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Sustainability has become a trendy topic in the last few years. It is a good thing that more people care about our planet and their health in general.

As part of that, the “organic” lifestyle has become more common in today’s world. The only problem is that eating organic food tends to be more expensive.

However, most people don’t know that is is possible to eat organic food on a budget. Some of them don’t even know the benefits of it or why they should eat healthier food.

If you’re here, you probably have tried to eat organic but realized that it can get expensive quick. It is common for people that want to go organic but wonder whether they can afford it or not.

Before we dive into how to eat organic food on a budget, let’s go over the basics of what organic food even is.

What is Organic Food?

Although eating organic food is growing in popularity, most people start applying it to their lives not because of it being trendy. They realized that there are significant benefits of eating more organic food on a consistent basis.

So what is eating organic?

Organic food is what food should be like in the first place. It is pure food, straight from the earth and without additives.

Organic farmers grow their crops without pesticides or other chemical methods. They use natural farming techniques to grow their food, much like how our ancestors ate in the past.

Organic foods also do not have artificial additives or preservatives.

Organic food is not only applicable to the veggies we eat. Some inedible crops, like cotton, are also grown using organic farming standards. It also includes animal products, like meats and dairy.

Although people do not use pesticides in animals, organic animal products are free of antibiotics. These animals possess the highest animal welfare standards within the industry.

What are the Benefits of Eating Organic Food?

Eating organic food is a good way to get healthier and feel better about yourself. Here are a few reasons why you should eat organic food.

Pesticide-Free Food is Healthier for You

Studies from the Pesticide Action Network UK have demonstrated that exposure to pesticides have negative effects on our health. These repercussions can range from short-term illness, like memory loss, to long-term consequences, like cancer.

Additionally, it’s acknowledged that some pesticides can act as endocrine disruptors. These can cause hormonal problems, and in the worst scenario, they may affect our reproductive ability.

Non-Organic Farming Harms the Environment

Not only do pesticides affect our food, but they also cause significant damage to the environment. They are often sprayed into the air and can drift far distances, harming vegetation in wide swathes around the farm.

Pesticides and fertilizer can also end up in bodies of water, such as streams, rivers, ponds, and underground water sources. This can harm large areas of the environment, kill plants and animals, and poison our drinking water.

It is Non-Genetically Modified

GMO stands for genetically modified organism. It is used for new types of plants and crops that have been genetically modified to have better traits, such as being resilient to insects. While GMO food has been deemed safe by the FDA, there are concerns that they are not truly organic.

Non-GMO food is organic in the sense that they have been certified to have not been genetically modified. Non-GMO does not necessarily mean that the food is organic but it is one step closer to being more natural.

It has Higher Nutritional Content

According to this analysis by the Newcastle University, organic crops have sixty percent more antioxidants than non-organic foods. Organic food is a better option for you and your family to have a healthier life in the long-term. Since it has been grown naturally, it will have better taste and be of higher quality.

8 Ways to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

The only downside to eating organic food is that it is often more expensive than other types of food. Microwave meals, pre-packaged food, and frozen dinners are easy to make and cheap. However, they are not very nutritious and can hurt your family’s health.

Here are are some easy-to-follow tips to being able to eat healthy, organic food without breaking the bank. Let’s get started!

1. Grow Your Own Food

Although this may seem challenging at first, you can become a master of growing your own organic food after a while.  You don’t need to have a garden, but you should have a space dedicated solely for growing, like a porch or windowsill.

You can start with small pots of herbs, vegetables, and micro-greens. To save money, turn old things you don’t use, like egg boxes or milk bottles, into planters for your seeds.

Growing your own food gives you the control to make sure that they are completely organic. You’ll just need some good topsoil, seeds, and enough sun to make them grow. Once you are set up, it gets cheaper to produce your own food.

2. Avoid Eating Meat Frequently

Organically-certified meat can be expensive to buy, especially for premium cuts of steak and pork. However, proteins are a necessary building block for our bodies. To save money on organic meat, try to eat it less frequently.

Instead, substitute other cheaper protein options, like eggs, beans, and quinoa. If you can’t give up meat completely, try going for less expensive cuts like the shoulder and belly.

3. Reduce Your Food Waste

Start by eating all the food you cook. On average, households waste about twenty or thirty percent of the food that they buy. This can be due to multiple reasons, including over-buying and bad storage habits.

By reducing the amount of food you waste, you’ll be able to eat more of it and reduce excess spending. Work to buy the right amounts of food at one time and freeze or store it appropriately. Once you have food in your house, eat the oldest first so that it doesn’t spoil by the time you get to it.

4. Start Buying in Bulk

Buying organic food in bulk is an excellent habit if you’re aiming to save money in the long-term. It is often cheaper to buy a 10 lbs. bag of potatoes than a 5 lbs. bag.

The challenge is either eating the food before it goes bad or preserving it for later. Certain vegetables, like potatoes or onions, naturally last longer than other types of food when stored in cool, dry places. Buy a variety of long-lasting organic food and preserve other types with dehydration, freezing, and canning.

5. Cook More from Scratch

Convenience foods can be costly, so try cooking with raw, organic ingredients from scratch. By buying healthy food in bulk and preparing it yourself, you can cut down on the cost associated with having someone else cook it for you.

This includes avoiding prepared food at the grocery store, as well as eating out. Restaurants may have great organic dishes, but they are also more expensive.

6. Make Sure to Check the Prices

Although it may seem incredible, some organic foods have the same price as their non-organic equivalents. Simply be aware of what you are buying and go out of your way to look for organic alternatives. Shopping at a different store or ordering certain food online may also give you the best prices.

Besides shopping at different stores, you can often find coupons and sales to help save money on organic food. Track the prices for the food you purchase the most often and know when they go on sale so you can stock up.

7. Be Selective

Buying organic food is not possible all the time due to cost, time, or convenience. To get the most bang for your buck, try to focus on purchasing foods that are affected by pesticides the most. This list includes fruits and vegetables like oranges, apples, cucumber, and spinach.

By selectively focusing on buying the highest-impact organic food, you can still get many of the health benefits. This will let you feel a little better when other areas of your diet aren’t quite as organic.

Another idea is to selectively buy and eat certain types of organic food when they are cheap. For example, organic rice and beans can be an inexpensive meal that is also nutrient dense. By eating more rice and beans, you can also cost costs by avoiding more expensive food.

8. Buy Alternatives to Fresh Food

Instead of only buying fresh food, consider buying frozen, dried, or tinned organic food. These foods are often less expensive. Even better, they can last longer than fresh fruits and vegetables without spoiling and are still healthy.

Eat Healthy While on a Budget

Healthy eating will always be more expensive than eating fast food and frozen dinners. Fresh organic fruits, vegetables, and meat is harder to grow, transport, and store. This results in generally higher prices than processed food.

The good news is that it is possible to save money and still include organic, healthy eating in your budget. Plan out your budget and then use these tips to save money on an organic diet.

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