Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Tipster: How to buy organic on a budget

Today's Workout:
5 mile run (with strides at the last mile)

I think most people can agree with me when I say that eating organic is truly the way to go, but it almost seems like a luxury to do so. There is no doubt that eating organically can be very costly, but there are ways to mitigate the pain of dishing out a lot of money.

Here are some tips on how to buy organic while being on a budget:

1. Use coupons. Check the websites of your favorite companies for coupons and special promotions. For example, Whole Foods has coupons here every week for different products throughout the store.

2. Organize your meals for the week and budget what you buy. Plan out your meals for the week according to the organic foods that are on sale and write out a monthly budget to help you keep track of unneeded spending.

3. Do it yourself. Rather than buying certain products, DIY instead. For example, make your granola, juices, smoothies, etc., instead of buying it at the store.

My very own granola.

4. Buy organic frozen produce. This is a savvy way of buying produce instead of spending big bucks on fresh fruits and veggies.

5. Use the freezer. Freeze your leftovers instead of throwing them away.

6. Make smart choices. When buying meat and dairy products. These items tend to have pesticides, anti-biotics and cancer-causing hormones.

7. Limit meat consumption. Organic meat could be very expensive, so limit the amount you eat by replacing it with another protein. For instance, instead of a steak, eat a bowl of beans.

8. Use the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen list to make your produce purchases. For example, if you have the option of buying cheaper asparagus versus more expensive bell peppers, then opt for the asparagus. Asparagus has less pesticides than bell peppers.

9. Do not buy pre-washed fruits and veggies. These ready-to-eat produce are way more expensive than buying the entire fruit and making your own fruit bowl.

10. Buy what's on sale. If there's a "buy one get one free," then put that item in your cart.

11. Join a buying club. When you join a buying club, you can buy items in bulk for a cheaper price. For example, United Buying Clubs serves 34 states via its website.

12. Buy online. Buying certain products online can be cheaper than going to the store. For example, I shop at Vitacost for vitamins and Sun Warrior for protein powder.

13. Choose inexpensive organic brands. Instead of buying the "bouji" brands, choose brands like Trader Joe's, Publix, 365 brand, etc.

14. Join store loyalty and rewards programs. These programs typically have discounts on many items throughout the store.

15. Grow your own food. For example, you can grow your own herbs in pots and plant fruit trees in your back yard. Here are some tips on how to grow organic food inside of your home.

16. Don't waste food. For example,
  • Raw nuts and flour last longer inside a frigerator.
  • Place paper towels inside of your produce drawer to absorb the excess moisture. This will keep your produce fresh longer.
  • Place bananas separate from one another. It'll take longer to spoil that way.
  • Turn almond butter, cottage cheese, tahini sauce, yogurt and sour cream upside down in the fridge. This keeps them fresh longer because it creates a vacuum seal.
  • Put a bay leaf inside of containers of rice, flour and pastas. This repels bugs.
  • Learn how to use over the edge food. For example, overripe bananas can be used for banana bread.
Remember, "you could pay the farmer or you could pay the doctor!"
Do you buy organic food? Why or why not?
Transforming Your Morning Challenge:
Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for the early "goodmornings" that I get from other runners during my runs before work.
Quote: "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." -Albert Einstein
Positive Affirmation: It is the simple things that make me happy. Being with friends or loved ones, sharing food and wine and laughter.

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  1. I don't buy everything organic but there are certain items that are a must: milk, eggs, and meat. When I first moved to the US I'd buy whatever milk I'd find (i.e. non-organic milk). After a few months drinking it, I started missing my period and my belly was always swollen. The doctor said it was because of the hormons in the milk. Since I started drinking organic milk, I never had a problem again!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing that Martina! You're absolutely right, dairy, eggs and meat should be eaten organically because they have the highest risks of being grown with pesticides, hormones and GMOs.

  2. I try to buy 100% organic and as local as possible, though I don't freak out about eating out every nw and again. The pesticides scare me, but GMO absolutely horrifies me! We have an absolutely amazing, small business health food store near us, and while they are more expensive, they truly care about what they sell, they support small and local farms, and just genuinely care about the planet. And that just makes me so happy!
    Oh and I made your Picadillo recipe... Fantastic! The whole family enjoyed it :)

  3. That's great that you have a health food store that cares about its consumers. Like you said, GMOs scare me as well. They are detrimental to our health and completely toxic. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe! ;)