Thursday, 17 April 2014

6 Ways to Save Money on Organic Food

Many people think Organic food is ridiculously expensive, in my opinion this is only a matter of perception. The cost of buying organic food and as a percentage of household income it has has probably remained relatively similar throughout history. 

However, the last 30-40 years has seen food producers - cheered on by supermarkets - conduct a race to the bottom on food prices. Until very recently food prices had been going down relative to household income. So how did they reduce the relative costs of producing food?

Junk food and mass farming techniques have brought prices down. 'Real food' has been replaced with fillers, artificial flavours and colours. The mass of the population have not seemed to care about this, although there is now a growing trend for fresh organic food. 

Regardless of whether you agree with my line of reasoning above, junk food is definitely cheaper to buy than organic.

So how do you reduce the cost of the wonderful Organic food available?

1)  Eat Seasonally 

Before the days of food being flown halfway around the world, you couldn't eat fruit like strawberries in Winter. If you buy locally and seasonally, the food is usually cheaper than food flown in from the Southern Hemisphere in Winter. 

Another tip is to buy lots of cheap organic products in season and freeze it for later in the year. 

2) The Freezer is your Friend

Recent studies have found that freezing fruit and vegetables retains more of the essential vitamins and minerals when compared to fresh produce which has been stored for five days or more. If you can buy organic from the freezer section you get the best of both worlds. Not to mention you can use just the amount you need and reuse it. not wasting food once it goes bad. This is another easy way to cut the cost of organic food.

3) Reduced Food

Whether you're at a supermarket, green grocers or at the local market. Generally, there is a section in which food that is almost reaching its expiry date is kept. When fruit is fully ripe or doesn't look "pretty" any more it is usually reduced to clear. So look for food that is the best quality and then buy it at a reduced price, obviously it has to be eaten quickly so don't buy more than you need. You can also buy it and freeze it for later.

4) Get a Veg Box 

Veg Boxes have become more and more popular in the last ten years, essentially they are subscription services where you are delivered boxes of organic fruit and veg weekly from your local farmer. Most of these services have expanded far beyond fruit and veg - with a variety of products available. These services can often work out to be very cheap and having them delivered weekly to your door is very convenient.

5) DIY Cooking

Cooking big meals yourself is cheaper and more nutritious than buying daily ready meals for example. It does take more time and effort, but a big stew can either be used several times over the week or frozen and eaten at a later date. This should free up more money to buy the best organic food.

6) Bulk Buying 

As with most products buying in bulk can save you a bundle. If you're buying rice and beans for example, you can easily save 20-30% when compared to a supermarket. Go to your local farm stores and farmers markets to get the cheapest deals. Make sure you know how to store and preserve all the food you buy, but if you do it correctly, you should save a lot of money.

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