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Organic on a Budget

written by: Leah Witmond•edited by: Laurie Patsalides•updated: 3/13/2009

You want to feed your family a healthy diet of natural, organic food, but too often, organic food is way more expensive than regular food. So now you find yourself looking for ways to save money on organic food.

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    Why Organic

    Organic on a Budget 

    A healthy diet, consisting of natural, organic food is best for our bodies and minds. We all need plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes - and unless you're a vegan or vegetarian, you will undoubtedly add meat and dairy to that list.

    What we don't want, is to fill our children's tummies with pesticides and hormones, which come with the regular - and much cheaper - food you'll no doubt be tempted to buy during times of economic recession. What we need, are ways to save money on organic food.

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    Prioritise

    When we're looking for ways to save money on organic food, one of the first things we need to learn is to prioritize. We need to relearn to put first things first. Eating a healthy diet of organic food, and on a budget, means we may not be able to stock up on fizzy drinks and crisps anymore. Ecological and frugal go hand in hand.

    Although this is probably one of the easiest ways to save money on organic food, ditching the unnecessary decadencies from your shopping list may not be enough to do the trick. You may have to completely rethink your diet and decide to have less meat, less sugar and less coffee, e.g. If you are on a very tight budget, you might even have to compromise and decide that you simply cannot buy everything organic yet, in which case you will want to consult a list of which vegetables contain the highest percentages of pesticides.

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    Cook from scratch

    Organic on a Budget Cooking from scratch is one of the best ways to save money on organic food. Buy dried legumes instead of canned legumes, soak them overnight and cook them. Get your vegetables from the local farmer's market and clean and cut them yourself. Bake your own biscuits, cakes and other delicacies; brew your own broth, bake your pizza from scratch.

    Teach your family in a fun way about the benefits of a healthy diet of natural, organic food and get them involved in the preparation of some yummy treats. Bake flapjacks with your school aged children, or get your teen to prepare you a nice, hot salsa to go with your phulauri.

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    Menu Planning

    Planning a healthy menu of natural, organic food can be a fun activity for the whole family, and can be a great tool in helping you stay within your budget when you go grocery shopping. Make sure your meals include lots of fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes.

    If you are struggling to find ways to save money on organic food, planning healthy, nutritious meals in advance, so you know what to buy and what not, can be on of your best tools.

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    Shopping Tips

    • First of all - and yes, we all know this - never go shopping on an empty stomach. If you are hungry, you'll end up buying more than you need.
    • Stick to your budget. If you have $100 to spend on your grocery bill each week, then that's all you have, not matter what.
    • Don't buy something just because it's cheap - esp. if you don't know how or when you will use it; it will probably go to waste in your fridge.
    • Buy local organic produce that's in season. This is usually less expensive, and often tastes better and has better nutritional value.