Can I Go Organic On A Budget?
Yes you can go organic on a budget and it's not all that difficult.
We've all been in that situation in the supermarket when you want to buy the organic version of a product but see the price and baulk at the cost! Yes we have to spend within our limits but sometimes it just takes a few tweaks here and there to be able to go organic.
Your little one is wearing organic kids clothes so his eczema is kept in check. Your green baby is wearing organic cotton disposable nappies. You have organic cotton muslins and a bamboo swaddling baby blanket but you're still not buying organic fruit and veg for your family. You need to start thinking of getting your whole family green from the inside out too!
Benefits to Going Organic
- Organic food has a higher nutritional content.
- Organic food contains far fewer harmful synthetic pesticides and unnecessary hormones.
- Organic Food is a GM free.
- Organic food tastes loads better.
We agree that organic food is generally more expensive than its non-organic alternative and for a lot of people, this price difference is the determining factor.
Going Organic on a Budget
Go Organic Gradually
You can't switch to organic eating overnight. Choose a few foods, to start, to buy organic and search high and low to find them at the cheapest price. Each time you feel good about the organic food you’re eating, try and start buying a few more. Pretty soon you'll have found a comfortable balance of eating the foods you want, and keeping the costs down.
Buy in bulk and freeze ingredients like berries etc. Also make bigger version of recipes and freeze them in portions. This way you will always have an easy dinner or lunch to hand. Saves time and money and you don’t waste food. Win, Win!
Buying in bulk is nearly always the cheapest way to eat organic. You can buy online for your kitchen cupboard staples like grains, tinned pulses and vegetables. You can also buy and cook in bulk then freeze whatever is left-over.
Buy Own Brands
Buying own brand products is probably one of the simplest ways to keep the costs down. You can genuinely cut pounds off some items by doing so. There really is very little difference, if any, between branded and own brand food.
Some foods aren’t completely necessary to buy organic so if it’s a question of cost, stick to the ones which are renowned for being better organic. Try to buy peppers, apples and cucumbers for example when buying organically but don’t worry too much about products like onions, avocado and mangoes.
Plan your meals for the week. It really cuts down the amount of food you put in your shopping trolley. It also means you won’t be tempted to go back to the supermarket later in the week and impulse shop!
Add Affordable Ingredients
Beans, pulses and root vegetables are the perfect way to make your meal go further without having to fork out for more expensive organic meat. Butternut squash, lentils and chickpeas are brilliant for padding out a meal.
Eat Less Meat
Meat is without doubt, one of the most expensive ingredients to buy organic. But meat is also one of the ones that is the best to do so. Cattle are often pumped with growth hormones, antibiotics and often suffer because of it. When you eat the meat of an animal, you are also eating whatever it has put in its mouth. Think about that every time you go to put meat in your shopping trolley. Try making at least one meal a week without meat. There are loads of good vegetarian/vegan recipes out there, and they are just as filling and tasty as the meat versions. This Easy Vegan Casserole is dead easy and incredibly cheap to make too.
Buy Seasonal Produce
If you buy food in season then it means that it doesn’t have to come from halfway across the world with a huge carbon footprint. So there is less money spent on transport which means less pollution and more money savings for you.
Supporting local businesses feels better than going to the big supermarkets. I agree, it can feel like buying at your local butcher or farm shop costs more. But when you factor in the additional costs of driving to the big out-of-town supermarkets and the environment impact, it becomes less of an issue..
To sum up, if you think organic baby clothes are worth the cost, then think long and hard about going organic all the way! It needn’t be quite as expensive as you think!
Kathryn Crawford, parenting writer, Granny-to-be and founder of MrandMrs50Plus.com