Helpful ways to better afford organic food on a tight family budget

nature_pic_22 One of the biggest complaints among ordinary families trying to eat healthy is  that clean, organic food is simply too expensive, and thus out of reach for the  average budget. But eating right does not have to break the bank, especially  when you know what to look for and how to shop for it. Here are some helpful  tips for maximizing your food budget while still being able to afford the best  foods for your family:
1) Buy local. Though not always certified  organic by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), many of the foods  sold at your local farmers market are likely grown using organic methods. In  fact, many local farmers and backyard gardeners employ growing methods that  exceed certified organic standards, and yet are able to sell their goods  for less as a result of not having to pay for official USDA organic  certification.
2) Take advantage of generic organic. If the  grocery store is more your style, be on the lookout for store brand organic  products, which are popping up all across the country. Popular grocery chains  like Trader Joe’s, Costco, Publix, and many others now offer generic organic  product lines that are significantly cheaper than the more expensive brands sold  at higher-end grocery retailers.
3) Buy in bulk. You can also look  for organic items sold in bulk, as purchasing in higher volumes will almost  always translate into lower costs. Cereals, noodles, beans, sauces, oils, and  various other packaged products will typically last quite a while on the shelf,  which makes stocking up on such items, particularly when they are on sale, a  great way to maximize your spending power.
4) Grow your own food.  If you are not afraid of getting your hands dirty, you may also consider  planting a few things of your own. Tomatoes, herbs, and squash, for instance,  are relatively easy to cultivate at home. The average suburban backyard is  capable of sustaining all of these in small plots, as well as a few fruit trees  and other goodies, given the appropriate climate. Try planting just one or two  crops and move forward from there – you might be surprised at how much food you  can yield at home rather than buy from the store!
6) Become a coupon  shopper. Some people still mistakenly believe that coupons are available  only for cheap, processed foods on the conventional market. But many popular  natural and organic brands  also offer coupons, which can often be found in coupon books at the registers of  health food stores. Many manufacturers also offer coupons on their company  websites, so be sure to keep an eye out for these deals.
7) Join a  cooperative. Building upon the idea of buying in bulk, many families trying  to eat healthy will join a local cooperative. Also known as a co-op, these  organized buying systems combine the purchasing power of multiple families to  get the best deals on things like unprocessed dairy, local meats, fresh produce,  and other healthy items. You can learn more about food cooperative and how to  find one near you by visiting:

Organic food more expensive because federal government uses your tax dollars  to subsidize GMOs, junk food

And just in case you were wondering why organic  food tends to cost more than conventional, consider the following:
“Why  is [organic food] so expensive? Because right now, at the federal level, we’ve  got an uneven playing field,” explains Robyn O’Brien for  “Farmers that choose to grow food, genetically engineered to be saturated in  chemicals, receive financial aid called ‘subsidies.’ They also get marketing  support and crop insurance, while farmers growing things organically don’t,  making their products more costly to produce.”
In other words, federal  laws must change to redirect tax dollars away from supporting factory food and  towards locally-grown organic food. You can help make this a reality by calling  or writing your Congressmen and demanding agricultural reform:
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