Eco-Living Magazine

Organic Produce – How to Afford It? My 7 Ways to Put Healthy Food on the Table

Posted on the 29 December 2011 by I Prefer Organic @ipreferorganic

organic produceOrganic is expensive, but it’s worth it. Because of the extra expense, it was difficult to make myself start buying organic produce at first. I’m quite a penny-pincher, yet every time I go shopping, I buy organic.

Here’s how I manage to afford organic produce

(1) At home, we stopped watching cable TV. It saves money and it also reduced significantly my interested in TV. Now, when I am not so much exposed to commercials, I go shopping less frequently! Commercials have this way of making you feel like you need more stuff.

(2) I go shopping for clothes and shoes ONLY when I really need to. I didn’t think I was a big spender on clothes, but I still used to spend something like $100 a month. I recommend the swishing parties as a great way to save on clothes (books and furniture too).

(3) I limited buying skin and haircare products, which now I prefer to do by myself. For household cleaners and detergents I get by with baking soda, white vinegar, sea salt and borax. A year’s supply of all this stuff runs to less than $30.

(4) We started making our own bread and yogurt. Organic bread and organic yogurt are ridiculously expensive. Organic flour and organic milk, however, are quite affordable by comparison. The ingredients for a large loaf of organic bread with sunflower seeds add up to about $2. The ingredients for 100g jar of organic yogurt add up to 60-70 cents.

(5) At home, we save water in many different ways as well as use energy saving light bulbs. The latter are expensive, but in the long run they prove to be quite good investment.

(6) In some point I started using cloth diapers for my baby (now a toddler). Also, I buy 1 – 2 numbers bigger clothes for my son, so he can wear them longer. Swapping kids’ clothes is also a way to save money and invest them in organic produce.

(7) My mother-in-law has her own garden, where she grows everything – tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, parsley, fennel,  beans, zucchinis, strawberries, apples….and more. She shares her organic produce with us and this makes our lives much easier. But, if you are not so lucky as we are, start growing your own food on your balcony or yard. $10 worth of seeds gives you salad greens for a year, and they’re far more delicious than those sold in supermarkets!

Empty milk and OJ cartons make great planters: you just cut the top off, make some holes in the bottom for drainage, and fill with potting soil. I guarantee you will be hooked soon!

Moral of the story… living green can be quite thrifty, even if you do end up splurging on organic produce.

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