Organic is all the rave now, but sometimes I go into the grocery store and my jaw drops when I see the price of organic produce. Depending on the store you walk into the price can be almost double (or triple?). But does that mean that going organic is only for those who can afford it? No way, José! Below I’ve outlined a few tips on buying organic, so that you’ll know what you should buy organic (and what you don’t necessarily even need to buy organic), and other tips on saving some serious cash.
- Know which produce to buy organic: Did you know there are some foods that you don’t necessarily need to buy organic? This is because they aren’t exposed to large amounts of pesticides. This list includes asparagus, avocados, cabbage, cantaloupe, sweet corn, eggplant, grapefruit, kiwi, mangos, mushrooms, onions, papayas, pineapples, sweet peas (frozen), and sweet potatoes. However other foods, known as the Dirty Dozen PlusTM are encouraged to be bought organic due to the pesticide exposure. This includes, apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, hot peppers, nectarines (imported), peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, sweet bell peppers, kale or collard greens, and summer squash. Apples were actually ranked #1 this year for being the most contaminated. What this means is, instead of focusing on buying everything organic, you can save money by just focusing on the most contaminated produce.
- Buy local: Not only will local food be cheaper than food that has to be shipped for miles but it will also stay fresh for longer. Since there isn’t that period of time for traveling, the food is fresher and will last at least a couple of days longer than food that hasn’t been locally grown. Try finding a farmer’s marker near you, and talk with your local farmer about their growing method. Many farms aren’t “certified organic” but actually don’t use any harmful pesticides. That is because being certified means lots of hoops (and cash) for them to jump through.
- Buy in bulk: Consider getting a membership to Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club it you don’t already have one! These stores sometimes carry a ton of organic products that you can buy in bulk at a discounted price. If you buy items like brown rice or oats in bulk they will last because of their long shelf life and will save you a ton of money ounce for ounce.
- Stock up during sales: Make sure to take advantage of sales. For example, buy one get one free or if an item that you love is on sale, buy a whole bunch of it, you might think you are spending more money at first but you won’t need to buy more for a while.
- Freeze your leftovers: Your freezer is a beautiful thing when products go on sale and you decide to double or even triple your organic recipe. Just pop the leftovers in the freezer for later use. You can do this with soups or sauces!
- Frozen produce: Don’t be afraid of frozen fruits and veggies. They still maintain a good portion of their nutritional content and last a whole lot longer. This means you’ll be saving money by not having so much to throw away at the end of the week! Frozen fruit is my favorite in the morning to put in smoothies!
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