What are some options to buy less expensive organic produce?
This may be my favorite question yet! There are quite a few good options available that most people are not even aware of. So here are a few of my favorites (and by the way if you would like to add a few more to the list, please reach out to me on Instagram or send me an email!) So grab your reusable produce & string bags and let's talk bargains :)
- Plant your own garden. If you have a yard and are physically able to do gardening, then it's a great option for many people. Gardening does take skill, but feel free to start small - you may be surprised by just how simple some plants can be to grow. If you are not an experienced gardener but you would like to learn, Joe Lamp'l's site is a great place to jump in and learn all you could ever want to know.
- Buy Ugly Produce. There is actually very strict rules and regulations in place by supermarkets around the size and shape of the produce they will carry in the store. If it's smaller/larger/asymmetrical/ etc. it is rejected. So where does all of that ugly produce go? Before 2015, it went to waste, farmers couldn't sell it. However, now there is a company called Imperfect Produce and they will deliver fresh and delicious ugly produce right to your door for 30-50% less than the grocery store prices, and yes they have organic options!
- Visit Your Local Farmers Market. In order for a farm to be certified organic, there are very strict regulations in place. In fact, my local farmer told me his strawberries are not certified organic because that would mean he couldn't plant anything on his fields for years. He has a family to feed so he hasn't been able to make that sacrifice. He assured me he doesn't spray or use any chemicals on his land and I believe him. This one puts your trust in the farmer, and I choose that over the big produce grocery stores. You can also visit the farmer's markets just before closing time and try to get a deal on what they were unable to sell that day.
- Negotiate With Your Local Grocery Store Manager. Grocery stores run a very tight profit margin and many items (especially in the produce department) go to waste. Make a visit to your local grocery store and ask to speak to the manager, let him know that you are making a switch to organic and budget is your main concern. Perhaps you can even offer him your cell phone number or email (or choose a particular day of the week where he typically has to get rid of most produce) and meet up to purchase these items otherwise destined for the landfill. You may just be able to strike up a great deal! (Ok, maybe this tip is a bit of a stretch but I would love to know if it works for you!)