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Discount Organics: Six Tips for Buying Organic Foods on a Budget

Apr 8, 2008
We all know the benefits of eating organic foods, but sometimes the costs can be prohibitive. Here are six tips to help you buy organic while staying within your budget.

1. Get a card. One of the best ways to save on organic food, and foods of all kinds, is to sign up for a free supermarket savings card. Many different grocery stores have savings cards that allow you to take a certain percentage off of your total bill, or that give special prices on certain food items. As an added benefit, supermarkets collect data on their customers' buying habits. By using your card and buying organic, you could be affecting their future buying decisions. If more people like you buy organic, your favorite supermarket may begin to stock more.

2. Buy generic organics. Many supermarkets also carry generic store-brand organics. These brands can have the same ingredients as pricey, brand-name organic products, but at a fraction of the cost. You might be surprised at the quality of ingredients that you'll find in store brands.

3. Look online for coupons for organic foods. This, of course, only works on pre-packaged organic foods. Go to the website of your favorite health food stores as well as your favorite companies and get on their mailing lists so they can email you promotions and coupon codes.

4. Don't skip the warehouse. Savings on organic food doesn't stop at the local supermarket. You can also save big when you buy at warehouse clubs. Many warehouse stores are starting to carry organic produce, organic frozen meals and even eco-friendly household items. You can purchase items that you use every day, such as oil or flour, and lower your costs for organic goods.

5. Shop farmer's markets. Try shopping at local farmer's markets for fresh produce grown organically. Look for farmer's markets in the newspaper and try to find one nearby on a weekend or weeknight. As you are shopping, you can ask the farmers how they grow the produce and if they use organic methods. Keep in mind that, at a farmer's market, you'll only be able to buy produce that is in season, but the prices may be as much as half to one third cheaper than you'll find at supermarkets. You may even be able to lower prices further by buying in bulk from farmers.

6. Know what you need. You can also save on your total food costs by making your organic choices carefully. Adjust your purchases based on your needs and the level of pesticides that different foods contain. Some produce, such as bananas, avocados, and broccoli, retain less of the pesticides, so you can feel safer buying conventional varieties of these types of foods, and going organic with other items, such as like apples, cherries, and peaches.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson writes for Momscape.com and Susies-Coupons.com, where she shares organic food coupons as well as Gaiam coupons.
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