How to go organic on a budget

Enjoying an organic diet has never been so easy – and the good news is it doesn’t have to be expensive.

For many of us, reaching the daily recommended intake of fruit and vegies is enough of a struggle without factoring in whether to go the organic route. 

It’s traditionally been seen as a more expensive lifestyle, but organic food is surprisingly accessible nowadays.

The expanding Australian organic market is now worth an estimated $2.4 billion and shows no signs of slowing down.

Going organic is beneficial for your health for a multitude of reasons. You’re generally consuming fresher produce, which studies show have a higher nutritional content.

And if you’re thinking of adding more organic food to your diet, there are ways to keep costs down.

Do your research

The price of organic produce generally comes down to how difficult it is to grow, especially without the assistance of chemicals such as pesticides, antibiotics, and artificial hormones.

That means that some organic foods will be more expensive than their non-organic counterparts. For instance, organic greens are priced similarly to non-organic vegetables.

Buy seasonal fruit and vegies

Produce that’s in season is cheaper, because there’s generally an abundance of it.

It’s also fresher (and more likely to be locally produced, supporting local farmers and reducing food miles).

It also forces you to switch up the fruits and vegies in your diet season to season.

Check out this seasonal produce guide for a breakdown on when fruit and vegetables are in season across Australia.

going organic

Freeze food for later

Once you’ve bought your favourite fruit and vegetables cheap and in season, freeze them so you have them at hand all year round.

Washed and properly store in an airtight container before freezing, to keep them in peak condition.

You can also buy frozen organic fruit and vegies from your local supermarket.

Pick up ripe bargains

Over-ripe organic foods can be picked up for a steal, with most supermarkets and green grocers heavily discounting them as soon as their expiry date looms.

Familiarising yourself with your local organic/health stores and farmers’ market can also lead to additional specials and discounts. 

Buy in bulk

Many suppliers offer bulk-buy deals or seasonal boxes, which lets you get large orders of seasonal organic produce for a discounted price.

Up to 25 per cent of farmers’ crops never make it to the consumer because they’re less than perfect on the outside.

That’s where ‘imperfect boxes’ come in – they’re exactly the same as your regular fruit and vegie box, but full of ‘odd’ produce.

They not only reduce wastage and support farmers, but can save you up to 50 per cent on organic produce.

Grow it yourself

If you’ve got the time and space, why not unleash your inner green thumb and try growing your own vegetables and fruit?

It doesn’t get fresher or cheaper than directly from your own garden.

Once you’ve got your hands on some good organic produce, check out some of the delicious plant-based meals you can make.