Simple Steps to Smarter Food Shopping

Buy bulk. Not only does buying bulk ensure a cheaper, fresher product anyways, but when it comes to organics, this is especially a smart way to shop. Your local co-op or health food store will invariably carry a wide array of organic options in bulk. Opting for these over boxed and packaged choices will help to drastically cut down on your grocery bill.

Buy seasonal. Here’s the thing about seasonal foods. Not only are they fresh, local, and in harmony with nature, but they are just plain practical. When fruits and vegetables are in season, they don’t require as far of a distance to travel to get to your table, and thus don’t take as much time to get to your table -- and so less chemical applications are required to keep them fresh in the meantime. When you buy strawberries from Mexico in the middle of winter, you can rest assured that those strawberries are laden with chemicals to keep them looking fresh while they travel some thousand miles to get to you.
Buy frozen when seasonal are unavailable. Alright, it’s winter, and you just really want some strawberries. Opt instead for frozen strawberries, which are going to have less chemical applications and a greater nutrient composition than the imported “fresh” strawberries. When fruits and vegetables are harvested for freezing, they are usually peaked at the peak of freshness and are frozen immediately, a process that naturally captures the freshness and nutrition of the food at time of harvest. These frozen foods are less likely to have harsh chemicals applied to keep them safe while waiting to get to your table.

Shop online. For those that have no access to a health store, or even a regular store that has any organics, seek alternatives from the online marketplace. Not only can you find virtually everything on the internet these days, but you can usually find it for a good bargain, as there is fierce competition among online companies. Check out the resource guide at the end of this article for your online organic shopping guide.

Prioritize your food budget. As repeated time and again, there is no need to get stressed out about buying everything organic. Not only can you prioritize which produce items are fine to buy conventionally, but you can also prioritize your entire grocery list. Is there any point in spending 5 dollars on a box of organic cookies, rather than 2 dollars on regular ole cookies? Perhaps, but perhaps not. The bottom line is that you are still buying a box of processed sugar, starches, and empty calories. Sure, they may be made with “organic” cane sugar, but sugar is still sugar, and that is not really greening your cupboard or your health. Instead, spend the extra few dollars on a few extra pieces of produce for the week, and maybe opt for the organic berries that seemed too expensive at first glance. At the end of the day, wholesome, real foods are still wholesome, real foods -- and boxed junk foods are still boxed junk foods. Don’t bother spending an arm and a leg on organic junk foods when you could be putting that money towards nutritious organics.

Shop house brands. One might wonder if generic brands are less likely to be truly “organic” than the more expensive name brand organics. But with the USDA’s strict national organic policy, one can rest assured that the cheaper store brand of organic foods had followed the same standards as other brands. Opt for these generic organic foods when you are looking to skim back on the grocery bill.
Written by :
Kim S