7 Ways to Eat Organically on a Budget!
As any savvy shopper knows, eating organically can be expensive. This is where a popular organic supermarket gets its nickname, “Whole Paycheck”. But, becoming wiser in knowing what to choose when buying organic is easier than you think. A little label reading and a lot comparison shopping will conquer what may be perceived as “too much money.”
With today’s economic pressures on the family home, it may be easy to choose the less expensive option, the conventional counterpart. This low price tag comes with a high cost to health: heavy pesticide load, genetically-modified food, and chemical-rich preservatives that have a longer term effect on wellness. With the Non-GMO Project and other efforts putting this information out mainstream, this is not a new story.
The price of organic food may be higher in the short run, but families are making the investment to benefit their health in the long run.
So, how do they do it? It’s easy, plan ahead and stick to the plan. Here are 7 Ways to Eat Organically on a Budget and maintain a healthy nutrition plan year-round.
1. Practice the Simple Stretch
Start to think about certain ingredients that can be used for multiple different purposes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. This healthful liquid can be used in so many ways! You can use this to add tang to stir-frys, as a base for dressings, for a light cleanse in health drinks, and as a pleasant preservative for pickling and canning. Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is also a mainstay in the medicine cabinet; ingesting it helps reduce sinus infection and sore throat, balances high cholesterol, cures acne, strengthens the immune system, and even keeps the mosquitoes away!
Organic Rice. This tasty grain can bulk up your healthy organic meals with a little more depth and a low price tag. You can serve stir frys, soups, and chili over rice to add volume to these dishes and help you keep leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch! Seek out 5 pounds or more to save even more.
Organic Oats. As an affordable addition to your family’s shelves, oats can be used in more ways than oatmeal for breakfast. Sub them for flour when baking, add them to veggie burgers, and even use it as a natural skin exfoliant but adding honey and water in a scrub!
Organic Beans. Get friendly with this pantry partner to add protein, vitamins, and minerals to your favorite dishes. Spin up some dips in a high-speed blender, sprinkle them on top of your salad, use them as a base in veggie tacos, and more! Shop at Aldi to find the lowest prices around on organic canned goods.
2. Spy Out Circulars
More and more health food stores and supermarkets are catching on to marketing trends of organic food. Retailers are now adding organic items to their weekly specials to draw in more customers. Even online websites are stepping up their game. Our favorite is VitaCost for great prices, selection, shipping and service.
3. Stick to the Plan
It is proven that keeping to your shopping list saves you money. Decide your meal plan for the week ahead of time instead of “on the fly” in the aisles. Staying on course with your list cuts down on the impulsive purchases when shopping. Try to select recipes that make full use of the ingredients you add to your cart.
4. Plant a Home Garden
You would be surprised at how easy it is to grow vegetables! Start with a 4 foot by 4 foot space to get your home garden started. Picking three leaves at a time off your Kale, Chard, and Spinach plants helps stretch out the longevity of a plant rather than cutting the whole thing at once. Best part, its fun and rewarding for whole family!
5. Find a Farmer’s Market
There are so many benefits to connecting with the local growers in your region. You get access to fresh picked produce at peak nutritional quality that is more affordable. It is not only cheaper but also supports your local economy. And, you get to make friends with your farmer and get to know how your food is cultivated. Sometimes, you are even able to barter and trade with them. What fun! Check out LocalHarvest to find a farm or farmer’s market near you!
6. Partner with Family and Friends to Buy Bulk
Remember to use simple math when calculate your food costs. Organic food costs less per volume when you buy more. Get your family and friends to chip in on a large bag of grain, family packs of cereal, or flats of canned goods. Plus, you get to help the environment by reducing the amount of packaging per unit.
7. Close Your Loops
Utilize all your food scraps to the fullest by extending their life cycle. Keep your vegetable peels and shavings to make a veggie broth. Compost your trimmings to add nutrients back in your soil. Keep leftovers and have a “pot luck” dinner. Freeze your bruising fruits to extend their longevity for use in smoothies and baking.
We hope our 7 Ways to Eat Organically on a Budget will help you and your family stay happy, healthy, and financially fit!
Your farmers and friends,
Stephen & Sarah