Tips For Buying Organic Food on a Budget

June 07, 2010 :: Posted by - Summer :: Food, Green Living, Shopping :: (1) Comment

Rows of Veggies

As the cost of food continues to rise, many people find themselves needing to choose more carefully what they will buy. Buying organic foods is often the choice that we want to make, yet the higher costs make it seem impossible. However, with a willingness to make a few simple changes anyone on a tight budget can enjoy organic foods in their kitchen.

If you want to find organic foods at lower costs, the first step is to stop shopping at your local grocery stores. Many of the foods found grocery stores, even in the organic sections, have been imported from around the world. This is how they can offer fruits and vegetables out of season all year long. The cost of shipping and transporting adds to the cost that customers must pay. Instead, look for local producers who will more likely have a lower price.

Local farmers often sell fruits and vegetables at neighborhood farmer’s markets or in local food coops. You may even be able to buy fresh foods at the farms themselves, including meats and dairy products. Shopping this way means you will have access to organic foods at a much lower cost, while also supporting your local farmers to continue growing organically.

Buying organic foods in bulk is another great way to stay within your budget. Food is often cheaper when purchased in large quantities rather than individually amounts. Many fruits and vegetables can then be frozen to extend their use time. For those who are willing to learn, home-canning will also preserve foods for extended use. A jar of homemade salsa made from local organic vegetables will cost much less than buying a jar of commercial organic salsa in the store.

Those who have a very tight food budget may have to limit what organic foods they buy. Some foods have higher amounts of pesticides on them than others, making them the top priority when choosing organic. If you can only afford to buy some things organic, choose these fruits and vegetables first:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Squash
  • Green Beans

If you are choosing organic foods to avoid chemicals, these are the top offenders you will find. For other produce, you can invest in a good vegetable brush and food-safe soap to wash fruits and vegetables before you eat them. This will remove much of the pesticides on the outside of your food.

Growing your own food will also help you stay in your budget while enjoying fresh, organic items daily. Even those with limited space can grow a few simple plants in containers or small beds. You can purchase seeds for only a few dollars, often in amounts far more than a hobby garden could grow in one season. You can also collect seeds from organic produce yo have already purchased to be certain that what you are growing had the best start. Place the plants in a sunny spot, give them water and care, and you can harvest a small bounty for practically free.

Though food costs continue to climb, even the tightest budget can afford to include a few organic staples in the kitchen. By avoiding the grocery store, buying in bulk, and growing your own, you can eat organic fruits and vegetables without spending a fortune.

Creative Commons License photo credit: fairfaxcounty

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One Response to “Tips For Buying Organic Food on a Budget”

  1. Green Living Says:

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