Buying Certified Organic Foods on a Budget

For anyone who has been eating a standard North American diet for most of their lives, it’s so tough making that jump towards healthy eating! It takes conscious discipline and strength not to fall back into old, unhealthy eating patterns.

What makes this transition even harder, though, is the cost of eating healthy. Anyone who has wandered through their local market or health food store knows that certified organic foods are not cheap. In fact, without the right awareness and strategies in place, your food bill can easily double, if not triple overnight!

Thankfully, there are many money-saving strategies that you can use to reduce the higher cost of eating certified organic foods:

  1. Choose whole foods over processed ones. Your money will go a lot further if you purchase certified organic whole grains, nuts, meats and produce over the more expensive, processed and beautifully packaged foods. Not to mention, eating this way is much healthier for you. Just because the ingredients on that box of cereal or crackers says “certified organic” doesn’t mean that they are good for you. Many processed foods (certified organic included) contain all sorts of added sugars, additives, colors and highly processed grains that can be detrimental to your health.
  1. Buy certified organic foods in bulk. Many health food stores now carry a variety of certified organic whole foods that can be purchased in larger amounts at a cheaper price.
  1. Bake and cook from scratch whenever possible. It is incredible the amount of money that you can save by “doing it yourself.” Pass by the pre-made frozen or canned meals and fire up the stove or barbeque. For those of you who want to tackle baking and your health status can handle the carbohydrates, you can save extra money by investing in a grain mill to make your own flours. Buying whole buckwheat in bulk and grinding it yourself, for instance, can be much more cost-effective than purchasing it already ground.
  1. Don’t be shy about using those coupons! Keep your eyes open for great savings on certified organic foods both at the health food markets and at regular grocery stores.
  1. Opt for store brand certified organic foods over fancy packaged ones. Most stores carry a large variety of certified organic foods that carry their labels. These are very often cheaper than other brands.
  1. Buy local certified organic meats,  meat alternatives and produce (particularly when in season). They can often be cheaper than foods from the big chain grocery stores since they are free from those pesky supermarket mark-ups. Also, this strategy helps you to do your part in sustaining your local economy by supporting surrounding farmers.
  1. Grow your own veggies and herbs in your backyard. Not only is this cost-effective, but you are in control of choosing the soil and implementing healthy growing methods so you can be assured that your food is as chemical-free as possible. Growing your own produce can also be very satisfying for the soul!

Healthy eating requires some sacrifices, there’s no getting around that. But these tips might help take some of the financial pressure off your shoulders and give you one less reason to fall off the healthy eating wagon.


Sources: “Save Money on Organic Foods” “9 Ways to Buy Natural Organic Food on a Budget”



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