In the forward thinking green community and beyond, there is a consensus on the benefits of eating organic. Price is often a perceived deterrent. True, some organic foods are more expensive- in part, it’s a reflection on the extra effort expended by farmers to obtain organic certification. The largest factor is the markup major grocers add because they know consumers committed to organic foods will fork over the cash. Even if switching to a 100% organic diet seems a bit much for your wallet, adopting even one of the following tips will afford you the financial room to begin integrating organic foods in a real way. Don’t let perceived high costs keep you from providing your family with foods free of pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and a host of other unhealthy contaminants.
Coupon cutting: This is a very simple but effective way to save on items such as milk, cereals, and a host of other packaged foods. Many companies offer individual coupons on their websites and Mambo Sprouts is a collective of coupons from a variety of companies in one handy-dandy booklet. In addition, whether you are shopping at a conglomerate like Whole Foods or smaller independently-owned venues, most organic and natural food grocers offer coupon books of their own.
Organic Food Co-op: Organic food co-ops are a great way to find excellently priced fruits and vegetables. Individuals sign up to purchase organic produce from the co-op, which, in turn, buys the majority of their offerings from local organic farms. Participants usually make their choices the week before either delivery or pick up. Food co-ops generally have a wide selection and the prices are substantially cheaper than shopping at a larger organic grocer.
Farmers Markets/Local Farms: Farmers markets are where local farmers often go to sell their organic produce. With virtually no markup, shoppers get wholesale prices and can save large amounts on fresh milk, eggs, fruits, veggies, and depending on where you live, meat. Local Harvest is a great website for locating farmers markets and smaller organic farmers.
Commit to using grocery stores as the place to buy items you can’t find elsewhere. Your buying power increases and you are truly supporting those farmers and institutions that have taken the time to provide us with wholesome, nutritious food. Healthy Eating!