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Updated on Monday, April 18, 2016
If you just recently started shopping for organic goods, you might feel like there’s no way to buy the products you want and still stick to your budget. After all, organic food typically tends to be anywhere from 20 to 100 percent more expensive than traditional products, generally because organic food is more limited compared to demand and production costs tend to be higher due to the greater labor that goes into producing them.
Having said that, there are some ways you can shave a couple bucks off your organic overhaul. Consider taking some of these steps to keep some cash in your pocket and still eat organic:
Tip 1: Go the Coupon Route
If you’ve never been particularly fond of clipping coupons, now might be the time to start giving coupons a second chance. Try following your favorite organic brands on social media for coupons or promotions that they might share, and check their websites as well. You can also browse your grocery store’s site for any coupons they might have on organic products, too.
Tip 2: Be Selective
While it might be tempting to scoop up every organic product you can find once you decide to go down this route, in an effort to save some cash, consider being more selective. Decide what’s most important to you in terms of your reasons for switching to organic (your health, the environment, etc.), and focus on purchasing products that really make the most impact in those particular areas. For example, if it’s your health that’s behind your organic drive, there are certain produce products that you’ll get more organic bang for your buck than others. The “dirty dozen”, as named by the Environmental Working Group, include things like apples, peaches, grapes, celery, cucumbers and potatoes, and these tend to have the highest levels of pesticide residue (check out the full list here). On the other hand “clean” fruits and veggies — like avocadoes, pineapple, onions and eggplant — have lower pesticide levels and you might therefore want to consider purchasing these items non-organic if you’re trying to save some cash.
Tip 3: Buy in Bulk
Believe it or not this old savings adage tends to hold true when it comes to organic products as well. For the most part, if you buy your organic products in bulk at stores like Costco or Kroger, you’ll probably save some cash in the process.
Tip 4: Skip Specialty Stores
While it might be easier to shop in stores that specialize in organic groceries because you won’t have to worry about reading every single little label, you’ll likely also find that their prices tend to be higher than what you’ll find in the traditional grocery stores. So many companies these days have started making organic versions of their products, it shouldn’t be hard to find an organic version of what you’re looking for in a regular store, any way.
Tip 5: Try Buying Local
If you can do a little digging around for products that are produced locally you’ll probably save a ton as well, since products that are produced in your area come without the added cost attached to shipping. Farmers markets are a great place to scoop up organic goods made by local farmers that will taste great, be good for you and help out your local farmers.
Tip 6: Bring Your Own Organic Goods Wherever Possible
If you’re worried about sticking to your organic diet when traveling or on the go, you can use the Eat Well Guide to help you find local, organic and sustainable foods where you are. On the other hand, whenever possible, you can try taking organic items with you do avoid purchasing them. For example, bring organic tea to restaurants and ask for hot water, carry your own snacks in your purse and bring whatever you might need for a road trip in a cooler.
Shopping organic might seem overwhelming and expensive at first, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little forethought you can eat the way you want without busting your budget.