Eating organic food doesn’t have to be expensive. While it might seem out of reach for some, with some clever thinking and planning, it is possible to live organically on a budget. Here are the top 10 ways to bring organic into your life on a budget.
1. Grow your own.
Even the smallest of gardens or even window boxes can grow anything starting with some simple herbs. By growing your own, you have complete control over the process and can ensure there are no pesticides involved. You will also have a ready supply of fruit, vegetables, and herbs on demand, which will reduce your shopping bill.
2. Cook from fresh and freeze.
Fresh organic foods are always the best, but being fresh, they don’t always last very long. The simple solution is to cook more than is needed for that day, and freeze the rest. You will have a decent supply of organic food that simply needs microwaving.
3. Buy what’s in season.
Instead of buying whatever you fancy, focus on what is in season. Purchasing what’s in season ensures the produce hasn’t had to come from another country and travelled halfway across the world. The less travel the food has to do, the cheaper it will be. It will also be quite abundant so you could consider freezing some of it.
4. Rethink supermarkets.
Supermarkets can be atrocious for organic food, with increased prices and restricted quantity of foods to choose from. To ensure you get the best deal, search around the supermarkets or even online to find their prices for different items. You are likely to get the best combination when you purchase some items from the supermarket, and some from the local organic shop. Despite this, supermarkets are increasing their ranges of organic food so you may find you are able to get most items from supermarket relatively cheaply.
5. Make your own.
Processed convenience food and beauty products are more expensive, particularly when purchasing the organic version. This can put many people off going organic, as it is seemingly costly. However, with some simple ingredients and organization, it is possible to make your own versions of your favorite food and beauty products.
6. Be organized.
Being organized is the key to living on a budget, and organic living is no different. While convenience foods are cheap and easy, they are rarely organic. To make sticking to a budget easier, plan meals for the week and what you need to prepare them. Additionally, plan when you will need fast food and ensure you have sufficient leftovers in the freezer that you can just heat up in the microwave.
7. Know the ‘clean foods’.
Not all foods are subjected to the same amount of pesticides and harmful chemicals. Knowing the differences and which ones are, will ensure you focus your pennies on those that must be bought organic. If you can only afford to purchase some organic fruits and vegetables, prioritize apples, celery, peppers, grapes, and spinach; these have the highest exposure to pesticides and therefore should always be bought organic. In contrast, foods such as onions, pineapple, cabbage, and sweetcorn are least likely to have been exposed to pesticides. You could justify not buying organic versions of these foods.
8. Reduce consumption of meats and cheeses.
Meat and cheese is usually expensive, and organic is no exception. By reducing the amount of meat and cheese you eat or eliminating it all together, you will keep costs down.
9. Buy in bulk.
Purchasing anything in bulk is always cheaper than buying small portions. You will need adequate storage for the bulk, but it will be worth it. For buying in bulk, focus on staple ingredients such as pasta, grains and pulses. These will keep for a long time and ensure you are living organically on a budget.
10. Reuse food waste.
Instead of putting food waste in the recycling, or worse, throwing it away, put it on your allotment. It will act as a fertilizer, meaning you will spend less money on such products, and ensures all food is used in some way or another.