August 12, 2013
SHOPPING ON A BUDGET:
Are you looking for ways to purchase fresh, organic food while staying on a budget? Here are a few tips that can help.
1. Coupons & sales flyers: Scan the produce section to find any good deals at the local grocery store, and set up email alerts with all your favorite organic brands online. Most regularly offer e-coupons that you can print off, or have emailed to you to be scanned. There are great online coupon offers for organic products on sites like the Healthy Shopper.
2. Produce co-ops: In a nutshell, you prepay for a ‘mystery box’ of produce that you pick it up at set locations. It can be a great, inexpensive option, and often exposes you to a selection of produce you may not buy otherwise.
3. Farmer’s Markets: Not only are you supporting local growers, and getting local produce at the peak of their nutritional value, but it is also a great place to get organic produce for way less from farmers who grow organically, but have not paid for the organic certification. Organic eggs can be purchased here as well for $2-$3 less per dozen than the supermarket.
4. Stop the waste: Raw nuts, natural nut butters, and raw seeds should ALL be stored on the refrigerator to keep from going rancid. Flours should be stored in the freezer. Use paper towels in the crisper drawer to absorb moisture, and also place a sheet in your lettuce container or bag to keep it crisp longer. Do not wash leafy greens or berries until you are ready to eat them.
5. Community Market: Community inspired vendors that get together to sell produce, fresh meat, and freshly baked goodies in an urban setting.
6. Road-side stands: These tiny fruit and veggie stands pop up everywhere in the spring and summer. You can usually find a good deal on the produce because it’s usually ripe and ready to be eaten.
7. Festivals: Keep your eyes open for community sponsored special events where produce vendors are invited to sell their harvest in support of that particular festival. Prices are usually really reasonable for these events.
8. Buy in bulk: Get local produce at cheap prices in season, and freeze for use in the off season when the price goes way up. Berries are a great one to do this with, as the price goes way up in the winter months.
9. Grow your own: Herbs are really easy to grow, and take up very little space. They are also way overpriced at the grocery store so you will save a bundle here.
10. Choose wisely: Focus your organic produce buying meat, dairy and on the ‘dirty dozen’ listed below. Don’t worry about spending the extra dollars for organic certification of produce that carries low pesticide residue.
According to the EWG, the 12 highest sprayed/contaminated fruits and vegetables are:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
Hot peppers & kale/collards make the cut as well as the two bonus sections.