How can you eat well-balanced, organic foods every day? Anabelle shares her top five tips for eating organic on a budget.
Everyone knows that organic food is better for you. Everyone knows that it retains more nutrients and tastes infinitely better. Organic foods are not only beneficial to one's health, they're also better for the environment. Organic products don't just stop at food, there are also beauty, cleaning, health, baby, pet products, and so much more. Organic foods and products, in general, have become a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S - and for good reason.
If you haven't hopped on the bandwagon, then you need to start looking at organic foods as an investment - an investment into your health, your future, and your family's future. You could spend your money on other things, but your priority should be to sustain a healthy life and continue to nourish my mind and body with goodness!
What constitutes organic foods?
- Organic food revolves around producing goods without the use of synthetic pesticides or genetically modified elements.
- Organic foods aren't always completely chemical-free, but pesticide residues will be lower than those found in products produced using artificial chemicals.
- The most commonly purchased organic foods are fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy produce, eggs, honey, and meat.
- Organic foods promote the more humane treatment of animals and provide meat that is free from hormones and antibiotics.
- Organic foods are predominately 'certified organic' from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and their certified accreditation bodies.
But what is the one thing hindering us from going entirely organic? COST! Organic foods are often more expensive than their non-organic counterparts. For example, a small package of potatoes costs twice as much money as a non-organic product... not so a-peel-ing, right!
Be that as it may, there are many ways to eat organic while on a budget! We're here to outline some tips to help you shop smart.
Shop at Farmer's Markets
It can be challenging to access organically grown produce, which is one of the main reasons it can be so expensive. Shopping at farmer's markets can help reduce the cost of organic produce because you are buying direct from the farmer. Because there is no middle man, there is less opportunity for markup and thus a lower price.
Furthermore, you're supporting a local community of growers, which is always a plus! Our favorite is Wheeler Farm Farmer's Market if you're a Utah local! If you have no idea what your local market is, punch in a quick Google search.
Do It Yourself
Got the space in your backyard or garden? Then you can grow your own! This is a great way to save money and ensure that you're getting the freshest, most nutrient-rich foods. Plus, there's something special about growing your food; it brings unparalleled joy and a sense of pride.
Some go the extra mile and adopt an even more sustainable lifestyle by keeping chickens or setting up a beehive to make their own honey!
Organic gardening may be done by anybody and offers a variety of health advantages:
- Increases physical activity levels.
- Reduces stress.
- It's a low-cost solution that lets you save money.
- Less of an influence on the climate – reduces food packaging and waste, uses fewer chemicals, saves water, and lowers energy use and emissions.
- Food is fresh and hyper-seasonal.
- Encourages healthy eating – food is more nutritious and reduces our consumption of processed foods.
Be Cautious In Health Food Stores
While it can be tempting to grab the first thing you see at the health food store, take a minute to look at your options. I'm a sucker for this trap – you begin by going into a health food shop and browsing the aisles top to bottom.…wow, there are so many wonderful and exciting things to try! You grab a bag of popped water lily seeds, keto cups, a yummy green machine smoothie, and before you know it, you've spent the same amount of money you could have spent on kilos worth of meat and vegetables from the farmers market.
Don't get me wrong – there are some great things to buy at the health food store, but more than likely, these are one-off purchases, not something you should be buying all the time. If you must, purchase items from these organic stores that are versatile and budget-friendly.
Buy In Bulk
Organic foods are almost always cheaper when bought in bulk! But there is a catch - it can be tempting to fill up your cart with every kind of bulk item they have, but this can often lead to waste. Keep your eyes on the prize and stick to your budget!
Purchasing in bulk means you will save money in the long run and you may not need to go out to buy ingredients every week. For example, if you'd like to try making your bread, start with buying flour in bulk or if you have a favorite nut, buy larger quantities for a cheaper price! While organic flour can be more expensive, it is still much more affordable than buying an organic loaf at a store that will only last a couple of days!
Purchase In-Season Produce
Keep your costs down by buying organic produce only in season. "Produce that is out of season will be more expensive, and it wouldn't be as environmentally friendly since it has to travel farther to get to the consumer," says Sotiria Everett, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Family, Population and Preventive Medicine's Nutrition division at Stony Brook Medicine.
Purchase produce in-season to ensure freshness and avoid overspending. This way, it'll taste even better and adhere to your budgeting needs!
Eating organic doesn't have to be expensive – in fact, it can often be cheaper than buying non-organic foods if you know how to shop smart. So remember these tips next time you're planning your next grocery run!