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Feeding Your Family Organic Without Going Broke
Whether you're just feeding yourself or feeding a family of 4, buying organic food stuffs can get pricey. But there are some great ways to go organic without going broke.
Pay attention to sales in your local stores and stock up when you can.If you have access to a Whole Foods, consider signing up for their e-newsletter. Twice a month, they send out their best store specials. If you're a Whole Foods shopper, they also frequently offer discounts if you buy a case or more of something. So if you just can't live without your organic whole wheat pasta, stock up! And don't be afraid to freeze stuff (for example, if there's a great deal on organic strawberries, go for it. If you don't eat them all in time, freeze them and use them in smoothies. Or if you get some great organic veggies, you can always make and freeze a big pot of soup).
- Use coupons.
The internet is a powerful thing. Don't be afraid to use it! It does take some up front leg work but it can give you some great coupons and discounts. To start off with, if there's a particular brand you like, check out its website! Often times, brands and manufacturers will have coupon sections or discounts included in e-newsletters.
Here are some websites that aggregate coupons and deals for organic/sustainable goods: Ecobunga.com - discounts, offers, and green contests; ShopNatureOasis.com - coupons for national brands; MamboSprouts.com - free printable coupons; Alexscoupons.com - discounts and deals
- Find deals for online purchasing.
If you order stuff online, you can find some good deals. One option is to keep tabs on Amazon's Natural and Organic Grocery section. Toward the bottom of the page, they list sales and specials.
- Buy from the bulk section.
If your grocery store has a bulk foods section, head on over there and look for organic labels. It's generally cheaper to buy your grains, beans, and pasta that way.
- Sign up with a CSA.
Community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs help local farms. Programs can get you weekly, bi-weekly, or sometimes monthly boxes of local and seasonal (and often organic) produce. This way, you're buying straight from a farm, and skipping the middle man. Find CSAs near you with Local Harvest.
- Grow your own!
You can't get more local or organic than growing your own food. If you have some space and some energy, plant food plants! Check out this guide on How To Sprout Seeds For Inexpensive And Tasty Nutrition.
- Find a You-Pick farm.
If you don't have the space, time, or inclination to grow your own, you might be able to find some You-Pick farms in your area. Buying fruit here is again straight from farm to table, cheaper, and lots of fun!
- Start with the Dirty Dozen for Produce.
If the cost of organic produce makes you cringe try buying just these 12 items which have the most concentration of pesticides/herbicides in their non-organic form. It's a great way to start the switch and will make the cost seem not so daunting. The Dirty Dozen are listed from most toxic to least but, you should always buy these produce items organically.
- Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green, Orange)
- Cherries (Grown in USA)
- Cantaloupe (Grown in Mexico)
- Green Beans
- How To Green Your Lunch
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