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How to Eat Organic on a Budget: 7 Savvy Ways to Shop for Clean Foods

Sustainable and health-conscious diets are not just trends; they’re lifestyles. Many people are choosing organic foods as a way consume cleaner foods and make an eco-friendly choice for the planet.

However, the price of organic food can make it a bit of an unaffordable luxury.

This guide will outline some budget friendly tips to purchase organic foods in a more affordable way.

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Why is Organic More Expensive?

Products that are certified organic pay a fee and go through a rigorous third party certification process. The cost of keeping this certification can add to the cost of producing the item.

fresh organic vegetables

This is important to understand because there are plenty of small scale farmers using organic farming practices that might not have the third party certification. Shopping with small farmers is one way to save money…we’ll talk about this later!

Along with the certification, organic farming practices can be more labor and time intensive.

Organic farming practices use less conventional farming methods that protect our soil, water, and air, and promote a biodiversity.

On the health front, organic foods can be more nutrient-dense, use less harmful chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics, and are typically considered a healthier option for both the individual and the planet.

All of these factors drive up the price of organic foods. It’s unfortunate that organic food is not more accessible. However, we have a few tips on how to save money when shopping for organic groceries!

7 Thrifty Tips for Buying More Affordable Organic Groceries

Without further ado, here are some savvy ways you can shop for organic foods without overshooting your budget.

#1: Shop the Farmers Markets

While local farmers markets can also be pricey, this can be a good place to connect with farmers who are using organic practices, but might not have the third party certification. This can mean their organically grown foods are a bit cheaper than those with the official certification.

woman shopping for organic produce at farmers market

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how their products are grown! Farmers using ethical and sustainable practices will usually be excited to share this information with their customers.

#2: Check the Dirty Dozen

Buying ALL organic fruits and vegetables can get expensive! The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen are great lists to reference when you’re trying to prioritize what produce items to buy organic. These lists educate consumers on which fruits and vegetables have the most and least pesticides.

By using this list you can decide which produce items are worth paying the extra money for organic and which are okay to purchase conventional.

#3: Grow Your Own Herbs or Produce

There’s no cheaper organic produce than the kind you grow yourself. Starting a small vegetable or herb garden, or even just growing your own sprouts, can offer significant savings over buying organic produce. This is great because you can choose organic soil and keep your garden free of harmful chemicals.

Plus, the taste and nutritional benefits of being able to eat your food shortly after harvest is an added bonus.

organic herbs growing at home

For those not blessed with a green thumb or ample outdoor space, container gardening or growing herbs on a windowsill can still provide a few homegrown ingredients to save money.

Another option is joining a community garden, which can offer access to space and expertise at low or no cost.

#4: Choose Meals with Similar Ingredients

This hack is wonderful for reducing food waste and getting the most out of your organic groceries! Plan meals for the week with similar ingredients to ensure you use the entire amount of what you buy!

#5: Online Health Food Stores

There are quite a few online health food stores! I’ve personally tried Misfits Market and Thrive Market. These are

Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy! This online grocery store carries a lot of popular organic food brands and has their own line of organic groceries which do tend to be a little cheaper.

Thrive Market does have occasional 25% off sales which is when I like to stock up on organic pantry essentials. Plus, you can use my referral link for 40% off your first Thrive Market Order.

Misfits Market is a subscription service that sells “ugly” or imperfect produce at discounted prices. They also have pantry products. This not only helps reduce food waste but can also save you money on organic fruits and vegetables.

#6: Coupons, Discounts, and Apps

Don’t shy away from the traditional methods of saving money. Look for coupons and deals online or in print, and use them in combination with store sales to maximize your savings. There are now also grocery-specific apps and websites that aggregate these savings for you, making it easier than ever to find the best deals on organic foods.

Many stores also have their own apps or reward systems that you can use to stack savings on organics. Signing up for newsletters or loyalty programs from your favorite organic brands can also offer regular discounts and savings opportunities.

#7: Buy in Bulk When Possible

Buying in bulk is good for canned products! Costco & Sam’s have been carrying an increased amount of organic products in the past few years, so as long as it’s a product that doesn’t expire too quickly, this can be a great way to save. I always purchase organic coconut oil and olive oil at stores like these!


By smartly planning and strategizing your grocery trips, utilizing local and alternative food supply options, and sometimes even getting your hands a little dirty with home growing and cooking, you can integrate more organic foods into a sustainable and healthful lifestyle.