Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Going Organic on a Budget

by Kristen Suzanne in Uncategorized

Going organic on a budget is not impossible. Here are things to keep in mind that will help you afford it:

1. Buy in bulk. Ask the store you frequent if they’ll give you a deal for buying certain foods by the case. (Just make sure it’s a case of something that you can go through in a timely fashion so it doesn’t go to waste). Consider this for bananas or greens especially if you drink lots of smoothies or juice, like I do.

2. See if local neighbors, family or friends will share the price of getting cases of certain foods. When you do this, you can go beyond your local grocery store and contact places like Boxed Greens or Diamond Organic. Maybe they’ll extend a discount if your order goes above a certain amount or if you get certain foods by the case. It never hurts to ask.

3. Pay attention to organic foods that aren’t very expensive to buy relative to conventional prices (bananas, for example). Load up on those.

4. Be smart when picking what you buy as organic. Some conventionally grown foods have higher levels of pesticides than others. For those, go organic. Then, for foods that aren’t sprayed as much, go conventional. Avocados, for example, aren’t sprayed too much so you could buy those as conventional. Here is a resource that keeps an updated list.

5. Buy things on sale. Pay attention to which organic foods are on sale for the week and plan your menu around that. Every little bit adds up!

6. Grow your own sprouts. Load up on these for salads, soups, and smoothies. Very inexpensive. Buy the organic seeds in the bulk bins at your health food store or buy online and grow them yourself. Fun!

7. Buy organic seeds/nuts in bulk online and freeze. Nuts and seeds typically get less expensive when you order in bulk from somewhere like Sun Organic. Take advantage of this and freeze them (they’ll last the year!). Do the same with dried fruits/dates/etc. And remember, when making a recipe that calls for expensive nuts, you can often easily replace them with less expensive sunflower or pumpkin seeds.

8. Buy seasonally; hence, don’t buy a bunch of organic berries out of season (eat more apples and bananas in winter). Also, consider buying frozen organic fruits, especially when they’re on sale!

9. Be content with minimal variety. Organic spinach banana smoothies are inexpensive. So, having this most mornings for breakfast can save money. You can change it by adding cinnamon one day, nutmeg another, vanilla extract yet another. Make spinach apple smoothies and throw in a date in or some soaked raisins for pizazz. Make salads, smoothies, and soups with ingredients that tend to be less expensive such as carrots (year round), bananas (year round), zucchini and cucumbers (in the summer), etc.

Happy New Year!

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