Conventionally produced food can be laden with pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and fertilizers all known to impact health and disrupt hormone balance.
One solution is organics. However, the major problem with organic food is that it is quite costly.
Finding organic food for less is essential for people on a budget and helpful for all of us.
Many people believe that organic food can never be affordable, but there are a few things that can help. Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for getting organics without breaking the bank.
Top tips to shop organic on a budget
Produce is always cheaper when it is in season (organics or not). The key to scoring organic produce on a budget is to make sure that you buy things that are in season.
Farmers markets and Co-op shares are another great way to source seasonal organics for less.
Also, there are organic vegetable online services (like Oooooby for example) that may offer you home delivery of organics at big savings.
Quality meats cost more. Why? Raising animals humanely on enough land where they can roam and enjoy quality feed and pastures of grass costs more than factory farming.
Instead of compromising on quality, use your dollars wisely and buy less of the best meat available.
Get to know a butcher that supplies grass fed animal meat and does not add preservatives, artificial flavoring or nitrates to their products (I love Sausages by Design). Also, consider going in on a share of an free-range animal to stock your freezer and keep more money in your wallet.
When in the supermarket, read the ingredient lists on any products, aiming for as natural as possible and choose free range or organic chickens and eggs too.
Buy in Bulk
Buying some organic food items in bulk can save you money.
Create a pantry list of the staples you regularly use. Rice, lentils, beans, oats, raisins, dates and nuts may round out your list. Root vegetables tend to store well and can also be purchased in bulk. Onions and potatoes can last for months when stored properly.
Joining a Co-op can be a great idea here (many people have Ceres Organic ones) where you can order in bulk and divide products or going along to your local Bulk Bin shop and buying dried organic products and herbs there is another option.
Baking Soda Fruit and Vegetable Wash
If you don't buy organic, ensure that you wash your vegetables thoroughly to remove any pesticides that may be on the product (although this will not remove any that has gone beneath the skin of the fruit or vegetable). You can do this with a baking soda and water wash which is more effective than just washing with water. The baking soda helps to break up the pesticide molecules, which can then be washed away.
In a bowl, mix together about one tablespoon of baking soda with six cups of water. Stir to ensure the baking soda is fully dissolved. Add the fruit and vegetables. Wait about 15 minutes. Drain. Rinse with water. Drain and store.
With a few packets of organic seeds and a little effort, you can grow gorgeous organics for a lot less than buying them in the shops.
You do not need a huge garden to grow most herbs and vegetables. A few pots can do the job!
Utilise windowsills, verandas and even deck railings. Start small with easy herbs and greens like basil, parsley, and mint. Look for vegetable varieties that suit your space and climate. With a little time and a little sunshine, you will be eating your homegrown crops and saving on the grocery bill!
The Final Verdict
The reality is that organic food, most of the time, usually costs more. But, so does being sick. So it does take looking at the whole picture. However, see how much your costs change by implementing the simple tips suggested.
Another alternative is aiming for the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen concept and choosing to eat according to that list. Also, aiming for spray free can be another option to keep costs down.