7 Tips for Making Organic Food Affordable

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When people talk about eating organic food, the first objection that comes up is always “it’s too expensive!” But eating organic doesn’t have to be expensive – if you do it right….

First of all, while organic foods might appear more pricey than “conventionally” grown when you see them side-by-side in the grocery store, there are a number of costs which are not so quantifiable. What about the costs to the environment? To our long-term health, and the health of our future generations? These are a lot harder to put a price tag on.

But obviously, for some people, the more important consideration at the moment is the impact on your wallet. This article shares 7 tips for making organic foods more affordable right now.

Hint 1:  Eat with the season

Retrain your cravings to “behave” like your grandmother did. She did not eat strawberries in the middle of winter, right? Locally grown foods are usually cheaper than those imported from the opposite hemisphere, so if you eat with the season, you will be eating more affordably.

Hint 2:  Buy organic in the freezer section

A December 2013 study looked at the difference in the vitamin and mineral content of 8 different vegetables and fruits when they were fresh versus when they were frozen. Although 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 valuable nutrients. Fresh produce stored for 5 days had lower values of vitamins A and C and folate compared with the frozen version….

Hint 3:  Look for “ripe” markdowns 

Go to a local health food store where normally there is a section with food that is “ripe” or “day-old”. Food that is fully ripe (like bananas with black blotches) is often cheaper than the green version. Very often markets mark down food that does not look as “pretty” or that is completely ripe….

Hint 4:  Join a CSA

Joining a CSA, short for Community Supported Agriculture, is another way you can buy local and seasonal food directly from the source – the farmer. Each week you will receive a box of fruits and vegetables, and other farm products may be included….

Hint 5:  Use more ground meats

Use ground beef, pork, mutton, veal, game and poultry as much as you can. You can make all sorts of delicious bites: burgers, chili, meat loafs, spaghetti, tacos, etc… you name it. They are generally cheaper than other meat cuts, and you can stretch them further too….

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Hint 6:  Time is money

It is much cheaper and more nutritious to “make your own bread” even though it takes more time and effort. It will leave much more room in your budget for buying “expensive” organic produce. If you go for preserving food in season by canning, freezing and dehydrating it, you can save a good bundle!

Hint 7:  Buy in bulk

We are not 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, as well! Buy beans, legumes, grains, spices, etc. in large quantities and store them….

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