Organic food. There’s a noticeable difference in taste between that and conventional food, just as there’s a considerable change in price. Because of the additional effort that goes into organic farming, there’s also an additional cost. Of course, when you think about what you’ll save in medical bills, it’s all worth it.
Still, buying organic every week or every month, depending on how often you do your grocery shopping, can put a strain on your budget. Even if you’re willing to pay extra, it might just catch up with you. So how can you make sure you don’t skimp on food supplies without completely emptying your wallet?
1. Shop around. If you depend only on one store, you may be paying more than you actually have to. Farmers’ markets or open-air markets usually offer a greater variety of produce for less than it would usually cost at, say, the supermarket.
Free-range eggs and organic meat – from chickens, pigs, or cattle that were fed an organic diet – are also available at wet markets, and they’re usually fresher. If you live reasonably close to a farm or you know a farmer, you can try buying directly from them, too.
2. Use a meal plan. Plan your meals at least a week in advance so you’ll know what you need to buy, and then get only as much as you’ll need. That way, you don’t pay for extra food that will only go to waste later on. Measure out portions if you have to, especially for meat,
3. Buy in bulk in season. Are there fruits or veggies you love using that aren’t always in season? Wait until you can buy a large amount at a discount, then set aside the greater portion in your freezer for those times the certain item won’t be available at the market.
4. Waste not, want not. Buy whole chickens or bigger cuts of pork or beef, which cost less per pound when compared to smaller cuts. Use the chicken carcass to make soup stock, cut the beef or pork yourself to use in more than, say, 3 dishes.
5. Grow it yourself. Organic herbs are usually the most expensive item you could spend on. Instead, grow your own herbs so they’re always fresh and available.