There has been an increasing demand for organic produce in our country over the last several years and it is with good cause. Thanks to individuals and organizations speaking out on the dangers of chemicals and the detriment of nutrient poor foods, people are becoming much more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies and the long-term effects.
One trend that has not caught on, though, is the ability for consumers to find organic foods easily and affordably. Many of us are watching our pennies these days, and for some reason, we seem to automatically cut where it’s extremely important that we don’t – our nutrition source.
Eating organic does not have to cost more and in fact, in the long run, it can cost much less when you factor in the growing health concerns our nation has come up against in recent years. There are other factors, too that allow you to make better choices now, easily and affordably. It is true that often you will find organic foods higher than non-organic, especially if shopping at a conventional market that carries a very limited supply. There are ways around those high prices and as we’ll discuss later, avoiding the hidden costs, as well.
How to save up front:
- Farmer’s markets, CSA’s and organic buying groups. These are great options when it comes to buying organic. The foods are many times organic, local, seasonal, nutrient dense and cost much less than buying at a conventional market. Start by going to http://www.localharvest.org/ to find farms and farmer’s markets near you. This is also a great site to learn about CSA (community supported agriculture) programs which allow you to purchase a box of seasonal produce each week at a reduced cost over buying separately. Organic buying groups are when people come together combining their buying power to order food in bulk direct from the source. Local Harvest is also a good resource for this option.
- Look for health food markets that specialize in organic foods. These establishments buy in much larger quantities bringing your out-of-pocket down. You are also shopping in an environment conducive to healthier foods, so you won’t be tempted to buy the things you know aren’t good for you and you will probably buy less. You will be able to build your new grocery list quicker by trying new things you find that weren’t available at your previous grocer and getting helpful tips from personnel. Look for sales, coupons and buying cards, too everywhere you go. Even my local farm has a Carrot Card. For every purchase I make, I get credit toward free produce.
- Change your approach to food! This is so important in your relationship to buying, preparing and enjoying your meals. If you are respecting the purchases you make more in terms of careful spending and consumption of your food, then you will definitely see savings. Learn to plan your meals to avoid over buying, over eating and possible wasting of food. When eating your meals, make sure to sit down, take small bites and chew thoroughly. To this day, I put my fork down between bites as a reminder that chewing is a very important factor to getting the most out of the food in the digestive track and the body as a whole. If you are a more conscious eater, then you will find your food more satiating with fewer cravings after meals and eating smaller portions because your body is getting the nourishment it needs. Understanding how food strengthens your whole being is paramount in making good choices and being cost-effective.
These are steps anyone can take to being more mindful of how to choose wisely when it comes to what we put in our bodies. Look for Part 2 of Why Organic Doesn’t Cost More where I’ll discuss the “hidden costs” of not choosing organic. Until then, live happy, healthy and on purpose!
If you’d like more information on organic foods and how to eat healthy on a budget, check out my FREE report available here.