7 Ways to Buy Organic Food on the Cheap

By Rick D

from Eat Local Grown

Why is Organic food so Expensive!

(hint: It’s not.)

Antioxidants_Plant_Based_Cover 1We get a ton of comments from people that are always asking “Why is Organic food so expensive!”. That’s a tough question to answer for a lot of reasons, particularly because expensive is such a relative term. My personal thoughts on the matter are that organic food is no more expensive than it’s always been– if you look at it from the standpoint of a percentage of household income. Around 60-70 years ago, we spend a much larger percent of our money on food than we do now.

And the main reason is that junk food is really cheap. Food manufacturers figured out that if they switched out ‘real food’ and replaced it with ingredients like fillers, artificial color and artificial flavors, costs went way down. And people didn’t care! They kept buying it. As a matter of fact, the companies with the cheapest food-like products started selling more than companies with ‘real food’.

Whether you agree with that line of reasoning or not, the fact remains that Junk Food is cheaper than Organic.


How to Save Money on Organic Food

We scoured the web to find some of the best tips and tricks out there. Each tip lists the website that supplied the tip and we recommend you visit them for even more great information…

1. Eat with the Season

Retrain your taste buds to think like your grandmother did. She didn’t eat strawberries in the middle of winter.Locally grown foods are usually cheaper than those flown in from another hemisphere so if you eat with the season, you’ll be eating more affordably. – Via allergykids.com

eatlocalgrown says: We bought organic peaches, plums and nectarines last year at $5 of 5 pounds at the local farmers market! The trick is find these items when they are at the peak of the season. We bought 20 pounds, sliced them up and froze them, then used them in smoothies for a few months. Find similar deals on apples and oranges.

2. Buy organic in the freezer section

A December 2013 study looked at the difference in the vitamin and mineral content of eight different fruits and vegetables when they were fresh versus frozen. While the produce was not organic, the findings are still applicable. The researchers found that fresh produce degrades over time, resulting in a loss of certain nutrients. Fresh produce stored for five days had lower values of vitamins A and C and folate compared to the frozen version. What’s more, you can use what you need and put the rest back in the freezer, rather than risking the food going bad and then having to throw it out—along with the money you spent. – Via youbeauty.com

eatlocalgrown says: Frozen berries are fantastic in smoothies. They makes your smoothies cold without adding ice. Frozen fruit is also a great organic snack treat for kids on a hot day instead of a sugary popsicle!

3. Look for “ripe” markdowns

Go to a local health food store where normally there is a section in which food that will go bad the next day is kept. Food that is fully ripe like bananas with black dots are cheaper than green ones.   So often markets mark down food that doesn’t look as “pretty” or that is completely ripe and needs to be eaten very soon.  So look for food that is of the best quality and buy that at a reduced price, which is possible. – Via therawfoodfamily.com

4. Join a CSA

A CSA or community supported agriculture is another way you can buy local and seasonal foods directly from a farmer. Each week you’ll receive a box of fruits and vegetables, and other farm products may be included. All depends on the package you decide to select. Essentially its a weekly subscription of the freshest produce that is in season. Its a great way to try new vegetables for new ways of cooking. – Via greenjuiceaday.com

5. Use more ground meats

Use ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, as much as you can. You can make burgers, chili, meat loaf, spaghetti, tacos, etc… Using ground meats is one of the best ways to make your budget stretch further- for example, pairing ground beef for tacos with homemade pinto beans and Spanish rice will easily feed an average size family for multiple nights, and probably some lunches too. Via – theorganicmomma.com


6. Time is Money

It’s much cheaper and more nutritious to cook your own food, even though it takes more time and effort. It will leave much more room in your budget for organic produce. If you go for preserving food in season by canning, freezing and dehydrating, you can save a bundle. Via – savvyvegetarian.com

7. Buy in Bulk

We aren’t talking about those huge bundles of toilet paper people buy at box stores. Your local organic Co-ops and health food stores have bulk sections, too! Buy beans, legumes, grains, spices, etc. in large quantities and save. If you buy in bulk, though, be smart. Before you buy, learn how to properly store your food before you buy all those hearty grains to ensure they don’t go bad. Via – organicauthority.com

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