A lot of families are switching to an organic-only diet. Organic food is healthier because it doesn’t contain preservatives or chemicals. However, it is not cheap to eat organically; families that do not have the income to support an organic diet are less able to make these dietary changes. If you would like to try an organic diet, you can find ways to make your diet more organic without spending as much money as you would spend in the supermarket.
Support Your Local Farmer’s Market
If you want to switch to a more organic diet, the first thing you need to do is give up the supermarkets in favor of local farmer’s markets. Most supermarkets have an organic section; however, the food in these sections is often overpriced, and you won’t find as much of a selection in the supermarket as you will at local farmer’s markets.
Farmer’s markets have several advantages over supermarkets besides lower prices. When you shop at the farmer’s market, you have the opportunity to talk directly with each farmer who is selling his or her goods. You can ask farmers directly whether they farm organically, which vegetables they recommend you buy, and any other questions you may have for them. You also have the opportunity to haggle with farmers over prices; you can sometimes get a discounted price on fruits or vegetables that have bruises but are otherwise fine. Finally, by buying fruits and vegetables at your local farmer’s market, you support local farms so that they can continue to produce organic food.
Buy In Bulk
It is often cheaper to buy organic items in bulk than to buy them in small amounts. You can sometimes get bulk items at a discount from club stores or big-box stores.
Organic grains and nuts can be stored in airtight containers. You can also buy organic fruit and vegetables in bulk. Put fruits and vegetables in the freezer until you are ready to use them. They won’t spoil as long as they are frozen; just thaw them out when you are ready to eat. Many people buy organic fruit during the summer months and freeze them so that they can eat them throughout the winter.
Join a CSA
In the summer months, you can buy a share in a farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Generally, every week you receive a substantial amount of fruits and/or vegetables. This is a great way to try new vegetables and to eat healthy, since you are making a commitment to use a lot of vegetables each week. It is also a great chance to save vegetables up for later (e.g. freeze corn, or make soup to freeze).
Pay Attention to Season
Most fruits and vegetables grow best during certain seasons. As the season progresses, the prices on these items often fall because farmers need to get rid of them so that they can prepare to harvest the next season’s crops.
The more you know about what fruits and vegetables grow when, the more likely you are to get good deals. Towards the end of the season, you can sometimes negotiate very low prices for the fruits and vegetables you most want at the farmer’s market because the farmers are so eager to get rid of them.
Buy Over the Internet
Another option for getting organic foods cheaply is to look online. Although you may have to pay for shipping, you can often get organic foods for lower prices at online stores. You can find the cheapest prices at stores that are dedicated to selling organic food; these online shops are the Internet equivalent of farmer’s markets.