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Making the Switch to Organic
Will going organic cost more money? Probably, but not as much as you might think. There are ways to add more organic foods to your diet without paying premium prices. If you're ready to go organic, don't worry about making a complete switch in one trip to the store. Instead, make it a process. As you become more aware of the organic options available and their costs, you can make switching to organic foods an easier and cheaper transition. Here are some great ways to go organic on a budget.
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Start with Produce
Produce is a great place to start going organic. The ease of this change is going to depend on where you live. If you live in an area where there is a natural foods store or large farmer's market that sells organic produce, it's a bit easier. Even if you don't live in a more progressive area, you can still find organic produce.
It's more important to buy certain fruits and vegetables organic than others. Read this article for more information on this topic.
Choose produce that's on sale, and you'll be able to save. Also, look at store brands. These will typically be less expensive than name brands. Pre-packaged organic salad mixes are great. You'll get a large selection of vegetables for one price. Sometimes when salad mixes are getting close to the "sale by" date, they go on sale. If you can eat the salad immediately, buy it and get big savings.
Don't forget about juices. It's easy to make the switch to organic fruit and vegetable juices. Organic juices are only slightly more expensive than regular juices, and are much safer to drink. Pesticides and other chemicals can be more concentrated in juices than fresh fruit, so this should be one of the first changes you make.
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Buy Frozen Organic and Save
Many varieties of frozen organic fruits and vegetables are flash frozen soon after being picked to lock in nutrients and keep the product fresh. These are great additions to your grocery cart when making the switch to organic. Choose store brands for lower prices. Frozen organic fruits make great smoothies, which are a healthy, kid-friendly treat.
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Organic Milk and Dairy Products
Organic milk and dairy products are from cows that are not given growth hormone or antibiotics. Their feed does not have added pesticides, so you're getting a more pure and natural product. This was the first switch I made when my family decided to go organic. Organic milk typically costs two times the price of regular milk, but this is one splurge worth making. The chemicals found in regular dairy products can affect the reproductive health of girls and women, due to the growth hormones in the milk.
One way to lower the cost of organic dairy products is to go to the website of your favorite organic dairy company. Register to get printable coupons via email. Shop on "double coupon" days, and you've slashed the cost of that premium priced organic milk by quite a bit.
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Other Products to Buy Organic
If you drink coffee or tea, both may be worth buying organic. Regular coffee beans and tea leaves are saturated with chemicals, and even though they are washed, residue can remain, which is not a healthy choice. In addition, fair trade organic coffee growers use more environmentally friendly growing techniques. If you're concerned about the rain forest, supporting organic coffee growers is important.
Stock on items like organic pastas, macaroni and cheeses, and spaghetti sauces when on sale. Canned organic foods in cans are typically just a little more expensive than non-organic, and they last a long time, so these are good products to stock up on when on sale too.
Organic meats and poultry can be found at many natural foods stores, and is also sold online. You're going to pay quite a bit more for organic meats, so be sure to watch for mark downs. Another way to get chemical free meat is to talk to a local grower. If you can find a local farmer who may not be certified organic, but still uses chemical free practices, you can get the meat for a whole lot cheaper. You may have to purchase a whole cow or pig, but you can have it processed and frozen.
So, will going organic cost more money? Buying organic doesn't have to cost a lot more, but it does take a little extra effort. Watching for sales, stocking up on items that last a long time, and printing off coupons for your favorite organic products will go a long way in helping you save money. One thing to remember, your grocery budget may go up a bit, but if your goal is to eat healthier, it may be worth it to spend a little extra on food, and save a lot on healthcare.