Eating Organic Foods on the Cheap

Picture a shopping cart piled high with organic foods. Does the wholesome goodness of fresh, chemical-free fare come to mind? Or do you wince, envisioning a pile of unpaid bills stacked beside a bowl of farm-fresh fruit?

Sadly, the high price tags on clean, unprocessed foods are preventing even the most health-minded, eco-conscious Americans from buying them. A 2011 Thomson Reuters-NPR health poll found that while 58 percent of U.S. adults preferred organic food, 54 percent said it was too expensive to buy.

But banning pesticides from your plate doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little effort, you can drastically cut the cost of organic foods, making mealtime healthier for your family and the earth a safer place for all of us.

Skip the supermarket
Don’t be afraid to get a little mud on your shoes! For fair-priced, fresh, organic produce, meat and eggs, head to a local farm. Besides being a fun Saturday morning excursion, you’ll get the freshest possible foods from farmers who believe, just as you do, that “naturally grown” is best.

Join a club
Cropping up all over the nation are groups of people who’ve figured out that, to save money on organic foods, there’s power in numbers. Organic buyers clubs, typically made up of several individuals or families, pool resources to buy in bulk from organic farms. You’ll get a variety of seasonal, fresh produce and other foods for a fraction of what you’d pay at a store.

Pass on prepackaged
Snack time can add up when you satisfy mid-day munchies with organic crackers, cookies, pretzels and chips. Not only are you paying for each certified-organic ingredient used to make them, you’re also doling out dollars for packaging and advertising. Instead, stock up on organic essentials—flour, oats, sugar, spices, nuts, seeds—and make your own healthy snacks.

Be a bargainista
The Sunday paper is loaded with coupons—but most are for popular, chemically concocted convenience foods. To find deals on natural and organic options, look online. Have a favorite brand? Check their website for printable coupons, promotions and samples. Or, buy from an online retailer like, which offers up to 50 percent off organic grocery items.

Find your green thumb
There’s no better way to save money and to know, without a doubt, that your food is safe than to simply grow it yourself. Gardening is easy, relaxing and can help put healthy food on your table for years to come. Start by planting fruits and veggies known to have the most pesticide residue when grown conventionally, such as lettuce, spinach, bell peppers and strawberries.

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By: +Rebecca Chopin writer for