CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) – Feeding your family organic foods can be a little pricey, but how can you shop organic without going broke? The Organic Gourtment Leslie Cerier from LeslieCerier.com, shared tips on how to save!
How To Eat Organic On A Budget
Grow Your Own.
Grow your own organic garden, or even herbs on a window sill.
Join a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture Invest in your local organic farmer.
Buy a share in the farm. Costs vary round the world. My CSA costs about $550 or $23 a week for all organic fruits and vegetables, which more than feeds a family of 4-6. Plus most CSAs also sell local organic breads, cheeses, yogurt, miso, maple syrup, honey, and more at below retail prices. Half shares are also available. In fact, I have a half share for $300 for 6 months or $12.50/week, which more than feeds me and my friends. You can can or freeze your extra produce and buy extra for canning, freezing, or catering big parties for wholesale prices.
Pick Your Own.
Many organic farms let you pick your own produce, such as apples and strawberries. It’s fun and cheaper to pick your own.
Buy direct from the farmers in your communities. Supports the local economy and knowing your farmers also can get you great deals. Going to the farmers market in the final minutes, before farmers are packing up can also get you great discounts, if they are not sold out.
Buy locally grown fruits and vegetables in season.
They are the most flavorful and least expensive.
Save Money with Bulk Buying.
Many natural food stores, coops, buying clubs, and supermarkets sell beans, grains, pasta, flour, oil, herbs, spices, sweeteners, laundry soap…in bulk and prepackaged. Bulk foods are generally, cheaper than packaged items. For produce, you can buy large quantities, bushels of tomatoes for making your own tomato sauce, etc. Bring your own bags, baskets, and refillable containers. Reduce solid wastes by eliminating unnecessary packaging. It saves trees and fuel. Bulk packaging weighs less and takes up less room when being transported.
Join a co-op or buying club.
Co-ops and buying clubs have very little mark-ups on food. Generally, prices are lower than supermarkets.
Buy by the case.
It is cheaper.
Take advantage of special sales.
Stock up on items that keep, or ask neighbors and friends to split the case with you.
Have more than one source for all your staples: CSAs, food co-op, farmers markets, natural supermarket.
Shop in stores with a quick turnover. It makes a difference in flavor and freshness.
If possible, plan your shopping days and times around your CSA shop day, farmers markets or the produce delivery schedule of your local market.
Buy the best and the freshest by asking for it. If you do not see what you want or you suspect there are fresher produce in the back, ask for it. Befriend your local organic farmer and the produce salespeople. They may even cut you a better deal.
Green Salad Galore
1 pound salad mix: Choose 2 or more local, seasonal, organic greens: spinach, lettuce, mizuna, mustard greens, arugula, tat soi, etc
Optional: Add some wild greens like purslane, watercress, or lamb’s quarters
Optional: Add about 1 cup sliced radishes, carrots, or cucumbers
Optional: fresh sprigs or chopped herbs: oregano, basil, cilantro, mint, among others.
Garnish with 6 oz local organic feta or chevre, or your favorite grated local organic grass fed cheeses; marinated tofu or fried tempeh, raw hemp seeds, toasted sunflower seeds, toasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, olives, fresh herbs and edible flowers.
Drizzle on your extra virgin olive oil or your favorite flavored extra virgin olive oil, hemp oil, toasted sesame oil, pumpkin seed oil, among other great organic choices and some fresh squeezed lemon juice, Umeboshi vinegar or a flavored vinegar like blueberry or fig vinegar.
As the seasons change, vary the greens and vegetables in your salad: add cherry tomatoes, sliced zuchinni, baby boy choy, chives, grated beets, red and green cabbage