Tips for Eating Natural and Organic Food on a Budget

by Sean Bryant on April 25, 2014

When you think about buying natural or organic foods you might think of stores such as Whole Foods who have prices slightly higher than more other grocery stores. It’s true buying natural or organic foods can cost your wallet more. Try some of the tips below and you can still eat healthier while still staying within your budget.

First let’s talk about why buying organic is so popular. Organic foods are free from pesticides that farmers spray on their crops. This reduces the health risks that you might face in the future. Another popular reason to eat organic is that organic farmers are helping more to protect water sources. They eliminate toxic runoff that can end up in our drinking water. Lastly we are in the middle of a huge topsoil erosion problem in our country which can lead to a decreased ability to harvest in the future. Organic farms help buy building topsoil instead of destroying it.

Now for how you can buy organic for less…

Plant a Garden

This is buy far the best and cheapest way to eat organically.  If you have the room in your year to set up a simple (or complex) garden this will cost you just pennies per item produced.

Buy what is in Season

One of the easiest ways to get caught spending more money than you should is to buy items that are out of season.  When items have to be shipped in they are going to cost more than items that are growing at the present time near you.

Visit your local Farmers Market

This has a little bit to do with buying what is in season but buying from a farmers market is going to cut down your cost.  Not only are you helping to support a local family/business but the items are most likely only a few days old.  I love going to the farmer’s markets because most of the farmers will let you try their produce before you buy it.

Join a Co-Op

If you have a food cooperative near you this is a great way to save money on organic foods.  These are member owned businesses that sell their food to members at a discount.

Buy in Season and Freeze

When you get towards the end of the growing season in the fall a great way to save money through the winter is to buy a lot and freeze it to get you buy.  Not only will you still have good healthy products but you won’t be paying the out of season costs involved.

Use Coupons

One of the best ways to save money on your groceries is to use coupons.  Even stores like Whole Foods and other natural stores have printable coupons available for you to use.  Make sure you follow my tips on extreme couponing before heading to the store.  There is also a new app called iBotta that help you save on groceries without actually needing to clip a coupon.

This gives you a basic idea of how you can start eating healthier while helping to save the planet while still managing to stay within your budget.  Do you have any other tips for buying organic?  Feel free to share them in the comments.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created OneSmartDollar.com in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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