There is a lot of controversy surrounding the word “organic.” While many people are educated on the importance of opting for organic due to the ever-growing list of foods inflicted with GMOs, synthetic pesticides, roundup herbicides, growth-promoting antibiotics and more, they simply can’t seem to fathom spending more money on a product when the cheaper option is in front of their face. And although it can easily be said that, while you spend less money on non-organic, you might be upping your risk of spending more money on medical bills in the long run, perhaps what people need to focus their energy on is ways to be both organic and budget-friendly.
Here are a list of ways you can buy organic without breaking the bank:
Hitting up your neighborhood farmers’ market is a great place to start. Not only is the experience a lively event, but prices aren’t raised between manufacturer and distributor. There are small grocery stores tailored around this very idea as well. Search online to see if you have any grower to consumer markets near you.
Stick To The Staples
Sometimes we confuse the words gourmet with organic. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t meant it has to be outrageously expensive. Pick foods that you use daily and provide abundance in quantity, as opposed to the rarest and smallest vegetable you might try a new recipe out with at some point.
Choose Your Food Wisely
Non-organic food has tricked our brains into creating a disdain for foods that go bad quickly. While buying organic may mean quicker expiration dates, it could potentially mean prolonged longevity for your wellbeing. It’s also helpful to become aware of the foods that naturally last a long time. You already know bananas go brown quickly — organic or not — but apples last for months. Check out this list to get an idea of what fruits and vegetables to stock up on if you’re not planning on consuming them within a couple days.
It’s a bummer to be berry-deprived in the winter months, but if you’re worried about your budget, it’s important to note that fruits and vegetables that aren’t in season are likely shipped in from far-off destinations, which makes them more expensive. Buying locally grown, seasonal produce is not only cheaper, but also much better for the environment, too.
Stay Away From Pre-Packaged Meals
Eating a frozen dinner sounds a lot more inviting when it’s organic, and opting for an already put together recipe sounds quicker than cooking from scratch, but be wary of the prices. You’re better off buying the ingredients of your favorite dish separately and making it yourself. Most of the pre-packaged dinner options include fairly simple ingredients, so you won’t have to buy a billion things to whip it up.
Know That Not All Foods Are Created Equal
So you LOVE avocados, but every time you buy organic your grocery bill skyrockets. The thing is, not all organic fruits and veggies are priced the same. Bananas are cheap and avocados are expensive. But you can still buy a basket full of organic fruits and veggies for the week and keep your bill low. Just be aware of what costs what. One week you might need to sacrifice your avos, and perhaps the next week you indulge. Take a look at the varying costs of the fruits and veggies you often buy on the USDA website.
Do It Yourself
When you buy pre-washed, pre-chopped fruits and vegetables, you’re paying a convenience fee. Instead, buy them whole, and spend the time washing and chopping them yourself, putting them into food storage containers for the week. While it might sound tedious, it truly takes up minimal time in the grand scheme of things.