If money is no issue, then these organic versions are well worth the price. But if that’s not the case for you (and it isn’t for most of us), what can you do?
(1) Look for organic foods with the smallest markups. Most organic products do not cost nearly twice as much as their conventional counterparts; probably a majority of organic food products fall within 10% to 20% of their conventional versions.
(2) Keep the higher prices in perspective. Even if an organic product does cost 50% more than its conventional counterpart, how much money is it actually costing you? If something costs $3 instead of $2, and you only buy it once a month, it is not likely to break the bank.
(3) Pick foods where “organic” matters most. As noted in an earlier post, certain conventional produce contains far higher pesticide residues than other conventional produce. Consider buying organic strawberries (because the conventional ones often contain notoriously high levels of pesticides) but conventional green onions (which contain very low pesticide residues).
(4) Eat cheaper foods. My organic red quinoa costs more than conventional red quinoa. But at under $5 a pound for this protein-packed grain, I could feed myself for days for under $10. Compare that to spending $7 for one meal at my local McDonald’s. Viewed this way, organic no longer looks so expensive.
Of course, it’s tough to eat quinoa alone, particularly meal after meal. But combine it with organic soy milk, which I can get for $2.99 per half gallon at my local Whole Foods, and a handful of organic blueberries (even at $4.18 per pound) and you have yourself a well-rounded and tasty meal for less than the price of most conventional meals.
How do you keep expenses low while eating organic?