If you are following social media from time to time, you know that there’s been a trend going on regarding eating organic food. And there’s nothing wrong with that – after all, it is healthy. A balanced eating program benefits not only our physical but also mental health. But what about those people who cannot afford to eat organic food, such as broke college students?
As we can read on the Meal Delivery Expertswebsite, “College students have a lot to deal with. Classes, studying and hanging out with friends take up a lot of their time, and this means that a lot of them resort to quick, easy, and unhealthy fast food to feed themselves. This can only lead to more problems such as a lack of energy and gaining weight.”
Thankfully for them, there are many ways in which you can eat organic food on a budget. Some of them include…
Growing Your Own
You might be surprised, but you don’t need to have a garden or put too much effort into it – growing your own vegetables and herbs is quite easy. All you need is a few pots, in which you can grow them. Furthermore, they can grow literally everywhere – on a windowsill, on the porch or the driveway. It’s up to you where you put them.
The best way to start is by planting herbs as they tend to be more expensive than vegetables to buy. And if you want to be eco-friendly, you can use empty egg boxes as planters, and old cans and milk bottles as plant pots. Growing your own food can save you a lot of money, and you can’t forget about how rewarding bringing your own food to the kitchen table is.
Reducing Waste By Planning Your Meals
Studies showed that an average household wastes even 40% of its food because of overbuying and inadequate storage. To reduce that waste, you should create shopping lists and think about what you want to cook ahead – keep in mind what you already have in your fridge so that you won’t have to throw it away.
A good idea would be to keep older vegetables in one drawer and newer ones in another. Rotate them from time to time so that you will know when something will start to addle. The money that you would waste on buying too much food can go to purchasing organic products.
Buying In Bulk
Buying larger quantities of organic products that can be kept for long, such as onions, potatoes, pasta, pulses and dried foods can save you money in the long run. Also, if you have space in your fridge, you can buy whole animals butchered for less. Cut them into portions and freeze them separately. That way, you can defrost them when you need to.
Reading The Labels Carefully
Just because there is the word ‘natural’ put on the label, it doesn’t mean that the product is free from, for instance, synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. So if you want to make smart decisions regarding buying organic products, look for the USDA organic label.
The label is a guarantee that the products were made through approved methods. Before a product can obtain this label, USDA-accredited certified agents need to verify whether the specific requirements were met.
Focusing on Priority Foods
Buying only organic food might not be possible for some people (like broke college students). That’s why the Environmental Working Group came up with two lists called the ‘Clean Fifteen’ and ‘Dirty Dozen.’ One of them includes the least pesticide-ridden fruits and vegetables, while the other lists all the products that you should avoid buying non-organic. The lists are updated every year.
According to this list, the best products to buy non-organic are – avocados, pineapples, sweet corn, frozen peas, cabbage, onions, asparagus, papayas, mangoes, eggplant, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit and sweet potatoes. On the other hand, products that you should avoid include apples, peaches, spinach, potatoes, cherry tomatoes and more.
Taking Advantage of The Coupons and Sales
A good way of eating organic food on a budget is doing a little bit of research before heading to a store. If you know what you want, you can check on the shop’s website, whether they have any coupons that you can utilize.
You can also look through the store’s flyer and base your shopping list on the products that are on sale that week. If you find offers like ‘buy one, get one for free’, you should go for it, as you can always freeze the excess food in your freezer. Whether you realize it or not, coupons and sales can save you a lot of money.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can eat organic food on the budget. All you need to do is plan everything carefully. Bon Appétit!