Can’t Afford Organic? 6 Tips and Tricks for Organic on a Budget!

Camera_IMG_20140809_1514531Buying organic foods is a goal of many families, and for good reason. There’s no question that organic foods have advantages, including being better for the environment and healthier for us.

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford organic foods. The simple fact of the matter is organic food is expensive! Stocking your refrigerator and cupboards with nothing but organic foods can seem nearly impossible if you’re on a budget.

With a few simple tips and some careful spending, though, you may find that you can afford organic food!

Grow Your Own

One of the best ways to be able to afford organic food is to grow your own. Even if you just have room for a small garden or a few plants in pots, it’s still something. By growing your own food, you can use natural methods to fertilize and your plants and eliminate pests.

Shop Around

When you’re trying to afford organic food on a budget, it’s a good idea to shop around. Take note of the prices of some of your family’s favorite organic foods in a few different stores. You may find that organic food at Whole Foods, for instance, isn’t as affordable as the organic food at Walmart or Trader Joe’s.

Be Picky About Your Organic Produce

Extensive studies have shown that some organic produce has more traces of pesticides than others, even after being washed. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a list of the 12 most contaminated types of fruits and vegetables every year known as The Dirty Dozen. In 2015, The Dirty Dozen consists of:

  • apples
  • peaches
  • nectarines
  • strawberries
  • grapes
  • celery
  • spinach
  • sweet bell peppers
  • cucumbers
  • cherry tomatoes
  • imported snap peas
  • potatoes

The EWG also publishes a list of 15 produce items that have been found to have the least amount of pesticides, known as The Clean Fifteen. To save money, you can  In 2015, The Clean Fifteen consists of:

  • avocados
  • sweet corn
  • pineapples
  • cabbage
  • frozen sweet peas
  • onions
  • asparagus,
  • mangoes
  • papayas
  • kiwis
  • eggplant
  • grapefruit
  • cantaloupe
  • cauliflower
  • sweet potatoes

If can’t afford to buy all organic produce, your money is best spent on organic produce listed in The Dirty Dozen list. Since very few, if any, pesticides were detected on the produce listed in The Clean Fifteen list, you can save money and have peace of mind buying regular produce from this list.

Stock up on Good Deals

If you find a fantastic deal on organic food, don’t hesitate to stock up if your budget allows. Of course, only stock up on something if you know you’ll use it before it goes bad. You can also save quite a bit of money by learning to preserve fresh organic produce through methods such as canning, freezing, and dehydrating.

Try Generic Brands

With organic foods becoming so popular, most generic store brands are also starting to produce organic versions of their popular foods. These generic brands are just as nutritious and healthy as the bigger name brands, yet they are typically less expensive. Try a few generic brands of organic foods; you might just be pleasantly surprised!

Head to the Freezer Aisles

Although fresh food is best, it can also be significantly more expensive. Frozen fruits and vegetables are very close nutritionally to their fresh counterparts, but they are often less expensive. Many stores nowadays also have a nice selection of frozen organic foods, including vegetables, fruits, and poultry. If you’re trying to afford organic food for yourself and your family, don’t rue out the freezer section of your local store!

What other tips and tricks do you use to afford organic food?