Eating Organic On a Budget

This is one of the hardest things for me about focusing on eating more organic, less processed food – the cost. I get the necessity for higher prices and I intellectually know that I should pay more for more quality, but the penny-pincher inside me flinches every time I go to Whole Foods, or pick up a paraben-free soap that costs the same as the regular brand but is only 1/3 as much content.

No silver bullets I know, but here’s what we do:

– Costco – you wouldn’t think they’d have it but we get organic milk, soy milk, sugar, beef, eggs and frozen veggies there. In addition, they have a locally roasted organic coffee that we like (Mayorga – they’re based in Maryland). The prices are cheaper than at other stores and the added benefit of buying in bulk is huge. If I can avoid going shopping by buying more, I will.

– Trader Joe’s – great stores for prepared foods, lots of organic, mostly corn syrup and hydrogenated oil free. Doesn’t meet my requirement for less processed, but still better than Cocoa Puffs! :)

– Whole Foods – even though it overwhelms me every time, I still go about once per month to Whole Foods. So far, its the only place I can find organic flour in a 5 pound bag. Also, their produce is great, though you do have to read labels to make sure its actually organic.

– Yes! Organic – its my local organic grocery on Capitol Hill. Small and crowded, but close and convenient. Also has most of the stuff I need to get by.

– Corner grocery on 4th and East Capitol. Surprising number of organic foods and very convenient on the way home from work.

– And I almost forgot my favorite – Jug Bay CSA.  Its a local farm share.  We’re now getting eggs every two weeks from them too, year-round, not just in the summer.  You can read more about CSA’s here.

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