Oftentimes us health and wellness writers come across folks who mistakenly assume that if we are buying organic, GMO free, and chemical free items then we must have unlimited funds to spend. Well, I am here to promise you that this is not the case for my family. While those items, in many cases, are more expensive than conventional ones, I have picked up a few tips and tricks along the way which help me purchase those items and have a few bucks left in my wallet.
My fabulous friend Amiyrah of 4 Hats and Frugal brilliantly offers her readers savvy shopping tips. So, who better then to write about the ways in which people can shop organic without breaking the bank? Here are Amiyrah’s tips:
Organic and healthy items are here to stay. U.S. organic food sales reached approximately $35 billion in 2014, according to Nutrition Business Journal. While this new turn of consumerism is encouraging when it comes to the health of Americans, it can cause some strife within your wallet. But, there are ways to save while providing organic items that your family can enjoy. Here are 7 ways to shop organic on a budget.
Shop Organic Store Brands
Brands like Aldi, Giant, and Target now offer their consumers organic alternatives to their store brand items. With nationwide stores investing in organic items that their everyday shoppers can afford, it’s easier than ever to incorporate them into the budget. Be sure to take advantage of store sales and coupons. While Aldi doesn’t offer coupons, they do provide the lowest prices possible for their food items, including organic selections. Target offers online store coupons, mobile coupons and even has the Cartwheel app; they periodically place discounts and coupons on their store brand organic items on their free app.
Use Portion Control
Health-conscious and budget-friendly consumers do well at stores like Whole Foods is that they understand portion control. Organic, grass-fed beef will be more expensive, but if you only need 2 pounds for your family of 4, then that evens out your budget. ChooseMyPlate.gov is a great resource for those looking to work on portion control to make room for more organic items in their homes.
Buy In Season
Cravings and routine grocery staples can be a budget buster. If you have to have apples all year round, you could end up paying double the amount they would be per pound when they are in season. Learn to adapt your grocery list to reflect the organic fruits and vegetables that are in season at the time. This would be a great time to get the family involved, especially children. At the start of a new season, have them research what fruits and vegetables should be available in stores in the coming months. They can also track the prices of these organic items as a fun business lesson.
Keep It Frozen
If you don’t want to worry about fresh items spoiling before you can eat them (and ruining your budget), go frozen. Organic fruits and vegetables can be an big money saver when you purchase them in the frozen food section. You are able to use as much as you would like, and simply place the rest back in the freezer for next time. Plus, studies show that frozen berries maintain their antioxidant levels when frozen.
Find a Natural Food Co-op
Co-ops are a great way to introduce local and organic groceries into your grocery budget. A natural food co-op grocery store offers the community health-conscious and sustainable items that usually come right from your neighborhood. Keep in mind that each co-op can be run differently, but most will offer you a discount of around 10% to 20% for your first visit. You can also become a member of the co-op (if that’s offered) and receive a regular discount to be used every time you visit. To learn more about co-ops, and to find one in your area, check out the Co-op Directory: http://www.coopdirectory.org.
The Subscribe and Save program on Amazon is a great way to stock your home with healthy, organic non-perishable items at a fraction of the cost. Amazon regularly offers online coupons for organic items, as well. Plus, you get free shipping, which helps with the budget.
Focus On Meat and Dairy
Meat and dairy products tend to have the most GMOs, hormones and pesticides out of all conventional grocery items. By allowing yourself to spend wisely on these organic items first, you’re able to afford other items that may have less expensive organic alternatives, like fruits and vegetables on the dirty dozen list, and dried pasta.
Now that you know all the tricks, it’s time to get shopping!
On her website, she shares how to find the fun in frugality and offers her readers ways to create a simple lifestyle without deprivation.
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