How to Go Organic Without Going Broke

Photo (cc) by USDAgov

There’s no question that in a perfect world, shoppers would choose the apple with less pesticide residue over the one with more.

Still, many shoppers pass by the organic fruit in favor of the conventionally grown option because of the price difference. However, recent research by Consumer Reports and Kiplinger shows that shoppers who know where to look can find organic foods for the same price as conventional foods — or possibly for a lower price.

In some cases, it’s worth paying more for organic foods because some conventional foods have much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. (See “These 10 Organic Foods Are Worth The Extra Cost.”)

But in other situations, choosing the right store allows you to buy certain organic foods for less than they would cost at other stores.

For example, Consumer Reports found that at some stores, organic lettuce, carrots, maple syrup, olive oil and cream cheese were at least as cheap as conventional counterparts.

Kiplinger found that even Whole Foods Market, sarcastically referred to as “Whole Paycheck,” has surprisingly low prices on certain organic foods, including milk, chicken broth and peanut butter.

Kiplinger suggests shopping these sources of organic foods:

Aldi

While the chain’s scaled-down stores offer relatively small selections of organic foods, they tend to be cheaper than similar items sold at supermarkets and Whole Foods.

For example, a 25-ounce jar of organic marinara sauce is anywhere from 50 cents to more than $2 cheaper than similar sauces at other grocery stores.

Farmers markets

While farmers markets may offer few items that are certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they tend to offer a lot of naturally grown or raised food. So Kiplinger suggests doing some comparison shopping at your local farmers markets.

To find farmers markets near you and to learn how to save money at them, start with “10 Ways To Get More Out Of The Farmers Market.”

Trader Joe’s

This chain’s top organic deals include produce, beef, yogurt and coffee, among others. For example, a 6-ounce package of organic spinach was $2 less than at several supermarkets.

Wal-Mart

The mega-chain stocks 1,600 organic groceries, including a line of packaged goods from Wild Oats. Spokeswoman Molly Blakeman tells Kiplinger that prices are on par with those of similar conventional items and average at least 25 percent less than those of national organic brands.

Watch out for organic produce from Wal-Mart’s Marketside brand, though. Kiplinger reports that Aldi and Trader Joe’s often have better prices on organic produce.

Warehouse clubs

Kiplinger found that the membership cost at chains like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club, which can be more than $45 per year, can be recouped by buying in bulk, especially with organic offerings.

For example, BJ’s carries 150 organic items. Compared to other stores, organic chicken breasts are about $1 to $3 less per pound, and organic maple syrup is about half as much per ounce.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
6 Reasons Hiding Cash at Home Is a Terrible Idea
6 Reasons Hiding Cash at Home Is a Terrible Idea

Stashing cash around the house is anything but harmless.

8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement
8 Surprising Things No One Tells You About Retirement

Knowing what to expect can help you prepare for — and adjust to — life in your golden years.

7 Effortless Ways to Make Extra Money
7 Effortless Ways to Make Extra Money

In the digital age, new ways of earning cash crop up all the time — and some require next to no effort on your part.

The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction
The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction

These are the only homeowners insurance companies to earn above-average scores for customer satisfaction.

15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age
15 Purchases That Make Life Easier As You Age

There are many products that can make getting older — or any time of life — a little easier.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday
10 Deep Discounts Available on Amazon This Friday

These items are all steeply discounted — but the deals won’t last long.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50
7 Costly Health Problems That Strike After Age 50

As we age, our bodies wear down. Here is how to cut costs associated with some common ailments.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.