Q: I understand the importance of eating organic; however, I just can’t seem to fit it into my budget. I want to eat as healthily as possible, and I don’t know what to do. What advice do you have?
A: I’m sure there are plenty of people out there who are facing this problem. Organics are extremely pricey — they can be anywhere from 20 to 100 percent more expensive than traditional foods and products. I would never tell you to waste your money on something that wasn’t necessary, but I TRULY believe that organic foods have a significant impact not only on our health but also on the environment.
In a perfect world, we would buy everything organic — from our shampoo and conditioner to our coffee and produce — but I know that’s not realistic for most people. So here are a few tips on creating an organic-conventional balance that will most certainly benefit your life and your pocketbook.
Buy store brands. Brands of organic foods and other products made by grocery store chains are often less expensive and can be found in the chains’ multiple locations.
Order online. If you eat a lot of a certain organic food, why not order it in bulk? You might be able to get a volume discount. Here are some sources to consider.
Various organic offerings: www.theorganicpages.com
Frequent your local farmers’ market. If you go often enough and get to know the farmers, they can tell you when specific crops are coming in, when the abundance of those fruits and vegetables translates into lower prices.
Eat less meat. Bean-based meals can give you all the protein of beef, chicken, or fish at a fraction of the cost. You’ll also lessen your exposure to toxic hormones and pesticides that build up in animal tissues.
Use coupons. Check out the many Web sites of organic companies to find coupons.
Try your hand at a vegetable patch. A tomato plant might cost a couple of bucks, but you’ll end up with homegrown tomatoes worth $30 to $40. Multiply the savings by a whole garden and you may not have to worry about buying organic fruits and vegetables anymore.
It is not an easy thing eating organic foods all the time but in my family, we are trying the best we can. Buying in volume to get a discount is a smart idea and we may try doing it someday. At the meantime, we have started growing our own herbs and vegetables. We are taking one step at a time, making a positive change in our health and the environment and we are very excited doing it as it is all very new to us. Below are some organic food stores to share.
Some of New Zealand popular organic food stores:
Eat and live well.