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Affordable Organic Foods And Products :: Ten Money-Saving Tips And Ideas

Posted Aug 11 2008 9:12pm

farmers-market-1.jpg farmers-market-1.jpg

Photography: Farmers’ Market by Natalie Maynor

Shopping for organic produce and products can quickly add up. Help cut costs and save while taking advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables that are natural, in-season, sun-ripened, less traveled, and chemical-free, and feel good about eco-friendly products that contribute to the health of our environment.

1. PLANT A GARDEN

Got space in the backyard or on a windowsill? A packet of organic seeds will quickly pay for themselves with healthy natural food. Consider growing your own foods when possible, especially the foods you find most expensive or hard to find.

2. FARMERS’ MARKETS

No matter where you live, there is probably a farmers’ market nearby. When you arrive have a flexible palate to take advantage of all the wonderful seasonal and specialty foods that can be purchased below the price you would pay at a local supermarket. You’ll enjoy experience new foods and big savings.

Visit Local Harvest to find a farmers’ market in your area.

3. JOIN A CO-OP OR CSA

Food cooperatives or co-op’s are member-owned businesses that provide its members with local organic food at discount prices. Another membership owned program is Community Supported Agriculture [CSA]. Each member pays a share of the farm’s expenses and receives a weekly portion of its crops. Both are great ways to support farming communities and eat organic for less.

Visit Local Harvest for a list of co-ops and CSA’s near you.

4. BUY LOCAL AND SEASONAL FOODS

I’d rather by local and most often do. When we eat what is local and in season, we eat the foods most available of a particular season and because it is abundantly available, it is least expensive. Aspire to be a locavore.

5. SHOP SALES

Many stores offer weekly sales flyer announcing which items and brands are offered at lower prices. Don’t over look coupon offers. It amazes me how much money one can save by presenting a coupon. Coupons are available to download from manufacturer Web sites, on product packaging, in the sales flyers, in magazines, newspapers, and at many natural food stores.

6. BUY IN BULK

If you don’t already you might consider shopping the no-frills bulk bin section or buying at bulk discount for great saving.

I always visit the bulk bins at natural health stores to purchase organic raw nuts, seeds and some legumes. The stores buy these staples in volume, the price per pound drops, and this means better prices for consumers like you and me. Besides saving money, I buy exactly the amount what I need or want for a recipe or simply to stock up.

Most stores offer a bulk discount for a case or large quantity of a single item, such as a 25 pound bag of organic carrots, a great buy for those who juice a lot, or a big bag of organic lemons, oranges or apples. Buying the essentials you always needs, like cold-pressed organic olive oil, recycled paper items, organic produce makes great sense and great savings.

You can also find bulk deals online and at farmers’ markets. Consider purchasing cases of food and divide all the wonderful food scored at rock bottom prices with family and friends.

7. SHOP ONLINE

Organic produce and products is a mousse click away and ships nationally and sometimes internationally, right to your door. Don’t forget to check if the online store offers discount coupons or bulk sales.

8. CLUB SAVINGS CARD

Many supermarkets and warehouse clubs offer a bonus card program and both places also carry a variety of organic food and eco-friendly household items. These cards can mean big saving at the register.

9. ADD VALUE TO BULK PURCHASES

Freezing, dehydrating, and canning part of the surplus of seasonal foods adds even more value to your purchase and allows you the luxury of consuming out-of-season fruits and vegetables throughout the year without spending a fortune.

10. EAT SMALLER PORTIONS

Nutrients are what fill you up not the size of the meal, according to recent studies that have shown organic produce gives a higher nutrient content than its conventional counterpart. In other words, it is the quality not the quantity that is important. Eating smaller portions of the right type of food that sustain and satisfy you saves money. If you haven’t experienced getting full and feeling satisfied on nutrient rich food, drink a nutrient rich smoothie.

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Do you have any ideas, tips, or suggestion to share?

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