Shopping for organic produce might seem like an unnecessary expense to some, and a bit of an overkill, since we are all bound to be exposed to pesticides and other chemicals in some form or another throughout our lives, but that doesn’t mean we can’t limit that exposure. Besides, when you are preparing your children’s meals, don’t you really want to provide them with the tastiest, most nutritious and healthy food available? We know we do!
So how can you buy the best organic produce while not breaking the bank? We have discovered 10 easy and smart ways you can get the best organic produce, and still save money. Here’s how:
Urban farming is trending right now, and with good reason: a single small raised veggie bed can cover the needs of a 3-person-family. Build more and give the surplus to your friends and extended family! You could even reach out to other urban farmers and exchange goods, so that you can get your hands on an even greater variety of produce, without spending a dime.
Start a small-scale communal farm (with room to grow, if needed) at your local park, school or workplace, if you can get the relevant permissions. This way you will be able to educate kids and adults alike on the wonders of clean, organic farming, waste composting and healthy eating.
Farmers’ markets are a great place to discover various nutritional treasures, and to get you in contact with your local farmers. Bear in mind that there are quite a few farmers that choose to not get certified, who can still produce organic veggies, fruits, meat, grains and nuts, regardless. By not paying the certification fees, these farmers are able to sell their produce at a lower price, which translates to more savings for you, but keep in mind that claims of being ‘organic’ might not always be legitimate. It’s always a good idea to ask them about their farming methods and practices, and to see for yourself whether their produce is high-quality or not.
Seasonal organic food is easy to get your hands on, and it’s typically not as pricey, since there is usually enough produce to cover demand.
Provided you can use it before it expires, buying organic food in bulk is an excellent idea to bring down the cost of high-quality nuts and other long-lasting goods.
By organising and planning your daily meals around what is available at a discount, you can save a lot of money, and also incorporate a wider variety of organic foodstuff into your homemade cuisine. This will also help you minimise wasted food, which can really end up costing you a lot more money than you realise.
Conventional animal products and meat often contain large amounts of hormones, vet medicines and even pesticides, so it’s important to always remember that it’s best to pick organic meat, milk, cheese and eggs over organic produce and grains if you have to make the choice based off of your budget.
There are a few veggies and fruits that can still retain dangerous residues, regardless of how carefully you wash them, such as potatoes, celery, spinach etc. When you are on a tight budget, it would be a good idea to prioritise spending a bit more for the organic version of these high-risk products. For example, you don’t need to spend more on organic cabbage, avocados, mangoes, kiwis, pineapples and onions, since they provide almost zero additional nutritional benefits.
Organic beans, lentils and soups are usually super cheap, and they can bring your meals to life with their fantastic taste. Frozen bananas and other kinds of frozen fruit, peanut butter and raw nuts, for example, can make for some great, long-lasting additions to your everyday organic meals.
Even though it’s hard to check the legitimacy of supposedly organic farmers over the internet, you can always reach out to established, well-respected forums and community sites, which will refer you to the best of the best.