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How to eat organics on a shoe-string budget

Shopping with a toddler for healthy organic food that doesn't have to be expensiveLet’s be honest, no matter where you are on the salary spectrum, no one’s keen to throw away their hard-earned cash without good reason, but there are enormous advantages to eating organic produce and meat, fruit and vegetables in particular.

Not only is their nutrient content reportedly 3-4 times more rich, it’s also better for the breeding of the animals and for our environment. If we believe the current research, eating 3 pieces of organic fruit is the nutritive equivalent of eating 9-12 pieces of non-organic fruit. However, there is no denying that organic food is not as widely available and is more expensive and with the rising cost of living, most of us are not looking for extra places to spend.

There are a few tips I’ve picked up to make it possible to eat organically, at least a portion of the time.

How to eat organics on a shoe-string budget

Shop more often

I used to read everywhere about stocking up and shopping just once a week or fortnight, as a way to save money at the supermarket. I actually feel this is the opposite of what we should be doing.

When I used to do big shopping trips every week, I would end up purchasing way too much food which would then inevitably end up in the bin and I’d buy things I didn’t need just because I was already in the supermarket, “While I’m stocking up, I’ll just get more milk”. Now we order online, I don’t forget anything and I don’t give in to impulse purchases like chocolate in the check out. Then I go to the markets or fruit shop every day for fresh fruit and vegetables. This drastically reduces our wastage.

I also order organic fruit and veggie boxes online which allows me to expand my repertoire with produce I wouldn’t normally select myself and its extremely fresh so it naturally lasts a lot longer. Organic food typically doesn’t last as long, however because its so fresh it can survive in your fridge for just as long.

Reduce your waste and buy less

Australians throw away on average 20% of the food they purchase. That’s 1 in every 5 bags of groceries. That adds up to $8 billion worth of edible food every year, just in Australia.

The simplest way of improving the quality of the food you are buying (that is choosing organic and fresh produce over conventional packaged foods), is to reduce the quantity. I find this easiest to do by buying small amounts, more regularly and ensuring you purchase only what you need, instead of buying in bulk and thinking you will use up the leftovers later.

Take care of your food so it doesn’t waste

One thing we don’t learn in school is how to look after our produce so that it lasts longer. I was devastated when I noticed one morning that my partner hadn’t put some freshly purchased raspberries in the fridge the night before and they had gone mouldy. They’re so expensive!

Do your research on the best places to store your fruit and veg so they have the longest shelf life they possibly can.

Shop seasonally

Produce that is in season is more plentiful and thus cheaper. Shopping at farmer’s markets will always be seasonal, and ordering boxes of fruit and vegetables from organic delivery services provides you with an array of produce you may not have selected yourself, which gets you outside of your box!

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