Eating Organic for less.


  My roommates and I used to say a blessing before our meals the went something like ” May this food nourish our bodies as it failed to do so for our wallets.”  It is no secret that food costs are on the rise especially if you opt for fresh and organic choices but it doesn’t have to. Try out these tips to eating organic for less.

1. Buy in Bulk – Many dry good items are much cheaper bought in bulk and have an amazingly long shelf life if stored properly.  Oatmeal, rice, beans, and flour are all good examples of items to buy in bulk and they are all easily kept.

Beans – Many food experts are of the opinion that dried beans can be kept without losing their nutritional value for up to thirty years.
Flour – The shelf life of flour really depends on what you are using if you use a particular kind not listed here let me know and I will track it down for you. All purpose flour will last in a cabinet sealed for up to eight months and twelve if kept refrigerated. Corn Flour is easily kept for up to a year and once again this is increased with refrigeration.
Rice – Properly sealed and stored, polished white rice will store well for 25 to 30 years after opening it should be used within 18 – 24 months.
Oatmeal – Processed oatmeal has a longer shelf-life than natural oatmeal because enzymes in the grain are destroyed by the heat of steaming and rolling. Processed oatmeal has a shelf life of about 18 months. Natural oatmeal can be stored in an airtight container for months, but once opened, it needs to be used as soon as possible (within weeks) because the enzymes breakdown.

 2. Find a local butcher – You may have to dig around but finding a local butcher and supplier can be a wonderful way to give yourself and your family with fresh organic meat at a fraction of the price. A couple of years ago my family purchased half a cow from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. It was grass-fed, locally butchered, and lasted us through the winter and then some for just a few hundred dollars. Pound for pound we saved money and you can really taste the difference.

3.  Casseroles – Pan dishes are great because you can divide the finished meal into portions to use later. One casserole can feed a family of four two or three times and can be sent to  school or work for a healthy homemade lunch.

4. Grow your own veggies – Starting your own garden may seem like a daunting task but it’s really very simple. There are thousands of articles online to help you get started and with the rise in interest of urban homesteading its easy to find ways to grow in little to no space. Think vertical gardens.

5. Check out your local farmers market – What could be better than supporting your local farmers while eating healthy at a fraction of the cost. Find out where your local farmers market is and take a day to look around. The produce varies with the season and you can usually haggle with the vendors for a price and amount that fits your household and wallet.

6. Raise your own – If its possible raising chickens is a great way to get your own organic eggs and in a pinch meat. Chickens are great composters, bug eaters, and fertilizers. Many areas are now allowing households to keep a limited amount of chickens inside city limits. Another idea is beekeeping if your up to it and I have heard you can get financial help in this area because of their declining numbers in the wild.

What ways do you and your family eat organic for less?

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