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Organic Foods on a Budget

Written by Coupon Katie
Published: February 19, 2010

I had a revelation–a diet revelation. Like many people, I thought I was doing well by eating as healthy as possible, while still buying conventional fruits and vegetables. I knew organic was probably better; but figured the pesticide risk was minimal compared to the years I was adding to my life eating a variety of fresh raw foods. Then came Ori Hofmeckler’s book The Anti-estrogenic Diet, and the knowledge that those pesky pesticides were evil for another reason–they contained synthetic estrogens. Estrogen dominance is something we’re hearing about a lot lately. The symptoms include the early onset of puberty, obesity, and even infertility. I had been limiting my family’s soy intake, as well as buying hormone-free meat and dairy products; but was overlooking estrogen’s presence in the produce aisle. When I went on the diet, the only major change I made was to make sure the majority of my produce was organic; and 12 lbs and 6 weeks later, I was convinced of it’s validity. So, here was my revelation; but how was I going to add organic to my already ballooning budget. Here are a few things I’ve learned about saving money on organics:

1. Concentrate on replacing the produce with the heaviest concentration of pesticides first.

The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the biggest culprits in your supermarket and these are the fruits and veggies you should always buy organic. Apples are ranked second worst for pesticide residue, while bananas are 27th. So, I’ll buy my apples organic and my bananas conventional.

2. Grow your own.

Many of these vegetables are very easy to grow if you have even a little bit of yard or in a pot on a deck or porch. My father-in-law has wowed us all with his amazing “container” (better not say “pot” garden). Lettuces, kale, spinach (ranked among the worst of the conventionally grown produce), and other greens grow very well, especially in the cool of spring or early fall. You can also grow delicious sprouts on your countertop. Hmmm…sounds like a good blog post.

3. Check out the weekly savings advertised in the store or coupon circulars.

Earth Fare posts their specials online every week, and Mambo Sprouts and even have organic offerings.

4. Join a monthly food co-op.

I did this for a time, and it was a great way to save on organic items we bought frequently. After placing our orders, my friends and I would meet a truck at a convenient location to pick-up and share in the savings.

5. Join

If this is offered in your community, it is a great way to turn your recycling into points toward food coupons. Just this week I received two coupons for Earthbound Farms organic lettuce, a $20/off Earth Fare coupon, as well as Happy Baby organic snacks for babies.

These are just a few of the ways you can save on buying organic foods. If any of you have some other great tips, I’d like to hear about them here or on my blog at You can also stop by my blog today, February 19th, for my first giveaway–some organic healthy snacks.


You can also view this article here.

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