The benefits of buying organic foods are abundantly clear to today’s shoppers. In the last ten years organic sales have almost tripled, yet most shoppers still believe that the price of organic food is cost prohibitive. A recent NPR report showed that 52% of shoppers believe that the price of organic food is too high. And the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that organically produced food can cost anywhere from 10% to 30% more than conventionally mass-produced food.
10 Ways to Save on Organic Food
- Buy Strategically: In many cases organic foods offer great health benefits, while in other cases it’s just a marketing gimmick. For example, experts agree that for some produce with thick outer skins (such as bananas, avocados and pineapples) buying organic isn’t as important due to the unlikelihood that pesticides will come into contact with the fruit inside. For foods where the skin is eaten (such as tomatoes, grapes and peppers) buying organic does have health benefits.
- Shop in season: Like with all fruits and vegetables, you’ll find the best deals when the produce is in season. Use a seasonal food chart to find out what is in season in your area.
- Shop the sales: Check local grocery store circulars for weekly sales and be sure to check the section for organics, which is often listed separately in the circular. Sometimes organic produce is on sale when the regular produce is not, making it both healthier AND cheaper to go organic.
- Use Coupons: Search for organic coupons available on the web. Many organic coupons will also come up when you search “any” item from a brand as well.
- Check store brands and generics: The increasing popularity of organic foods means you can now find store brand options in many categories including dairy and meats.
- Don’t skip the clearance section: Products from lesser-known brands regularly get overlooked so they end up being heavily discounted. You can stock up in the clearance section at 50% off or more.
- Use your freezer: If you find a great deal on organics but are worried about spoilage, then stock up and freeze the extras. This will effectively lower your food costs while allowing you to enjoy your food longer.
- Go online: Comparison shop online to find what stores are offering the best deal on organic foods like pre-packaged snacks. Sites like Amazon offer a broad selection of products and can be cost-effective with the right deals and shipping promotions.
- Make your own organics: Making or growing your own organic food is always an option. By planting your own garden you’ll have fresh herbs and vegetables throughout the year and save money. Additionally, cooking and baking at home can save hundreds of dollars yearly too. Making large batches of foods like granola bars saves money and tastes much better.
- Buy big name brand organic household products: Instead of purchasing niche organic, cleaning products, buy organic lines from the big name brands. They come with the same ingredients but generally cost less—plus you are more likely to find coupons for the big name brands.
- LOZO.com – a free, online website for finding money-saving coupons, services, advice and more.
- Seasonal Food Charts – Search for seasonal availability of fresh produce in your state or region.