How To Shop Organic Without Breaking The Bank

7 Aug

The following is a guest post from Virginia Cunningham, a health writer for Northwest. The topic of buying organic on a budget is of interest to me and I hope you find her tips as helpful as I do!

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Why is it that the healthiest foods also seem to be the most expensive? Fast food is terrible for your health, yet you can feed a family of four for less than twenty dollars. If you’re on a strict budget, like me, you may feel that eating unhealthy food is necessary because you can’t afford anything else; however, if you know where to look and are willing to put in some extra time, you can shop for the best organic food while sticking to your budget.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up on the way to shopping for organic foods:

Coupons Are King

Some people are embarrassed by using coupons, but that’s a silly fear. Nobody will judge you for getting the best discounts on amazing organic products. In order to find coupons for healthy food, you’ll have to do a little digging. Local newspapers and flyers for organic shops are probably your best bet. Sometimes stores put their coupons online, so a little research might be in order.

Subscribe to Email Listings

I personally get really bummed when I go shopping for organic products only to discover that I missed the sale by just one day. Avoid letting this ever happen to you by keeping up on the news from your favorite local organic companies. Sign up for their email listings if they have them. You can get the lowdown on when their next sale is coming up. Also, sometimes these companies will offer discounts and coupons to email subscribers only.

Buy In Bulk

Buying in bulk may be the best way to save in the long run, especially if you have a huge family like mine. Many grocery stores offer major discounts when you buy large amounts of an organic product. So, if you see that carrots are on sale for an all-time low price, you can buy a few months supply and freeze them. That way, you’ll be able to have carrots all year long without having to worry about fluctuating prices. If you have the storage space, you can stock up on healthy food from the local price club.

Keep To A Strict Shopping List

When I go shopping at the market for food, it’s incredibly easy to stray away from my list, and I ultimately buy much more than I originally intended. The truth is, the shelves are stocked with tantalizing deals and products that I’ve always wanted to try and before I know it, I’ve spent way more than I wanted (upwards of $100). If you’re on a strict budget and find it difficult to restrain yourself from getting more than you need, keep a shopping list on hand with everything you need to buy. Don’t deviate from the list. It will keep you from impulse shopping and hurting your bank account.

Shop A Farmers Market

For the freshest organic produce in any city, the local farmers market is always your best bet. Produce growers from around the city will show up with their top products at the lowest prices. Since they are in competition with grocery stores and other local shops, they might be more willing to haggle with you. Plus, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you supported a small business.

Don’t Buy Pre-Chopped

Sure, those plastic containers of pre-cut fruits and vegetables look delicious. They’re time-savers because they’re already washed and cut; however, they can cost up to twice the amount of money if you bought the produce fresh. If you can find the time to cut and wash those fruits and veggies yourself, you can end up saving big bucks.

If you’re willing to put the work in, you can get great-tasting, fresh and healthy organic food for the entire family for a major discount. Never again will you have to worry about choosing a budget over your family’s nutrition.

Virginia is a mom of three who always puts her family’s health first. By shopping smartly for organic produce, she is able to save money and still provide her family with the nutrition they need.

How do you save on organic foods and produce?

4 Responses to “How To Shop Organic Without Breaking The Bank”

  1. Holly@ClubThrifty August 7, 2013 at 4:55 pm #

    My local Kroger frequently marks down organic produce that is about to expire. I usually swoop in just in time…and bring it home for dinner =)

    • Kendal August 8, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

      Nice! My mother-in-law does that with other products collected in the “Manager Markdowns” section. As long as you eat or freeze things right away, they’re just fine to consume!

  2. SuburbanFinance August 13, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    It is easy to be distracted in the supermarket if you don’t have to list. And this distraction would cause additional expenses. I agree that we really need to stick with the list.

  3. Sandra August 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

    Great tips. I totally agree with buying bulk whenever you can, it does save me in the long run, and it’s so nice knowing that the main staples are in the pantry like rice/flour/oats etc. I’ll keep to the shopping list too!