When it comes to go all organic, people are often stopped by the prices. We all want a healthy lifestyle but we cannot all afford to shop weekly in specialty stores. But nowadays, with a few ground rules and a little planning, it is possible to choose a healthy living without emptying your bank account. Try to see your organic shopping as an investment in your future health. Less toxic chemicals, heavy metal and GMOs along the way will reduce your future medical bills. So, how to go organic on a budget?
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
When you join a CSA, you are basically buying from a farm in your area. It’s the best way to get fresh, nutritious foods at more affordable prices. How it works is simple. You purchase a membership at a farm (shares) and in return you get a box of fruits and vegetables every week throughout the farming season. A variation of this model is the “mix and match” CSA; Instead of receiving a standard produce box, the members can load their own boxes with some degree of choice. Sometimes, farmers also offers eggs, bread, meat or cheese. To find a CSA in your area, you can go to the LocalHarvest website and enter your zipcode.
Go to Farmer’s Markets
When going to Farmer’s markets, you can cut the middle man and find seasonal organic products at competitive prices. The trick is to go at the end of the market day when farmers want to get rid of their remaining products. They will cut the prices to do not have to bring back what they didn’t sell.
Look for Sales & Coupons
All stores have sales and coupons you can take advantage of. Even Wholefoods Market has an app and a web page dedicated to coupons. Another way to get good prices is to look into the membership program stores. Costco has more and more organic products at affordable prices. Target and Trader’s Joe also offer organic products at competitive prices.
Grow Your Own
If you have a green thumb or enjoy gardening, it’s the absolute cheapest way to eat organic. If you have a garden, you can go full scale and grow your own vegetable patch. Otherwise if you just have a patio or a balcony, you can still grow a decent amount of vegetables and fruits. We recently talked about small area gardens here.
Eat Fresh and Avoid Processed Foods
Organic processed foods are often way more expensive than fresh produces. It requires a little bit more work but cooking from scratch will be rewarding at the cash register. Avoid also “pre-cut” or “pre-washed” products, they can cost up to twice the normal price.
Buy Healthy in Bulk
You can buy in bulk at any store when items are on sale or at wholesale stores like Costco, especially dry foods that you can store in airtight containers. For fresh foods, only buy what you know you can freeze or eat before it spoils. You can easily buy chicken or meat in bulk and freeze part of it.
Fresh products are less expensive when they are in season. They are also more flavorful and nutritious. So eat them fresh, can them or freeze them for later.
There are a lot of “Do it Yourself” natural recipes out there for masks, scrubs, moisturizers, deodorants and more. You can make them all organic without paying exorbitant prices. They are most of the times using herbs, essential oils and basic products that you can find in your kitchen and you could be surprised by the efficiency of these simple recipes.