Trying to get people to embrace an organic lifestyle is really not all that tough. Once folks see what is in the foods they are used to, organic looks pretty good. The biggest problem with buying organic foods is the price.
Like most healthy things in life, they put a premium on foods that are good for you. As maddening as that might seem on the surface, it is not ironclad. There are many things you can do to offset that price and make it more affordable. Here are some tips that I have learned:
Yes, coupons for organic products are a bit tougher to locate sometimes, but they are there. They can be found in magazines, newsletters, websites and company literature. They can even be found occasionally in your weekly newspaper or mailing inserts. Look for those coupons and take full advantage when you get them.
Buy in Bulk
Speaking of taking advantage, buying in bulk allows you to do that with any deals you come across. If the item is one that you will eat often or that stores well, buy up all you can. That is what storage and freezers were made for. Be a buy one get one master and a bulk purchasing diva!
Seek out Private Label Items
Private label buying alone can save you tons of cash over time. If you shop at a grocery store that has a store brand, you can often save money automatically. Pair these savings with store coupons you get when you make your purchase and you can save even more. Our local grocery store prints out generic coupons on occasion that say “Save $3 off your produce order” or other such savings. Use them to buy organic produce!
Use Rewards Cards
If a store or website offers rewards savings, you definitely want to take advantage. Still, I am shocked at how many fellow shoppers bypass those savings at the register. Sign up and take full advantage of what the store offers you!
Stay In Season
It is sometimes quite sly and undercover, but prices go up when a fruit or veggie is out of season. They slide it by you with fancy displays and mouthwatering visuals. Actually, they simply move the prices up slowly so you don’t notice as much. Either way, eat what is in season and you will save money as well.
Shop your Local Farmer's Markets
When shoppers want to truly experience nirvana, they visit the local farmer’s market. Foods are actually grown in your area and brought from the ground to your mouth. What could be better? Well, how about the fact that the prices are far better? Yep….farmer’s markets are an organic food buyers dream.
Grow Your Own
About the only thing better than buying it freshly grown is doing it yourself. Try this out one season and you will never go back. You don't have to grow everything, start small with the items you know you will consume frequently like salads, cucumbers and tomatoes.
Join a Co-Op
Right in line with growing your own is joining a co-op. Most of us don’t have acres of farmland to grow all the things that we want. If we did, we certainly don’t have the time it takes. Enter co-ops….
All you do is grow enough for several people of the items you grow. Then you exchange with other people that are growing other fruits or veggies. This way everyone gets a little bit of everything and can do so through trade. Saves money and keeps your mouth watering to a different tune each time you sit down to eat.
Expand your Organic Shopping Map
To truly save money on organic shopping, you have to get out of the “Whole Foods” mentality. Yes, they provide the easiest walk in and buy experience. The problem is that they charge you for that experience. If you think organic outside of that store (and online at sites like Vitacost), you will find tons of great options to buy organic at fair prices. Even your local grocery store will have buying opportunities on occasion. Keep your eyes and ears open and you will find deals you never noticed before.
The bottom line is that organic foods are like everything else. You can find the deals if you are willing to put in the time to find them. Don’t just give up and keep eating the bad stuff. You will be shortchanging your health and the lives of those close to you. Buy organic and do so in a thrifty manner!