How do you eat organic on a budget?

organic food expensive

I loved this graphic from Polyface Farms in Virginia.

There are a lot of misconceptions about organic food, and I think a big one is that it’s incredibly expensive. In my experience, buying organic really doesn’t cost that much more than buying conventional foods. What is really expensive is organic convenience foods. That stuff will break the bank!

So, how can we eat organic food without going way over budget?

The key to buying organic without busting your budget is a lot like the key to budget grocery shopping in general: you need to research, clip coupons, and be flexible. I’ve seen organic produce that costs the same or sometimes even slightly less than conventional produce, and the trick is taking advantage of those deals. Be willing to mix up your weekly menu plan at the store so you can pick up the organics that are on special that week.

Are organic beans on sale this week? Stock up! Clearance on organic herbs or veggies? Buy a bunch and freeze or can the excess veggies and dry the extra herbs!

Buying organic isn’t an all-or-nothing thing, either. If you desperately need potatoes for a dish and the organic ones cost twice what the conventional ones do, give yourself a pass. That doesn’t cancel out the organic onions and lettuce that you bought – you’re still ingesting fewer pesticides than if you’d bought all conventional produce, and you’re still supporting organic farmers more than if you hadn’t bought anything organic.

The other thing you can do to bring down the cost of organic food is get more involved in your local food community. Does your local CSA need volunteers? Sometimes you can barter sweat equity for local, organic fruits and veggies!

Plus, like Joel Salatin atΒ Polyface Farms so directly points out: that grocery bill is way lower than a hospital bill, right?

What do you guys think? Is organic food too expensive? Is it worth the sometimes higher price tag? How do you eat organic on a budget?

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Written by Becky Striepe

2 Comments

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  1. For me, you should have a balance between organic and commercial products, so that it won’t be too heavy in the wallet. Sometimes I buy organic rice and other veggies. But of course, not everything is available in the organic market right? Anyway, just as long as I have a healthy diet and as much as I can, try to use organic ingredients, I think I’m not spending too much on going organic.

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