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Do you want to eat a whole foods diet, but are afraid organic is too expensive? In this post, you’ll learn tips for how to save money on organic foods.
One of the biggest reasons many people give for not buying organic foods is that it costs too much. This can be partially true, but it certainly is not the truth across the board.
My family has eaten a mostly organic diet since 2011. Over the years, we’ve learned many ways to save money on organic foods.
In this post, I share 9 tips for buying organic foods cheaper so you can get in the organic game!
9 Tips for Saving Money on Organic Food
1. Don’t feel pressure to buy everything organic.
There are some vegetables and fruits that are okay to buy non-organic because they contain less pesticides than other non-organic produce. Before shopping, learn about the dirty dozen and clean 15 to help you make more informed shopping decisions..
2. Coupons for organic foods are getting easier to find.
The best place to look is in your local natural or whole foods store. They are often available at the door or sometimes by asking a checker or at the customer service desk. Sometimes they’ll be on packages. Also, if you email your favorite brands, they are often willing to send you some.
3. Don’t think you can only find organic foods at your local whole foods store!
Your regular supermarket probably has organic produce in a special section as well as dry goods in the shelves, mixed in with the non-organics. Watch for sales and you could really save by adding coupons. Many times, the prices here are lower than the whole foods markets as well.
4. When you can, buy local at farmer’s markets.
Now is a great time to do just that since it is near the end of harvest season. Many farmers are trying to get rid of their stock and may give you a great deal. Can or freeze what you buy to have it last even longer. Just make sure to ask if they use pesticides. Also, consider growing your own garden.
5. Join a local co-op or CSA.
A co-op is a members-only local food grocery store. Many of them are small, but well worth the savings. They work by simply making group purchases in bulk to get the lowest possible price. This is done through membership dues. Some require that you do volunteer work in the stores and stockrooms to keep your membership and many give members who are low income free or reduced memberships.
6. Many stores have their own generic versions of organic foods.
Watch for these and compare the price to the branded stuff. You may find they are cheaper than the non-organic foods when on sale as stores try to promote their own brands to consumers with sales. We use a lot of O Organics products since our local grocery store is Vons.
7. Don’t always go for certified USDA organic stuff.
Many small farmers cannot pay the extra fees to be certified even though they would pass the test with flying colors. Get to know local farmers in your area through fairs, markets and home and garden shows. You may be able to swipe a good deal from a farmer who is willing to work with you.
8. There is no such thing as certified organic seafood.
The USDA has no regulations for certifying seafood as organic, so don’t get tricked into buying it.
9. Go organic where it matters.
Meat is one place that it matters because of the hormones and steroids in traditional farming. Also, as discussed before, some produce should be bought organic. The list is called the “Dirty Dozen” and contains the highest levels of pesticides. For a listing of what should be bought organic, check out this “Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen list.”