How to afford Organic Foods on a Tight Budget?

We live in a tragic world where the food that makes us unhealthier and cost untimely death is cheaper than the food that is organic. This is one of the reasons people find it very difficult to stay true to their diet. 

You want to eat healthier and buy more organic food and products, but you’re worried about the cost?

When we decide to eat quality food as a family with an already tight budget, it gets hard to justify spending  extra money to consume healthy food ( especially during the time of the pandemic).

As Kermit the Frog once said. “It’s not easy to be green, you want to do the right thing for yourself, your family, and the planet, but often it seems like an evergreen choice you make just pulls more greenbacks out of your wallet.”

 In this case, the green is organic food and the more you try to buy it the more money you end up spending. So let us go through what organic foods are and how to fix them in a constrained budget effectively.

What Does Organic Food Mean?

Simply put, organic foods are grown naturally without the use of harmful chemicals or fertilizers. When growing foods, farmers may use fertilizers, pesticides, growth hormones, and feed additives for livestock. These products add unwanted chemicals to our food which we consume later This may cause health concerns as we introduce unnatural chemicals into our bodies. 

Most of us may not even be aware of the chemicals that have been added to their food supply. We want more rights and control over the food that we consume on a daily basis. 

As we learned about organic food, you must be wondering if we live in a country where farming is done all over the place, then why does it cost more? That brings us to the next question. 

Why are Organic Foods Considered Costly?

Let’s face it, the food industry is taking shortcuts to increase profit and is less focused on consumer health. When you take shortcuts and create your own version of food your cost goes way down. Organic food industry isn’t taking these shortcuts and therefore needs to charge more to make ends meet. 

Organic foods may cost less to produce but that is not a significant reason for the higher price. There are 10 significant factors that might contribute to the high price of organic food:

  1. No Chemical = More labour 
  2. Demand overwhelms Supply 
  3. The higher cost of fertilizer for organic crop
  4. Organic food grow more slowly 
  5. Crop rotation 
  6. Better living condition for livestock
  7. Post-harvest handling cost 
  8. Organic certification
  9. Cost for covering higher loss
  10. Subsidies 

Farmers are essentially businessmen. They grow crops with the intention of making money. 

 

Ways to Afford Organic Food on a Tight Budget

 

  • Grow Your Own

Okay, let’s just get this thing out of the way, which has been talked about hundreds of times. No matter how cliche it might sound but it is true, there can not be a better way to have organic food other than growing it by yourself. Organic gardening doesn’t require a lot of space, it can be done in the yard adjacent to your house. Even if you have no yard at all, you can save money by growing tomato plants in a balcony or keep a couple of pots of herbs. Fresh herbs, especially organic ones, are some of the most expensive ingredients to buy at the supermarket.

 

  • Prioritize Your Purchase 

 

If you can’t grow the food on your own then there is always an option to go to the supermarket and buy it. But we always tend to go overboard while filling our cart in the supermarket, we feel like we might need that particular product in the near future, but we never use it. Based on a consumer reports study, if you make every single product in your shopping cart organic, you can expect to see a bump of nearly 50% in your budget. However, you can get it in the budget if you buy the foods that are essential for you and keep it limited.

Shoppers have many different reasons for choosing organic foods, including concerns about health, the environment, and the animal’s welfare. Which food you choose to buy depends on what type of shopper you are. 

 

  • Don’t Ignore Frozen Section 

 

Organic fruits and vegetables from the freezer section are often less expensive than some fresh supplies and are just as nutritious. Frozen produce is processed immediately during peak ripeness, unlike the fresh item in the produce section, which are often picked before ripening, shipped around the country and kept in supermarkets until they are purchased.

 

  • Buy From Local Vendors

 

No matter what you buy in supermarkets they will have their price tag on it, the price tends to go up with all that taxes we pay there. But local vendors don’t have that kind of service so they don’t charge various kinds of taxes. Find a farmer’s market near you and get to know your farmer. If you can build a relationship with a vendor he is likely to give you a discount on the product. And try to be the last person in their shop, they are likely to cut their prices at the end of the day. Where else can you get such great bargain tips, so go now and shop at the local vendors. 

 

  • Buy It Seasonal 

 

Produce is cheaper when it is in season. Firstly it hasn’t had to be shipped halfway across the world and secondly, it will be rich in nutrients. Buying in the right season  will get you fresh products and enjoy the eatables to the core. For example, if you buy mangoes in the monsoon or winter season you will not enjoy it to the fullest rather than buying it in the summer season. Buying organic food seasonally is a smart option to save your money.

 

  • Limit on the Meat 

 

If you are going to buy all organic food and try to have a healthier lifestyle you should limit your buy on meat. Meat is expensive, especially organic meat, and we often assume it needs to take centre stage in every meal. You can have your intakes of proteins in the same amount without meat. It is not necessary to have meat for your protein intake. Limit your purchase on meat and you will be surprised how much money you can save by just not buying organic meat.

Final Thoughts

Eating more organic food will most likely be a gradual thing. It will be an instant change for your family but stop making excuses for consuming more organic foods ever. No matter what your budget is, it certainly is possible. Find ways to start it, start small and incorporate just a few organic foods into your meal. 

Of course, not all the shoppers can take advantage of all the above tips. For example, city dwellers are less likely to have space for organic gardening. But they can have a wide selection of grocery stores to choose from. No matter where you live, you can certainly work on these useful tips that would help you save money while buying organic foods and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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