A very loyal patient of mine once asked, "Doctors are always advising me to eat healthy, eat organic, and exercise. Do they not know eating healthy is more expensive than eating fast food?" Unfortunately, that is a sad truth. This disturbing fact motivated me to research and share several ways to mitigate the initial money pains of buying organic foods.
1. BUY IN BULK
Many store sell products at a discounted rate when they are purchased in bulk. Growing up in a decent size family, my mother always use to always buy the whole animal, cut it into pieces, and freeze the portions she did not use. I did not understand the point back then, but now I share that exact practice. Buy in bulk and save!
2. PRIORITIZE AND MAKE A SHOPPING LIST
Baby steps if you are just starting out with the conversion to a healthy, organic lifestyle. Limit yourself to impulse purchases at the grocery store. Set a budget, create a list (with your must haves at the top), and stick to it. You can use the "Clean 15" and "Dirty Dozen" lists on the ewg.org as a guide if you like. I personally think meat and diary products should be at the top of your shopping lists due to the high exposure of hormones and pesticides.
3. BUY IN-STORE ORGANIC BRANDS
It seems like every grocery chains have their own in-house organic brand . Examples are below:
Safeways: O Organics
Kroger: Simple Truth Organic
Target: Simply Balanced
Whole Foods: 365 Everyday Value
Aldi: Simply Natural
Stop & Shop/Giant: A Nature's Promise
Check out your nearest grocery to see if they carry an organic chain.
4. LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
I understand not everyone may live nearby a farm. To find one closest to your area, click here. When I eat the food from my local farmers market, you can definitely taste the difference from non-organic. The flavors explode in my mouth. Fresh with a capital F.
Here is an amazing tip: farmers do not like to lug all the produce back to farm at the end of the day so 1-2 hours prior to closing, they cut their prices dramatically.
5. SHOP ONLINE
I do not know one person who does not enjoy convenient, cost friendly online shopping. With a click of a button, you can have fresh, organic, non-GMO, pesticide & hormone free foods at your doorstep. Here are some wonderful websites to shop a wide variety of organic and healthy foods.
Before you check out online, visit Retail Me Not for online promotional codes and discounts for all your favorite online sources.
6. USE YOUR GREEN THUMB
Organic herbs are probably one of the most, if not the most, overpriced items at the grocery store. Plant your own an herb somewhere convenient so you can always have fresh herbs easily accessible.
7. USE YOUR FREEZER
Frozen produce is almost always cheaper than fresh, especially if the fruit or vegetable is out of season. Here are some helpful ways to use your freezer in helping you store organic items:
Cook large portions and freeze all left overs into appropriately sized portions.
Buy local produce when in season and freeze to save for out of season.
What are ways you save money when shopping organic? Share below!
Let the savings begin!