For a long time now, we’ve been made aware of the benefits of eating organic produce. Eating fruit, vegetables and meat that have not been in contact with pesticides or herbicides is obviously the way forward – considering the effect these harsh chemicals could potentially have on our bodies. However, as most of us are aware, the cost of buying 100% organic can be as much as 10-30% more expensive than non-organic items.
If you are keen to adopt a more organic lifestyle, however, there are ways and means of doing so, without needing to win the lottery. Here we look at some simple tips to help you step away from the chemicals and synthetics.
Head to your local market
Organic food from large supermarket chains often include a premium for their preparation time, fancy packaging and labels, however, a more cost-effective way might be to pay a weekly visit to your local farmer’s market to stock up on seasonal fruit, veg, meat and fish.
Obviously buying your vegetables nicely prepared and trimmed from the aisles is much easier, but this all hikes up the cost, whereas cutting the ends of your carrots or runner beans will only take a matter of minutes to do yourself at home.
Not only will you be saving money each week by avoiding the supermarkets, but you will also be supporting local businesses rather than fuelling the pockets of retail giants. And, the overall shopping experience is generally nicer, too!
Plan your weekly meals
Creating a weekly food calendar is not only time-saving for busy working families, but it can also help to save money, too. By working out exactly what you are going to prepare and what you will need, you are bound to eliminate expensive wastage.
This way, you can afford to buy organic ingredients, reduce your consumption of expensive and health-threatening ready-made meals and go through the week knowing where you stand. Meals don’t have to be complicated either; a hearty vegetable soup can be really satisfying on a winter’s day, especially if served with a chunk of freshly-baked organic bread from the local baker.
If you need a little bit of recipe inspiration, there are many sites online where you can download simple weekly organic meal plans for you and your family to enjoy.
Use your freezer
Becoming a savvy organic shopper can be easy if you buy in bulk and freeze what you don’t need that week. You could turn your weekly market visit into a fortnightly or even monthly trip – getting bigger discounts on larger volumes of organic fish and meat. Then, spend some time preparing bulk batches of bolognese or vegetable curry and pop half of it into the freezer until you are ready to re-heat it in the oven.
Of course, the initial outlay of cost will be higher if you buy in bulk, so you may need to think about how and when you will best be able to afford to do so. But, by the end of the month you will be able to notice the difference to your purse as well as appreciate the difference in taste and quality!