sales and scope out organic coupon sites. A couple sites to check out are Organic Deals and Saving Naturally. If Whole Foods is your go-to organic food store, scope out and print out Whole Foods coupons before you leave the house to shop.
For more money-saving ideas on how to eat organic, flip through Linda Watson’s book, Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet–All on $5 a Day or Less. To get everyone in the family excited about organic foods, browse through Disney Family’s “20 Budget-Friendly Organic Meals” and pick one out for tonight!