BUYING ORGANIC FOODS ON A BUDGET
Contributor / 2009-10-16 11:44:56
food but you're turned off by the price? If you're willing to do some creative shopping and cooking, you can enjoy the freshness and goodness of organic foods without breaking your food budget.
Step one is giving up your dependence on conventional supermarkets. Limiting yourself to the organic section or natural foods section of your local supermarket is a great way to pay too much for your more wholesome food selections.
These days there are tons of places to buy organic foods. Besides the supermarkets, you can find them in health food stores, specialty stores, co-ops, gourmet delis, farmers' markets, convenience stores and even (sometimes) vending machines.
If you don't shop around, there's a good chance you'll pay too much for your organic food selections. And while most folks are willing to pay a little more for organic food, few people can afford to pay sky-high prices week in and week out.
Or you could pay a whole lot less for an organic goody -- maybe just a few cents more than the conventional price. Much depends on the food item, where you live, where you're shopping and the growing season.
Organic fruits, vegetables and grains are grown without most conventional pesticides and without fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients. Organic meat and dairy products are free of antibiotics and growth hormones.
1. Do some research.
You may have a lot more choices for organic food in your community than you realize. All it takes is a little research to find out. Organic associations are good places to start.
And be sure to check out Web sites dealing with Organic foods, they're often full of links and information on organic foods and they allow you to search for organic food sources in your local area.
2. Shop at markets.
Markets are great sources of fresh local produce. A just-picked tomato from a local farm tastes better than a tomato that's traveled thousands of miles before reaching a supermarket shelf.
If you don't see a sign saying the produce is organic, be sure to ask
Whether you're shopping at a natural foods store, supermarket or co-op, buying in bulk is a great way to stretch your euro.
For beans, grains, lentils and nuts, head straight for the bulk containers. Just make sure you have a cool, dry place in your kitchen to store your dry goods for a few months.
Be sure to bring your calculator along on any bulk shopping run. Not every item you can buy in bulk is worth the bother. Do the math’s.
7. Buy big in-season.
The absolute best time to buy an organic fruit or vegetable is at the peak of its growing season.
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