When most people think of organic food they think of spending lots of money. Yes, organic can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. There are ways of getting around breaking the bank on food that is without chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, artificial flavors, sweeteners, and/or colors.
As someone who consistently purchases organic food and a former employee of Whole Foods, I can share a few tips about it.
- Purchase Store Brands: Many brand name organic products such as Amy’s Kitchen, Stonyfield Farm, and Muir Glen taste great, but you’re definitely going to pay an arm and a leg. Stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have their own line of organic products that taste just as good as brand names and sometimes taste better.
- Think Outside of the Box: Packaged products cost more than products that aren’t packaged. This reigns true for organic products as well. Gravitate towards whole foods and make your own meals.
- Shop Around: While Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods have several locations and are conveniently located, there are other stores that carry organic products. Check your local listings for organic and natural markets and also try your local farmer’s market.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Use EBT: Many assume that stores who carry organic products couldn’t possibly accept EBT, but they do. If you have EBT you should know that Trader Joe’s , Whole Foods, and other organic markets accept it.
- Participate in Community Shared Agriculture: Visit LocalHarvest.org to find a local CSA program near you. Most CSA programs have payment tiers and go buy income and family size. CSA programs accept EBT as well.
- Clip Coupons: Check your local Sunday newspaper for coupons. Once you get to the store of your choice check the door for coupons and specials. There are usually sales papers as soon as you walk in.
- Buy Bulk: Buying bulk won’t only save you a few trips to the grocery store it will also save you money. Non-perishables like beans, grains, lentils, and nuts are ideal for buying bulk.
- Shop Seasonal: You automatically save money by purchasing organic produce that is in season. Prices are always lower when there is a greater supply. Also, stock up. Most fruits and vegetables will last up to six months in the freezer.
- Grow Your Own Food: There’s no better way to tell if food is truly organic or not than growing it yourself. If you don’t have a backyard or an apartment balcony there are tons of community gardens popping up everywhere. LocalHarvest.org also has listings for community gardens.
- Get a Shopping Partner: Many people go in together on CSA and buying bulk with someone else. It saves money and it can also make the experience fun.