Going organic can be daunting and it can be hard on your grocery budget. Organic fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products will be a bit more expensive than their non-organic counterparts and you won’t always find organic versions of your favorite foods. Fortunately, the organic market is growing, which means more options and better value when you shop. There are a few ways to make the most of your organic diet.
Flow with the Seasons
Shop seasonally. The best deals on produce will always be on fruit and vegetables that are currently in season for your area. Berries in the summer, root vegetables in the winter, greens and cruciferous vegetables in the spring and fall. The exact seasons will vary from region to region. Consult a seasonal guide (see Resources) for your region to find out exactly what you can look for. You’ll get the best deals and the best quality.
To Market, To Market
Visit the markets. Find the local farmer’s markets and go regularly. Stock up on organic produce there rather than at the grocery store. Go near closing time and you’ll often get better deals as the farmers are ready to move their produce for the day before the market closes. Bartering is a normal part of market shopping, so don’t be shy. Ask for a deal.
25 Pounds of What?
Buy in bulk. Join a local co-op for great deals on organic items such as baking supplies, dairy products, canned goods, and dried fruit. Most co-ops have a good selection of organic foods, and you’ll save money by purchasing in bulk rather than buying individually packaged selections at your grocery store.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Find local suppliers. You can go online and find organic meat suppliers halfway across the country, but it’s far better to find those local suppliers. You can get fresher food, avoid shipping costs, and get great deals by getting to know when there is a surplus on certain food items. The farmer’s market is a great place to start asking about other items for sale, from free-range beef to eggs, farm-produced cheese, and local honey.
A Whole New World
Substitute. Your favorite product may not be available in an organic version, but there are many organic products that you can try instead. Branch out a little bit and try new food items. Go easy on yourself; you won’t like everything and great taste is not guaranteed by an organic label. But you will find some treasures in your food exploring. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even like them better than your old standbys.