Eating Organic On A Budget

There’s plenty of advice out there why eating organic is the best option for you and your family, yet, the cost of organic food can seem prohibitive. If you’ve ever considered making the switch but couldn’t see how to make it work for you, here are some tips to help you eat organic within your budget.

RELATED: Is Organic Food Worth The Price?

It’s not all or nothing

You don’t have to change your entire diet in one go. Start small and change a few items that you eat often, and you will already be reducing your intake of pesticides.

Look out for organic when shopping

When you go shopping, don’t automatically reach for the brand you’re used to, but compare the prices of organic and non-organic products first. Sometimes you will find that the difference in price is negligible or organic items can even be cheaper when they’re on special.

Buy seasonal

Fruit and veggies are always cheaper when they are in season and if you buy local, there won’t be any transportation cost added to your product to deliver it from somewhere else.

Replace products that are highest in pesticides

Some foods retain more pesticides than others and are best to buy organic. Some of these are apples, celery, peaches, nectarines, cucumbers and strawberries. Other non-organic foods have less pesticides and if you’re changing your diet little by little, here are some of the items to replace last: asparagus, mangoes, avocado, cabbage and onions. You can download a list of the best and worst products to buy organic from and carry it with you when you go shopping.

Join a buying co-op

An affordable way to buy organic is to get together with other local families and buy wholesale. If you can’t find a co-op in your area, start one. Not only you’ll get your organic food cheaper, you’ll also find a community of like-minded people, which always helps. Change is easier when you’re not doing it alone.

Eating organic doesn’t have to break the bank, you just have to make it a priority and get creative with it.

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March 22, 2015

4 Ways To Cut Your Grocery Shopping Time In Half

I’m pretty sure most people despise grocery shopping just as much as I do. (Well, I actually loathe it. It’s my most hated chore – so maybe not.) Regardless of whether or not you feel as strongly as I do, you could almost certainly use that that time much more efficiently somewhere else, doing something else, other than schlepping around a supermarket. Possibly even something fun. So here are a few ways I have found – through my extensive research on the topic – that will cut your grocery shopping time in half, leaving you more valuable minutes to… play Candy Crush.

Pick the right time to go to the store

No, not a time that suits your schedule but a time that the supermarket will be at its least busy yet fully stocked. This is usually super early in the morning and rather late at night when the night-fill guys are packing the shelves. Whatever you do though, avoid Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoon/evening like the plague. You have been warned.

Self service is not quicker

You heard right. If you have a trolley-load full to the brim and if the make-up of that stash is primarily fresh foods, meats and deli items, it will take you 18 months to find all those little buttons on the self-service machine. Then there’s the weighing. Argh! You’ll be pulling your hair out in clumps when you can’t find the red onions and the weight of that butternut pumpkin is NOT 5.3kg. The check-out chick gets paid to scan your groceries and take your money. Let her do her job.

Get friendly with the staff in the deli

This is by far my fave part of the grocery store, yet it’s my least fave at the same time. Why? The wait! Clearly everyone else in my neighbourhood shares my love of kalamata olives, swiss cheese and hungarian salami. So this is where you grab the attention of the deli attendant (perhaps with a wink and a smile), you relay your order and then go about doing the rest of your shopping. When you return, your order will be their waiting for you – no matter how many people are ahead in the ticket queue.

Revise the way you write your list

In my everyday life, not just my grocery shopping, I am continuously looking (some may say agonisingly searching) for the most efficient way to do things. All things. Anything. So guess what? I found a way to make your shopping list work for you. The most efficient way to write your shopping list is not to quickly draft it in the Notes app on your phone as you run out of things until they all add up. You put the items in the order they appear in the store. Depending the route you take in your own supermarket, note down what you need in each section. There are some apps, like Pepperplate, Paprika and even the Coles app, that will help do this for you. Easy.

TIP: If you really can’t bear the grocery store at all, shop online instead. It’s quicker, it’s easier, they have everything that’s in the store and the guy that drops it off will even unpack it for you. Score!

May 11, 2014

8 Kitchen Cupboard Staples You Need

Print this list out and take it to the supermarket the next time you do your grocery shopping:
Canned beans. An excellent source of fibre and non-meat protein. Quality can vary among brands, especially for cannellini beans, which can be mushy. However, chickpeas are generally good.Bacon, cured meats and sausages. Bacon or smoked ham are great in pastas, soups like a hearty vegetable soup, and with fresh greens. Cooked sausages can be used with beans for a quick casserole.Herbs and spices. Most major supermarkets carry at least several fresh herbs. I suggest buying mint, basil, thyme, chives and cilantro and flat-leaf or Italian parsley. Grind whole spices like cumin, allspice, dried ginger root, black pepper, and nutmeg for more intense flavor.Parmesan cheese. This is definitely the most versatile and important cheese in the world. Use the real thing, Parmigiano-Reggiano; it’s worth the extra cost. Though freshly grated Parmesan is always best, for convenience buy it already grated (or grate a large amount yourself) and store it in the freezer where it will it keep for a few months.

Eggs. Amazingly versatile and not as fattening as you may think. Always store them in their containers in the refrigerator, but not in the door, which is not cold enough.

Olive oil. Use the more flavorful extra virgin type in cold preparations like salads, or in cooked dishes where the oil is drizzled in at the very end to enhance the flavor. Find the specific oil you like, regardless of where it comes from, by experimenting — much like tasting wine. Always go for intense flavor. For sauteing or frying, pure olive oil or a lower grade of extra virgin is fine.

Pasta. Dried pasta is the best staple for any home as well as being incredibly convenient. Include dried capellini, primarily because it cooks the fastest.

November 3, 2000