Is Organic Expensive? 12 ways to eat organic on a budget

how-to-eat-organic-on-a-budget

Organic foods are very popular amongst people who care about their health and want to eat food without any added pesticides and harmful chemicals. Organic food can also put a hole in your pocket as it is very expensive as compared to inorganic food. The organic produce is very low as compared to inorganic produce which makes it more expensive. There is always a  shortage of supply in proportion to the demand. It costs more to farmers to produce organic food as no pesticides are used in the process, which makes handling the crops with intensive care. It is a time taking process which reduces the capacity of the produce. However by using some hacks one can buy organic food at a much cheaper rate. Here are some tips and tricks which will help you maintain your budget .

Directly from the farmers

Now you must be wondering how can I buy from a farmer? Where will I find a farm nearby? Will they be fine by selling me their produce?  Many communities offer farmers to directly sell their produce . This gives a chance to the consumers to buy directly from the farmers at a much cheaper rate. You can also find some nearby farms locally and ask for their organic produce. Getting their produce can be challenging but once you talk to them, they become friendly and easily sell their produce. Farming is not just their profession, they love to produce these crops and one can easily establish a connection with some efforts. You will be shocked to know the price difference between supermarkets and farmer’s prices.

Buy Frozen Food

There is no such need to buy fresh food if you need to buy organic. Frozen foods are a great option and comparatively cheaper than fresh produce. Although according to a study the nutritional value is not affected by the food becoming frozen. As farming is a regular process the produce needs to be frozen to add up to its shelf life and to reduce wastage.

Grow your food

As complicated it may seem, it is very easy to start growing your crops. You don’t need a farm to do so. You can start planting by small pots and later grow the plant area as per the need. There are many smart techniques which one can follow to grow plants for example you can grow on the window sill, the driveway, buy a smart wall planter. You should start by planting herbs as they are very expensive and take very little space in planting. You can recycle your pickle jars, empty cans, egg boxes for planting. Herbs should be planted somewhere near the kitchen so they are easily accessible. Organic herbs are one of the highest-priced items in a grocery store.  Once you are good with planting you can also gift these little plants to family and friends instead of purchasing some worthless gifts.

You can also buy some chickens and start your little hatchery. People often tend to produce so many eggs that they end up selling these eggs at a profitable rate.

You can create butter and jams at your place.  These are very organic and fresh as they are prepared by yourself.

Purchase during reduced hours

Many supermarkets generally reduce the pricing of perishable items by 50-80% during the evening as they can’t sell the product after it reaches the expiry date. Frequent shoppers at the supermarket often know these hacks. You might get a very good deal at these reduced hours.

Although the time slot is not fixed when the prices will be reduced they are usually decreased after 6 pm.

Buy Seasonal

Want to keep the cost down, the best way to keep the cost down is to purchase organic produce which grows in that particular season only. Produce which is out of season is generally expensive as it has to travel from the places which are far away and are suitable for the produce. The added expenditure on transportation and procurement makes the produce expensive. Since you are getting the seasonal produce the prices will also tend to go down as they are grown in abundance in that particular season.

Bulk buying

You must be thinking if we buy in bulk the food will get deteriorated with time, this is partially true, there are some products which might get deteriorated but products like pulses, pasta, dried food, and vegetables like potatoes and onions generally have a longer shelf life. You can also buy whole animals butchered at a cheap price. Chop and freeze it into portions and defrost it as necessary.

Look for Organic Coupons

Digital and paper coupons can come handy especially when you are looking for some additional discount. Newly launched brands tend to give out coupons at a higher discount to increase the popularity of their product. There are many apps on which you can get these discount coupons as well.

Reduce waste

The average household wastes around 20-30% of their food by either overbuying, poor storage, etc. To be on a budget one must use the oldest vegetables first in case one bulk buys. There must be proper segregation of old and new lot of the produce. People often prepare food more than their capacity, and waste the surplus.

Join a local organic box scheme

Now, what is a local box scheme? How can we benefit from it? Now, well you have planned on going organic it’s better to take a local box scheme. Yes, I agree that these are not that cheap in terms of money, but the prices of these are comparatively lower than that of your supermarket. Plus there is an added advantage as these usually come from local farms around you or companies which have a tie-up with these local farms, which makes it easy to reach. These boxes are generally subscription-based and there are many companies who give you added benefits if you buy a subscription for more than 3 months. There are boxes with imported produce also but are usually high in price so it’s better to avoid these imported produce boxes.

Buy Store Brand Organic Products

There are many stores that have their own label organic products. These are of good quality but are lower in prices as compared to well-known brands. These products are not advertised and are usually placed just with the brand markings. These products also carry many offers like buy one get one or Buy three get one free.

Shop at Budget-Friendly Stores

There are many local stores that offer organics at much cheaper rates as compared to supermarkets. These budget-friendly stores are very famous like Aldi has become very popular to buy organic products. 

SuperTarget

Super Target has a very diverse collection of organics, including snacks, produce, and frozen products. You can save up to 30% by shopping here. If you are using a red card then you get an additional 5% off. If you have a manufacturer coupon then the price falls more.

Costco

Those who don’t mind buying in bulk can purchase from warehouse clubs at heavy discounts. There is usually a membership which one has to pay but it is totally worth it. If you are an executive member you qualify for a 2% cashback yearly according to your purchase however maximum cashback is $1000.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s has some amazing offers on their organic section. The products having certified organic logos are a real deal. Never miss these generic products.

Wegmans

This small chain has less 100 stores and about 60% are in New York State. There motto is “Eat Well Live Well”. THere store focuses on selling high quality and fresh food. They have a Wegman Organic line which has a very wide variety of products like grains, nuts, coffee, dairy, meat. The store also operates its own farm which supplies locally in New York State.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods won’t put up a hole in your pocket. They have special deals every day or another. They always have a coupon for their store promotion. For example, they advertised $1.70 for a peanut butter jar. You can also add yourself to their email subscription program, which sends new offers on a regular basis

Read Labels Carefully

Many manufacturers use a variety of marketing techniques to encourage their sales by using words like “natural” which are not a guarantee that the product is made with zero use of fertilizers and pesticides. You should always look for marks like USDA original label which certifies the product is organic There are several chains which specifically keep products with USDA label which help the customers to identify ingredients like sugar, fat and other nutrients.

Final Verdict

Not every shopper can use all of these tips and tricks. People living in small flats can’t have space for proper gardening. These shopping chains don’t need to be around your neighborhood, but there must be some local stores which will be useful. No matter wherever you live these tips and tricks can be used in some way or another to constraint your budget. Do let us know which one  are your favorite tricks. Do share your tips and tricks which you use to make your organic shopping budget friendly.

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