How to Go Organic on a Budget

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If you’re committed to providing your family with organically grown/produced foods, but worry about the higher price tag compared to conventional items, take heart. The cost of USDA certified organic foods will eventually come down. Meanwhile, there are clever ways to save along the way.

For example:

Invest where it matters most

By now you may be familiar with the “Dirty Dozen,” a list created by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) targeting produce with the highest levels of pesticide residues. These include: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, nectarines (imported), grapes (imported), red bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries (domestic), lettuce, and kale/collard greens. It’s been estimated that by going organic with these 12 items, you can reduce your pesticide exposure by up to 80%.

Save where it makes sense

Along with the Dirty Dozen, the EWG also categorized produce items with the least amount of chemical pesticide contamination. This “Clean Fifteen” consists of: onions, corn, pineapple, avocado, asparagus, peas, mango, eggplant, cantaloupe (domestic), kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, and mushrooms. You may be glad to know that in addition, cucumbers, tomatoes, bananas, broccoli, and winter squash rank among the least contaminated options.

Seek sales & use coupons

A very smart way to save on organic foods is simply to zero in on sale items first, even if they weren’t on your list. Great chance to expand your horizons! Also, organic produce in season will nearly always cost less than out-of-season/specialty versions. Check your market’s weekly circular/newsletter for bargains, and maximize online coupon web sites. And definitely sign up for newsletters that will send you coupons/promotions on organic food.

Target bulk items

Buying organic items in bulk is a brilliant savings strategy and “greener” too. Many web sites offer inexpensive bulk organic items. For everything from beans and legumes, to whole grains and cereal, to nuts and seeds, flour, coffee, and more, visit: Shop Organic. Another great resource is: Bulk Nuts 4 You which offers 2000 discounted organic foods online including pasta, nuts, fruit, beans, flour, and more. For herbs, spices, seasonings, teas, and personal care items, check out: Frontier Natural Products Co-op.

Like much of life, healthy, organic eating is a journey, and it needs to fit your budget. Ideally, these tips will help you gain greater access to cleaner, safer food. You and your family deserve it!

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