Affordable Sustainability: Going Organic on a Budget
Going organic is a great way to improve your personal health and the health of the environment. By choosing organic products, you can help reduce the amount of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that are used in the farming and harvesting of food products, which can have devastating effects on the soil, water and air.
Fortunately, going organic does not have to mean spending big. Here’s how to go organic on a budget.
Prioritize your purchases
If you’re on a strict budget, you likely won’t be able to go completely organic all at once. Choose what’s most important to you, and start there. For example, you can choose to buy organic produce, but opt to continue using non-organic cleaning products. Eventually, when you’ve found ways to work new expenses into your budget, you can move on to another area until you’ve completely embraced the organic lifestyle.
Buy in bulk
Purchasing products in bulk can often save money, and this is especially true for organic products. Look for bulk bins at your local natural grocery store for steep savings on all things organic. You can also consider joining a club store to get discounted prices on organic products in large quantities. If you can’t finish all your bulk organic purchases before they go bad, you can always partner with a friend and split the costs.
Shop the seasons
In-season produce generally tastes better than off-season fruits and vegetables, and it’s cheaper, too. Choosing organic produce that grows locally while it’s in season locally can significantly bring down your grocery bill, even after going organic. A quick Google search can tell you what’s currently in season in your area of the country.
Grow your own
If you have the time and space, consider growing your own organic greens and herbs. You’ll enjoy the unique satisfaction that comes from growing, harvesting and eating your own foods, and you’ll have access to inexpensive organic produce that’s fresh and ready to eat.
Shop the farmers market
Your local farmers market is a great place to find fresh, locally grown organic produce at affordable prices. You’ll find organic meat, dairy and other products at the farmers markets while supporting local farms.
Stalk your favorite organic brands on social media
Brands will often alert their followers to fantastic deals and discounts that may otherwise be missed. As soon as you find an organic food brand you love, follow it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. If it has a newsletter, sign up for it. Ask to be included in promotional emails and text message alerts, too. This way, you’ll never miss a sale.
Look for store brands
Lots of grocery stores, like Target and Trader Joe’s, now offer their own line of organic products. These tend to be a lot cheaper than companies that are not affiliated with a specific store. Just remember to read all ingredients carefully when shopping store brands to ensure you’re actually getting what you believe you’re buying.
Buy frozen or canned food products
Frozen and canned organic products can be a more budget-friendly option than their fresh counterparts. These have an almost infinite shelf life as well, so it’s a good idea to stock up and save these goodies in your freezer and pantry.
Finally, follow the basic rules for smart shopping to save on your organic purchases. Plan your menu around the sales, and always shop with a list. Take a smaller cart, or even a basket if you can swing it, and if you always find yourself blowing your budget at the grocery, shop with cash.
By following these tips, you can make the switch to an organic lifestyle without breaking the bank. While it may require some planning, the benefits for both your personal health and the environment make it well worth it.