Shopping for healthy food on a budget can be difficult, especially if you insist on buying certified organic. But my mother always told me, “You can either pay for good food or pay the good doctor.”
Well here’s good news- you don’t have to spend a lot more for natural high quality food if you know what you are doing!
Here’s an article by Jaime A. Heidel with some great money saving tips that make shopping for holistic/organic foods about as affordable as buying assembly line foods with pesticides:
Shopping for Healthy Food on a Budget- Money Saving Tips
1. Buy Local: If you’re like most people, you shop for produce at a grocery store. It’s convenient, well-stocked, and looks good. But there’s a catch: It usually is marked up very high in price.
Instead of hitting up the grocery store, shop locally. Most farmers’ markets sell fresh produce they grow themselves, so there’s very little mark-up. Furthermore, food is picked when it’s ripe, so it’s healthier than store-bought.
When shopping at a farm stand or farmers’ market, remember a few tips that could save you even more:
Try Something New: Expand your culinary repertoire by adding items you may never have tried before, such as star fruit, papaya, or white asparagus. Some exotic fruits and vegetables can be intimidating, but when they’re in season, they’ll save you a lot of money. If you don’t know how to prepare them, ask the farmer. They’ll usually be more than happy to help you out, and you may even get a discount in the process.
Spread Some Compliments: When you shop at a farmers’ market, you’re dealing with real people who grew the products you’re buying. Talk to them: Tell them how much you enjoyed the tomatoes you bought last week, or how well their apples worked for your pie. When they know how much you love their products, they may cut you a deal.
Buy in Bulk: When fruits and vegetables are in season, the farmer will have a surplus. The more you’re willing to take off his or her hands, the better the deal.
Don’t Shop Alone: Shopping with friends and family is another great way to buy in bulk. If you’re willing to take away crates of merchandise at one time, you’ll get a rock-bottom price.
2. Freeze It
Another way to enjoy good health without spending a fortune is to freeze the produce you buy, especially if you buy it in bulk. Wash it, cut it up, and store it in freezer bags to prevent freezer burn. Many fruits and vegetables stay fresh for up to 12 months.
You can save additional money by preparing food in bulk and then freezing them for a series of meals during the week. For busy parents, this technique can be a lifesaver.
3. Grow Your Own
You can save money by starting your own vegetable and herb garden, even if you’ve never done it before. All you need is potting soil, large pots for patio gardening, and a little bit of patience. The easiest vegetables and herbs to grow in a container garden are lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes, summer squash, basil, and oregano.
4. Contact Your Favorite Companies
When I really enjoy a gluten-free or organic product, I send the company a quick email to let them know. Furthermore, whenever I request coupons, I almost always receive them. Compliment your favorite companies, and you may be rewarded. whole article here
With this information, using the “organic food is too expensive excuse” is not really the excuse any more. Fact is, shopping for healthy food on a budget is affordable by following some or all of these money saving tips.
Ultimately, buying organic foods is more time consuming and the main reason why people won’t do it. If you find you are simply too lazy, consider taking some leisure time out and enjoy the process of shopping for food with your spouse or friend- this is similar to what many Europeans do. In fact, my wife and I enjoy the weekends visiting local farms and farmers markets- shopping for healthy food on a budget has become a social event for us. And the difference in the quality of ingredients and noticeable taste improvement is worth paying more, even though now… you won’t have to.
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