There are a lot of misconceptions out there about how expensive it actually is to eat organic. For starters, let’s point out that most people waste a lot of money on groceries anyway. So any discussion of a grocery budget must begin and end with reigning in excessive purchases. You shouldn’t sacrifice your health so that you don’t feel bad buying ten boxes of popsicles. Most organic foods are more expensive than their conventional counterparts, but sometimes only by nickels and dimes. Remember that phrase “don’t get nickeled and dimed?” It applies here.
Another consideration is that not all foods need to be purchased as organic. Many foods contain extremely low amounts of pesticide residue, to the point where it is a virtually negligible amount. Onions, corn pineapple, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangos, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, and mushrooms are all examples of fruits, vegetables and legumes that won’t have adverse affects on your health if their inorganic versions are consumed. Figure this into your grocery list.
Something else to consider is where you’re buying your produce. If you buy from Whole Foods or another specialty health store, then yes, the organic foods are going to cost you a pretty penny. But if you’re smart and go to farmer’s markets and buy from local farmers, you can get incredible deals on organic food. Towards the end of the day, many farmer’s markets will feature even better deals. It’s not uncommon to walk out with several bags of produce that you only spent a few bucks on.
Buying locally from farmer’s markets is important for another reason too. The produce will last for longer. Store-bought fruits and vegetables have been aging in transit and could have been sitting on the shelf for days, even weeks. Farmer’s markets produce is fresh and is much less likely to spoil. This means you will waste less and spend less on your groceries for that week.
For these reasons, the perception of organic as an expensive luxury is a myth and an extremely unfortunate one. Eating organic can save you money on groceries in the short run and can save you money on medical bills in the long run. Studies have shown that people who eat organic are healthier overall, which means you can expend to live a longer, more productive life. What could be more frugal than conserving on health and grocery costs?