The benefits of organic over conventional foods are real. While there’s probably no such thing as perfectly clean food (unless you grow and monitor it yourself), organic is the best option for many of us in our busy modern world. While this news is well-known by many, one argument against an all-organic lifestyle surrounds good old fashioned economics. Organic options are, more often than not, pricier than their conventional counterparts. So, how then does one do what they feel is best for themselves and their families whilst not breaking the bank?
Green Monsters, I give you some easy ways to save money on organic food:
1. Grow your own.
In my opinion, this is the best way to go, if you can swing it. While you may have the upstart costs of starting a garden of your own, you’ll save serious change in the long run if you opt for seeds and a little bit of sowing. What’s more is that you’ll get full control of what goes in to your organic food…and you’ll truly get to experience local (read: your backyard) food. Here are some great tips to get started. If your back yard doesn’t allow for its own organic gardening space, consider joining an organic community garden.
2. Shop wholesale.
Big-box wholesale stores, like Costco, now offer a multitude of organic options, from fresh produce to organic snacks. While your conscious ethics may clash with the notion of big stores like these, you may have to choose to shop them occasionally for the sake of saving some change. Ultimately, of course, that decision is yours, but do know you can save some serious dollars by going for a membership and loading up on giant bags of organic spinach at half the price you might find at your grocery store.
3. Bulk it up.
If wholesale shopping isn’t for you (I do get it, don’t worry!), then at least opt for smart bulk shopping at your local organic grocer. You should never be caught with a single-serving bag of organic almonds, people! Buy in bulk and you’ll save over the long haul.
4. Join an organic co-op.
While some organic co-ops may require a membership, you’ll be buying into a business that supports your organic ethics and, in most cases, save money in the big picture. Many co-ops have awesome selections of bulk foods and can also be a great opportunity to get in touch with local people who may have gardens of their own you can trade or buy from directly – win-win here!
5. Try an organic food delivery service.
O.K., so this one is tough because such services aren’t available everywhere yet, but do knowbusinesses that will deliver organic goodies right to your doorstep do exist and are growing quickly! Some also contend with the idea that these services will save you money. However, I’d like to make the point that it does, no matter what, save you gas money. These services are also a great way to load up on coupons – they usually include quite a few with every order!
6. Join a CSA.
When you buy in to community-supported agriculture, you are truly supporting local farms and buying share into a business model that helps everyone in the community. Many CSAs even allow for you to volunteer time for your share, meaning you may have the chance to save even more change – or get your share for free – if you’re willing to do some organic dirty work.
7. Get yourself out of the natural grocery store.
I know that Whole Foods is a mecca for many of us, but, trust me, you’re not saving yourself any money by shopping there for all of your organic goods. Many large grocery chains that aren’t under the full-on “natural grocery store” umbrella now offer a multitude of organic options. Take a trip in sometime and you may find yourself walking out with more than you thought possible — at a cheaper cost!
Until organic is the norm (and thus prices become forced down), we all have to find ways to save a little dough on organic options. Do know there are ways to make it happen for you and your family with a little creative thinking!
By: Erin Trauth