This is a picture of one of the cutest babies you’ll ever see. When I showed Joshua a picture of his niece and told him we call her “our little tomato” he immediately asked, “Is she organic?”
There’s obviously been a wee bit too much emphasis on organic groceries in the Kay house. But we’re not alone in our quest for healthy food at a bargain. More and more families are purchasing “fair trade” or organic products and there are cheaper ways to get more in this area.
• Spot the ripoff – Look for the products marked “certified organic” in order to make sure you are getting what you pay for. In the produce section, grocers are required to stock the organic produce in a separate section so that the water run-off from misting machines won’t contaminate organic items with pesticide residue.
• Organic Sections – Just because a product is in the organic section of the produce area or aisles does not mean it is organic. Look be misled, for example, by the “all natural yogurt” in the organic section of the dairy case—unless it’s marked “certified organic” it probably is not.
• Web Coupons – I’ve noticed a huge increase in the number of coupons for organic products in recent years as their popularity increases. Conduct a product name search on the Web to find these valuable coupons including the following brands: Annie’s Homegrown, Earthbound Farm, Health Valley, Organic Valley, Stonyfield Farm, and Muir’s.
• Shop Discount Stores – Walmart and Sams have an entire new line of organics and those sections are expanding all the time. Ask the sales associates where the organic products are located because sometimes they are hard to find.
• Buy Generic – One of the really cool things about the interest in organics is the natural continuation of store brands. Look for these generic brands (which go on sale, too) and save even more.
• Food Co-ops – These are great sources of discounts on organic products. To find a local co-op, go to www.coopdirectory.org or www.localharvest.org/food-coops .
• The Food Mile – In the grocery industry there is a term known as the “food mile” which indicates how many miles food has to travel to end up in your local store. The shorter the food mile, the less expensive the product. Buy items with the shortest food mile.
• Buy Produce in Season – Oftentimes, the shortest food mile will be indicated by buying produce in season. By eating (and freezing or canning) your food in season you can save money today and tomorrow.
• Compare Online Grocers – There might be lower prices for staples that you need found online at some of the best organic grocers. Go to www.sunorganic.com , www.diamondorganics.com , www.urbanorganic.com or www.doortodoororganic.com
• Go to the Farm! – By going to an organic farm in your part of the world, you can save even more and buy the freshest organics possible. For a complete list go to www.LocalHarvest.org/organic-farms
So whether you are buying baby tomatoes, canned or fresh–follow these tips and you’ll save money!
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)