Buying organic food is sometimes considered a luxury that most people can’t afford, but with the right planning, shopping organic on a budget is possible. At Ward’s, we are proud to offer a wide selection of organic and local produce, meats, and other items. If you are interested in how to shop organic on a budget, we offer some tips that can help you save money on your next trip to the grocery store.
The “Organic” Label
The term “organic” has been around for over a decade. In 2003, organic foods were available in about 20,000 natural food stores and 73% of conventional grocery stores in the United States. Even with the growing popularity, however, most people aren’t sure about what the “organic” label really means.
There are three commonly used organic labels:
- “100% Organic” – This means that the product can only be made from organic ingredients – meaning no antibiotics, hormones, genetic engineering, radiation, or synthetic pesticides or fertilizers can be used. These products usually display the USDA Organic logo.
- “Organic” – These products contain 95%, with the balance coming from the approved National List. These products also display the USDA Organic and/or other certifier’s logo.
- “Made with Organic Ingredients” – These products must be made with at least 70% organic ingredients. Three of the ingredients must be on the package, and the remainder must be on the National List.
If you are looking for organic food at your local supermarket, make sure to check the labels. This is the first step to being assured that the product you’re buying is meeting the USDA standards for organic food.
7 Tips to Shop Organic on a Budget
Shopping organic doesn’t have to be expensive! There are many ways to save and still get quality, fresh organic food for you and your family. We’ve outlined a few tips that can help you save when shopping organic:
1. Buy in Season
When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are usually more affordable. Not only are they cheaper, but they will also taste better and fresher because they are more abundant. If you aren’t sure what fruits and vegetables are in season, there is a guide on our blog that lists seasonal fruits and vegetables.
2. Watch Local Ads
Often your local supermarket will publish a weekly ad that highlights the products on sale that week, which sometimes includes organic foods. Ward’s Supermarket publishes a weekly sales ad every Wednesday, and you can subscribe to our newsletter so that you can be the first to know when our ad is released. We often feature local organic foods and products!
3. Use Coupons
Some of the larger organic vendors release coupons for their products that you can use at most grocery stores. There are plenty of places to find coupons: online, in a newspaper, in a local circular, and even on apps. There are also apps, like Ibotta, that will give you rebates for buying certain brands of products.
4. Buy Private Label Brands
Generic grocery store brands often match the exact quality as the name brand products, and staple food products, such as flour and sugar, are the best option to buy generic. At Ward’s, we have a selection of private label products ranging from hot sauces, jellies, and jams to natural supplements and vitamins. Our private label products have few preservatives and have ingredients you can pronounce, so you can trust that you and your family are getting quality food as well as a great deal.
5. Meal Plan
Planning your meals out ahead of time can help you save big at the grocery store. When you’re checking the weekly specials of your local supermarket, you can form your grocery list and meals around the items on sale, including the organic products. You’ll not only save money, you’ll save time by having your trip planned beforehand. Time is money, as they say!
6. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk and storing your food for a longer amount of time saves you money as well as trips to the grocery store. When you buy in large quantities, you get a better deal. But you don’t need to go to the “Big Box” stores to get a great deal on buying in bulk. Ward’s is proud to offer the largest selection of bulk organic goods in Gainesville, including hard to find coffee, teas, spices, flours, and more. You can stock up by bringing your own container, which is great for the environment too!
7. Know the “Clean 15”
While buying organic is preferred, it’s not always necessary. There are actually foods that you don’t need to buy organic if you can’t afford it. The Environmental Working Group provides a list of food products each year that are produced with minimal exposure to pesticides, genetic modification, and artificial fertilizer. You may be surprised by the items on the list!
Shop at Ward’s for Great Deals on Organic Food
At Ward’s Supermarket, we pride ourselves on providing real, nourishing food to the residents of Gainesville, FL. We hold ourselves to a higher standard by doing our best to provide food that is locally sourced and minimally processed. Our beef comes from our cows, our fruits and vegetables come from local farmers, and we offer a large selection of local organic items. Next time you are going shopping for organic food, makes Ward’s Supermarket your first stop for the freshest food and best deals!