Tuesday, March 27, 2012

14 Tips for Buying Organic, Real food on a Budget

Watch for an article on each of these tips in the coming weeks! Don't be fooled by low prices on food from other countries. Remember they don't follow the same rules as we do.
  1. Buy in season. This not only ensures you get the biggest bang for your buck, it also means your produce will taste “as it should” – full of flavor and perfectly ripe.
  2. Stretch meals with beans and grains.
  3. Become a member of a CSA or Co-op. Get a box of fresh, all organic produce for a fraction of what you’d pay at the store.
  4. Find a local Farmers Market and frequent it. Some states have virtual Farmers Markets year round. Nebraska has one, maybe your state does too.
  5. Utilize pantry staples. Pantry staples reduce the need or urge to order out by ensuring you can whip up a meal with only a few fresh ingredients from the store.
  6. Order organic, unprocessed sweeteners from Amazon. They have a program called “Subscribe and Save” that enables you to buy products at a discount and get free shipping.
  7. Make your own junk food. We all like to cut loose at times, but “junk” food can cost a pretty penny and usually isn’t very healthy.
  8. Grow your own herbs.
  9. Buy in bulk. Check out Azure Standard – it’s a virtual “whole foods” at incredible prices. You can find anything from grain to meat to sunscreen. Azure has drop-off locations through out the US. Place your order online (they also have a catalog) and once a month, meet at a specific spot. A large truck pulls up and the driver hands you your goods.
  10. Buy your organic/grass-fed meats straight from the farm and save hundreds each year.
  11. Make your own whole grain breads, hamburger buns, pizza crust, and granola bars.
  12. Buy whole foods instead of packaged foods. Why pay for cardboard and plastic when you could use that money to buy food?
  13. Plan your meals. Meal planning saves money. It limits the spontaneous desire to go out to eat and you also only buy the ingredients you truly need.
  14. Be Discerning. If you can’t afford to buy entirely organic, choose wisely which items to pay more for. A good rule of thumb is to buy organic fruits and vegetables that have thin skins (like apples and berries). These foods tend to absorb the most pesticides and herbicides.
  15. Find coupons on the internet. A few of my favorites are: Mambo Sprouts, Stonyfield, and Organic Food Coupons.

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