Enjoying the quality and taste of organic produce while on a budget is sometimes challenging. Some organic items, for instance, can seem like an expensive luxury, but the secret is in which organics are well worth the extra cost. Eating well and saving money are possible with the following tips.
1) Some produce has a strong outer layer that provides a natural defense against pesticides. You can safely purchase these “Clean Fifteen” as non-organics: Asparagus, Avocados, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Eggplant; Grapefruit; Kiwi, Mango, Onion, Pineapple, Sweet Corn, Sweet Onion, Sweet Potato, Sweet Peas, Watermelon.
2) You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by up to 80% by always buying the “Dirty Dozen” as organic: Apples, Celery, Cherries, Collard Greens, Domestic Blueberries, Imported Grapes, Lettuce, Kale, Nectarines, Peaches, Potatoes, Spinach, and Sweet Bell Peppers.
3) Stick to a list or have your groceries delivered. We’ve all grabbed a bag of potato chips to scarf down in the car on the way home. It’s not possible to make unintended purchases when somebody else is doing your shopping. Albertson’s new Fresh Pass offers unlimited free delivery, and 5% savings on all O Organics and Open Nature. Those savings add up when purchasing superior produce.
4) Buy whole foods. A block of cheese is less expensive than shredded, and canned beans are less than refried. Whole grains like oats and brown rice are also a better value per serving than most processed cereals. Whole foods are also usually sold in larger quantities and yield more servings per package, saving you more money overall.
5) Season your food with quality ingredients. Onions, garlic, leeks, scallions, shallots, lemon, dill, nutritional yeast, balsamic vinegar, paprika or hot peppers are a bargain when you consider how much flavor they add to a dish. You'll also use less salt, which generally most of us could stand to reduce from our diets.