8 Tips for Buying Organic Produce Without Breaking the Bank
Buy in Season – Produce prices are affected by supply and demand. Generally, in-season produce = high availability = low prices, and out-of-season = low availability = high prices. Buying produce in season means not only will your produce cost less, but it will also taste better. Click here to download the image below or click here to search by your state.
- Buy a share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) – Prices and the season length vary but this is a GREAT way to get super cheap organic produce direct from the farm. Some offer working shares enabling you to reduce the cost of your share by working a number of hours on the farm. Visit Local Harvest to find a CSA near you.
- Join a Co-Op – I often pay less per lb for organic produce from my local co-op than the grocery store charges for the same conventionally grown item. Joining a co-op is usually as easy as signing up and paying a small membership fee. Often those who volunteer get additional discounts too. Visit Local Harvest or Cooperative Grocer to find a Co-op near you. If you can’t find one consider starting your own.
- Purchase from a produce delivery company. I recently found out about a company called Misfits Market. They deliver produce (organic and conventionally grown) to your door weekly. You shop online, meet the minimums and it’s delivered to your door. Get $10 off your first order here.
- Hit the Farmer’s Markets – Produce can be very inexpensive at Farmer’s Markets Not only that but it will usually be locally grown too! However, it isn’t always organic.
- Use Coupons – Companies like Earthbound Farms and Cascadian Farms often have coupons you can print at home. Sometimes they can be found in the Sunday Newspapers. Last month I was able to pick up organic frozen vegetables for 74c after manufacturer and store coupons. Check out various organic coupon sites. Some of my favorites include All Natural Savings and I <3 Natural Deals for organic food/natural living coupons, and money-saving ideas.
- The Dirty Dozen – If it is only possible to buy some organically grown produce, at least buy those the Environmental Working Group has found to contain the highest levels of pesticides. Every year they update the list. View the current Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen here. Nine of the 2013 Dirty Dozen can be grown in a Tower Garden!
- Grow Your Own – The most economical way to have access to organic produce is to grow it yourself! I do not have a green thumb so I do not grow in the ground (yet), but I do grow in a Tower Garden! Most Tower Garden owners grow between $15-$25 in produce every single week on their Tower Garden.
Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? Please leave them in the comments section below.