Saving Money on Organic Vegetables
Saving money on organic vegetables can be done. Full price they are much more expensive than nonorganic veggies, however you don't have to pay full price. As the popularity of organic foods increases, the grocery stores are jumping on the bandwagon. So it is easier to purchase organic vegetables than ever before.
All of the grocery stores near me have organic produce and they all have something on sale each week. I frequently am able to get organic produce for the same price or cheaper than the nonorganic items, due to sales. If you stick with purchasing what is on sale, then you will be able to keep your costs down.
Farmers markets are another great way to get organic vegetables for inexpensively. It is very expensive for a farmer to become certified organic. Many farmers practice organic farming without the certification though, so ask at your farmers markets and I bet you will find someone who does. Purchasing in large quantities during the growing season and storing for the winter is a great way to eat organically all year for little above what you would normally pay for produce. There are many ways to store items for the winter including canning, freezing and drying. If you have a cold room even better, many vegetables such as potatoes and onions and fruits such as apples can be stored in a coldroom for the winter, just make sure it doesn't freeze.
One of the best ways for us to get organic vegetables is to grow our own. Growing our own allows us to truly know exactly what is on our vegetables and exactly what went into the soil that it grew in. Seeds are very inexpensive and with a little care will produce several months worth of food and more for the winter if you store them properly.
Pick your own places are gaining in popularity and are generally cheaper than farmers markets. The same applies to them, they could very well be organic, but not have the certification due to the expense. Check around to find out. This past year we picked 17 pounds of blueberries in one hour and 66 pounds of apples in about 20 minutes. It is easy to do and a fun outing for the family. We still have blueberries in our freezer and I was able to can applesauce for the year as well. This organic produce was extremely inexpensive compared to the store prices.
While I have never participated in an organic food coop, I have heard great things about them. Many coops you agree to purchase a set amount each month, say one box of veggies and you get whatever is in season. Some coops you agree to actually work on the farm one or two hours a month in exchange for discounted produce. Some coops you get to pick and choose what you purchase each time. While some coops have a minimum required to purchase, not all do, so it is worth looking into.
I definitely think that eating organic vegetables whenever possible is a great idea, I just don't think it has to cost much more than eating nonorganic. There are many options out there, so check them out and you might be surprised at the good prices and food you find.
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