As society comes more knowledgeable of the harmful effects of chemicals as well as the ecological problems that mass farming produces, many consumers are attempting to eat more organic produce. While organic produce can be extremely expensive, there are ways to cut the cost.
1) Visit Your Local Farmer’s Market
Above all, the best way to get inexpensive organic produce is to visit your local farmer’s market. There is no corporate markup on these goods, the produce is generally very cheap and you have the added benefit of doing something good to support your local community. Farmer’s market produce is much more ecologically friendly than even organic produce in supermarkets because purchasing it direct from the source cuts down on the pollution and waste caused by packaging and shipping.
2) Don’t Hesitate to Purchase Imperfect Fruit
The supermarket industry has made billions of dollars convincing consumers that apples are bright red and shiny, that bananas that are silken smooth and that oranges that are perfectly dimpled. The irony is that the best fruit is bred not for appearances but for taste. Many times in the supermarket you may find a section of superficially damaged organic product at lower prices. As long as the fruit is not spoiled, bruised or contaminated, you will find that it is just as good if not better as ordinary supermarket goods.
3) Coupons, Coupons, Coupons
In the supermarket industry there are often products sold at a loss to draw consumers in the door, theoretically to spend more money. The trick is to identify these products and only purchase the items you need. Keep an eye on your local supermarket and health food circulars to get an idea of what normal market prices are. When you see a good deal, make a list of the things you absolutely need from the store before going. This will reduce the likelihood of impulse purchases that would mitigate the amount you saved.
4) Grow Your Own Vegetables and Fruit
Many apartment dwellers and house owners alike have started growing their own organic produce. Classic and versatile items such as tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers and bell peppers can all be grown with limited space. This can be both a financially and psychologically rewarding hobby, and comes with the additional convenience of being able to pick your own vegetables whenever you require them. However, growing your own fruits and vegetables can rapidly become expensive, so to make sure it is financially feasible you should be careful about your budget. Buying used planters and collecting seeds from your own fruit will be worthwhile.
5) Join a Community Farm
A step beyond growing your own vegetables, you can also join a community farm. These farms have begun springing up in city areas and are generally a small plot of land where neighbors get together and grow useful fruits and vegetables. Trade operates on the barter system as well as small amounts of money, and it also fosters a sense of community and belonging. This is a great option for those who want to grow their own vegetables but don’t have the space, or simply want more variety in their organic produce.
Organic produce isn’t just good for you and your family, it’s also a step towards a more sustainable system for our society and the planet. Unfortunately we do not live in economically ideal times. With careful planning and research, you can give your family the best while not breaking the bank.
Coming tomorrow: Organic Versus Natural: Is There a Difference?
Andrew Greene is a freelance writer and blogs for http://www.octopusloans.co.uk where he goes when he needs payday loans.