by Sam Peters
More and more families are turning to organic foods in order to eat healthy and free from synthetic chemicals. The one main downside to this is, of course, the price. Organic produce and meat is significantly more expensive than conventionally raised food. Many families simply cannot afford to eat completely organic, even with helpful financial services like Green Dot prepaid cards no fees and with skimping on other extras like that morning coffee from your favorite coffee house. However, there are ways to reduce the cost of your groceries while delivering excellent organic groceries for your family. Here are your best options:
Farmer’s markets—One of the most tried and true ways to get fresh, local, organic food is to shop at a farmer’s market. Most towns have them and many towns have multiple markets. There are many benefits to farmer’s markets: they’re cheaper, fresh, and more personable than grocery stores. In addition, you’re supporting your local farmers. Plus, you will typically have a lot more options.
Get involved in a CSA (community supported agriculture) program –This setup requires you paying part of a farm’s operating expenses. In exchange, you get weekly fruits and vegetables delivered to your doorstep from a nearby harvest. There are usually multiple payment options and scalable price points.
Join a co-op—Cooperatives are member-owned businesses that offer discounted groceries from local family-run farms. Not only are you supporting local farmers, you’re also nourishing a forward-thinking community. Sites like Cooperative Grocer and LocalHarvest provide localized information for your nearest co-ops.
Join a buying club—Buying clubs typically offer 30%-40% discounts. Many people create small cliques, buy in bulk and then divide the groceries among them, saving money and time. Contact your nearest natural food store for recommendations on good distributors.
Use coupons from newspapers, magazines, and the Internet—Old-school savings for a new generation of shoppers, coupons are still a great way to save some bucks! The newest update to this route is using the Internet and its legion of social media sites. For even more savvy technology users, you can utilize location-based services like FourSquare to try and get great discounts. Become the mayor of a venue and cash in on the information superhighway!
This advice should be financially helpful for all people, but especially moms and dads looking to feed their families healthy food without going over-budget. Look into farmer’s markets, CSAs, co-ops, buying clubs, and coupons. Figure out a shopping game plan.
A word to the wise: it is possible to afford an organic lifestyle.