Choosing organic food doesn’t have to mean a hefty grocery bill. These tips make it possible to save money (and time) when buying organic.
1. Be flexible.
Save money by trying new things. Let coupons and store deals introduce you to new foods, and buy non-perishable sale items in bulk. For canned foods, choose brands that use BPA-free liners.
2. Stay in season.
Consider skipping tomatoes in the winter. In-season fruits and vegetables taste better and cost less.
3. Skip pre-portioned foods.
Don’t drain your budget on convenience and packaging material. Buy a whole chicken and cut it up yourself (save the bones for stock), or divide that large box of crackers into nontoxic food storage containers at home.
4. Add affordable ingredients.
Beans, eggs and vegetables make nutrient-rich, cost-effective meals that can be prepared quickly or in advance.
5. Hit the bulk section.
Stock up on rice, beans, seeds and grains in your market’s bulk section. Some retailers offer discounts if you bring your own reusable jars or bags.
6. Use what you buy.
Choose ingredients that can be used in more than one meal, as well as ones your family will actually eat.
7. Visit a Farmer’s Market or try a CSA.
Find fresh foods through a community-supported agriculture project, which may deliver straight to your door. (Not all locally farmed food is organic. Be sure to ask farmers whether they use chemical pesticides or fertilizers).
8. Shop online.
Scan online retailers to compare prices and find deals, all from the comfort of home.
9. Plan for leftovers.
Make large batches of soups, sauces, casseroles and other meals, then freeze leftovers. Defrost anytime for a fast, healthy (and already paid-for) meal.
10. Go slow and steady.
Gradually add more organic foods to your shopping list and dinner table, then be consistent. Small changes add up to healthy habits for life.
Reproduced with the permission of the Environmental Working Group, www.healthychild.org