These are tough economic times and healthy eating does come at a price. The good news is, with a little ingenuity you can make your dollar go further while keeping you health (and waistline) in check!Eating Organic On A Budget
Organic foods have been proven to contain a higher percentage of nutrients, have no pesticide residue and while this may simply be my opinion, taste better than their non-organic counterparts.
With that said, organics also cost on average 30% more than conventionally grown products which makes them un-attainable for many.
Take some time to evaluate the food products that comprise your core diet. It is not necessary to switch your entire pantry over to organics; make decisions based on what foods you consume on a daily basis.
Once you have pinpointed your core items, consider the following:
• Search for coupons. Spending a total of 10 minutes I was able to pinpoint several manufacturer websites that enable you to print coupons directly from your computer. These sites include:
• Join a local food co-op. Food co-ops are member run, non-profit organizations that provide you with access to quality, locally grown food at a good value. There are typically nominal fees to join (often based on your income level) and many accept food stamps. You can find a listing of local food co-ops at www.localharvest.org
• Buy in-season and be flexible. While not necessarily certified organic, local farmer markets carry fruits and vegetables that may still be pesticide free since these foods are not traveling great distances.
• Be wary of the “dirty dozen". Foods listed below have been found to be most vulnerable to the addition of pesticides, growth hormones and antibiotics. Considered the “dirty dozen”, if these foods make up a large portion of your daily diet, you should definitely consider organic purchases.
1. Beef, pork and poultry
2. Dairy products: Milk, Cheese, Butter
3. Berries: Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries
4. Apples and pears
6. Spinach and salad greens
9. Stone Fruits: Peaches, nectarines and apricots
10.Grapes (especially imported grapes)
• Invest in a crock-pot. Because slow-cookers cook at a low temperature you can use less-costly, flavorful cuts of meat as the cooking process will tenderize them over the course of several hours. Just make certain to blanch or saute vegetables prior to adding to the crock-pot so that they maintain their vitamins and trace minerals. Another benefit - dinner is ready when you get home so you're less likely to be bringing home "take-out" or grazing while you're waiting for dinner to cook.
Train hard; stay strong.