Let’s face it, we all know that eating organic is a good idea, but organic food can come with a hefty price tag. As a single mom, you may feel that there is no way you can eat organic on a budget like yours. The truth is, however, that eating organically can be affordable, if you know how to do it.
First, decide which items need to be organic. Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, spinach, lettuce, and potatoes are sometimes called the “dirty dozen,” because they are so high in contaminants due to the way they absorb pesticides while they grow. Make a commitment to purchase these organically, and allow yourself to purchase other fruits and veggies in the regular isle. Then, buy only in season to save even more.
If you make the decision to switch to organic meat, look for a local producer. Then, cut the amount of meat you put in your foods. You can make a casserole, for instance, with ½ a pound of ground beef instead of a full pound, and save substantially by doing so and switching to organic, grass-fed beef. Look for meals that you can make with another protein source, like beans.
Whenever possible, buy fresh instead of packaged organic foods, but make sure you plan appropriately to use them before they go bad. Packaged foods, even organic ones, always cost more and have less nutritional value than fresh foods.
Finally, go local. A local CSA farming program, butcher shop, or even farm is going to have a lower price on organic or chemical-free foods. Remember, just because it isn’t certified organic doesn’t mean it is full of chemicals. Some chemical-free farmers opt not to pay the money to become certified organic, but they can be a source for affordable, chemical free foods. Take a weekend to shop around your local area to find these types of local resources, and make yourself a list of places you can shop organic on a budget. Your children and their future health will thank you, as will your grocery budget.