You don’t need a trust fund, a Brooklyn high rise and a collection of ironic t-shirts to eat organically these days. A rising demand for healthier, naturally grown food has made it easier than ever for working-class stiffs to afford an organic diet. So if you’ve ever considered leaving fast food nation for the greener, healthier pastures of organic foods, then put that cheeseburger down and listen up. Here are 4 ways to eat healthy – without busting your bank account.
- Stay in season. When you’re eating organically on a budget, you should always stick to fruits and vegetables that are in season. These produce will taste a lot better, and it’ll cost up to three times less than it would if you were to buy it any other time of the year. It’s also important to remember that organic foods don’t always come into season precisely when their non-organic counterparts do, so you might need to wait a little longer for the good stuff to hit the shelves.
- Learn to love farmers’ markets. When you shop at a farmer’s market, you can be sure that the food you’re buying is organically grown and good to eat. Since these local street markets don’t have the same overhead as big-box grocery stores, you’ll also save a bundle of money when you buy from them. The only downside is that some of these markets won’t accept your eco-friendly credit card, so you need to make sure you stop by the ATM before making your rounds.
- Participate in community-supported agriculture. Community-supported agriculture is a new trend that’s helping both local farmers and healthy eaters get the most out of organic crops by cutting out the middleman. Instead of buying produce from a store, you and a group of other buyers purchase an entire season’s harvest from a farmer in advance. The farmers make more money than they would by selling to a vendor, and you get a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies for a fraction of the regular retail price. If you’re interested in giving CSA a try, then you can check out the programs in your area at Local Harvest.
- Buy your produce in bulk. If you’re stranded in the heart of the city, farmers’ markets can be hard to come by. Luckily, you can still get a great deal on produce by shopping at wholesalers like Sam’s Club. Purchasing organic fruits and vegetables in bulk won’t be as cheap as buying directly from the farmer, but it’ll certainly be more affordable than shopping at an organic grocery store. You can also save money and storage space by splitting your haul with a friend.
More on Frugal Food
It’s time to put the rumor to rest: you simply don’t have to spend a fortune on organic foods. While grocery stores might jack up the prices on their organic produce, there are plenty of ways to get wholesome, natural fruits and vegetables for no more than what you’re currently spending on that slop you call dinner. So the next time a farmers’ market swings into town, make sure you check it out. You’ll see just how affordable an organic diet can be. And who knows, you might even like it.
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