This week is Organic Week here in NZ, which is all about creating a bit more awareness of all things organic, where our food comes from, and how eating organic can benefit us and also our environment. This week we have teamed up with Countdown to share with you my top tips on how to eat organic on a budget.
In an ideal world, we would all be eating organic which is how our grandparents used to eat before the introduction of chemical herbicides and pesticides.
There are so many positive reasons why we should eat organic. The main reason why I personally try to eat organic is that I know organic food is more nutritious doesn’t contain nasty chemicals and it will be non-GMO. These chemicals could be added during the processing and packaging stage such as preservatives, flavours, and colours or they could be in the form of pesticides which are obviously added while the plant is growing.
But I totally understand that eating 100% organic can be a little tricky due to availability, location, education, and the biggest factor for most people that greatly influences their decision, is price. Because buying organic foods are more expensive. We know for sure that better quality food is more expensive.
Tip 1: Buy organic food and produce at supermarkets Instead of going to specialty health food stores.
We’re pretty lucky now that we don’t necessarily need to go to smaller health food shops to stock up on organic food items. The specialty health food shops always seem to be a lot more expensive than the larger supermarkets.
Countdown, for example, has a massive range of organic foods. They actually have a separate health section in their supermarkets which is amazing. I live close to Countdown in Greenlane (if you are in Auckland), it’s awesome you feel like you have walked into a health food shop. And they stock Macro Organic which is their own brand. I find Macro much cheaper than many of the other organic brands, the range of products is huge and quite often many items on special as well.
Tip 2: Be smart about cooking and use tinned foods and veggies to bulk up meals.
Meat is probably the most expensive item to buy organic, so I recommend you to reduce the portion size of your meat so think about quality over quantity. Then think about adding a heap of veggies and a tin of organic lentils or black beans then it bulks up the meal and will double the number of servings which you can then freeze.
This is something I do a lot. I’ll make a mince bolognese using about 400g of mince then I’ll also add 2 grated carrots and 2 grated courgettes and also add a tin of lentils to further. And this will make 4,5 sometimes 6 meals.
You can do this with homemade pies, salads, stews. Here are a couple of recipes which you may enjoy:
Also with your meat, look at buying different and not so popular cuts of meat as these are often cheaper. For example, chicken thigh will always be cheaper than tenderloins or breast. And chicken thighs with the bone and with the skin on will be much cheaper. Be open to trying different cuts of meat that you may not usually buy.
Tip 3: Buy organic produce that is in seasonal and local.
Right now coming into winter fruits and vegetables that are in season are so much cheaper. Lower prices are due to an increase in supply and also fewer costs involved with transport and storage.
Winter fruit and veggies are apples, pears, feijoas, beans, potatoes, pumpkin, kale, citrus fruits (oranges, limes, lemons).
You will notice in the supermarket that the in season fruits and vegetables are much cheaper and also look nicer too.
Tip 4: Stock up on sale items.
When organic food products are on special, stock up!
The other day I bought 5 cans of organic tinned tomatoes because they were half the price of what they are usually.
You can also stock up on meat and chicken when it is on special as it can be frozen.
Tip 5: Make your own packaged foods instead of buying Organic packaged foods.
Organic granola is a great example as this can be pretty pricey. So instead of buying it from the supermarket, just buy ingredients such as raw nuts, seeds, oats, coconut, coconut oil, etc. and make your own, it’s super easy and so much cheaper! Again the Macro range sells all of these food items.
Here is a super tasty recipe for Cacao & Goji Berry Muesli.
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