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This article by Pat Veretto originally appeared on partner site The Dollar Stretcher.
Can you buy organic foods and still be frugal? Maybe. You just can’t get around the fact that organic food is more expensive than products grown with the help of chemicals and kept with the help of additives.
You may never be able to buy organic food as cheaply as other foods, but you certainly can lower the cost with a little sleuthing and determination…
- Buy bulk organic food. It’s a great way to save, not only on grains and fresh produce, but on meat too. If you can find someone who raises organically fed beef or pork or small animals for butcher, it will usually be cheaper than buying organic meat from the store (if you can even find it there!).
- Raise your own meat, if you have room – it can save you even more. Rabbits, chickens, quail, and so on can be raised organically in even small areas, but you have to do more work than just going to the feed store and hauling home sacks of chemically grown feed.
- Cook from scratch. Make soy milk and tofu. You can save around $2 or more on a half gallon of soy milk. It isn’t hard to do with a blender, but electric soy milk makers are available. While they may seem pricey, do the math and you’ll find it won’t take long before they pay for themselves.
- Grind your own grains for bread. Manual grinders are cheap, but electric ones are worth it too. At an average of $4 for 5 pounds of organic specialty flours, you’ll save tremendously.
- Join an organic food co-op. A co-op can buy in bulk, but you don’t have to when you shop there. You can buy smaller amounts of fresh produce as well as saving the hassle of finding storage for large amounts of food.
- Look for non-certified organic food. Farmers markets and roadside stands are good places. Get to know the grower, or at least be friendly, and ask how the food was grown. It doesn’t have to be certified to be free of chemicals and poisons.
- Use coupons. You’ll seldom find coupons for organic foods in mainstream magazines and newspapers, but they do exist. Go to the website of a brand-name organic food you want and see if they have coupons there, or email them and ask. All Organic Links is a good place to find deals on organic food, clothing, and other products. Another way to find coupons is to watch the containers the food is in. Some have printed coupons on or in them.
- Grow at least part of your food. You can get it a lot cheaper than even non-organic food on sale. Even if you can only grow a little lettuce or a few radishes in a pot on a window sill, you’ll save money (if you would otherwise buy lettuce or radishes).
Don’t feel guilty about eating healthy! Just work to make sure you really do get the best for less.
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