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5 ways to save on organic food

Last updated: March 06, 2014 03:07 PM

When I’m in the grocery store I’m always pulled two ways. I want to load up on organics but I balk at the cost. What’s worth the extra money? Here are some tips on what to look for as well as how to shop for organics, taken from our colleagues at Greener Choices:

  1. Prioritize your purchases. If your main concern is eating healthfully, you can have the biggest impact buying organic peaches, apples, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, pears, grapes, sweet bell peppers, celery, lettuce, spinach, and potatoes. Buying organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy can reduce your risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and potential toxins in nonorganic feed.
  2. Search the Web for coupons. Many major organic brands, including Annie's Homegrown, Earthbound Farm, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, offer coupons at their Web sites.
  3. Look for store-brand organics and bulk packaging. Examples include Whole Foods Market’s 365 Organic Everyday Value, Safeway’s O Organics, Stop & Shop’s/Giant’s Nature’s Promise, Kroger’s Private Selection Organic, Trader Joe’s, and others that often cost less than national name brands. Costco, for example, says its private label Kirkland Signature organics offer at least 20 percent savings compared with the leading national brand. 
  4. Join a food co-op. They are independent grocery stores that usually offer local and organic foods. Some have a membership fee and may require members to volunteer at the co-op for a few hours each month. Members get a discount when they shop. To find a local co-op, visit the Coop Directory Service or Local Harvest.
  5. Buy lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. That’s when prices are lowest. To see what produce is in season near you, go to Sustainable Table and click on the "Find Good Food" box and type in your ZIP code.  If possible, freeze or preserve produce for later.

Sue Byrne

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