Organic food is healthy, yet very expensive. If you’re trying to incorporate more fresh food into your life, however, you don’t need to break the bank to do so. In fact, just a little planning and some dedication can go a long way to finding clean healthy organic food.
Choose some basics. While it would be great if you could buy everything organic, it may make more sense to start with just a few groceries. According to the FDA, the 12 fruits and vegetables more contaminated by pesticides are pears, peaches, strawberries, broccoli, celery, cherries, apples, spinach, bell peppers, nectarines, grapes (and raisins), corn.
Walk around your neighborhood. Look for health food stores and Asian markets selling organic produce. Bring a small notebook with you to write down prices at different locations and then make a list featuring the best items to buy at each place. Many of these places have special discount membership cards that help you save further, or they may publish a store magazine with coupons or specials.
Shop at farmer’s markets. If you live in a big city, you probably have weekend markets set up somewhere near where you can buy everything from fruits and vegetables to organic honey, jam and even bread. For even bigger discounts, shop late in the evening, where vendors usually lower their prices significantly (it’s better for them to sell at any price than to have to pack up everything and take it home again).
Shop in season. Organic strawberries will be cheaper in summer than in winter, where they have to be flown in from another state or country. Availability can even change from one week to the next, so make sure you plan meals that are flexible and can be adapted depending on what’s on sale.
Join a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. By buying shares, you are supporting local farms, but you are also entitled to some great benefits, including a weekly crate of fruits or vegetables (depending on which program you choose). Shares are not necessarily cheap (the cost can be several hundred dollars) but you are ensured a healthy portion of organic produce all year long.