Most of us know that choosing organic, natural food is the only way to ensure good health, from the inside out. However, it’s not always easy to buy healthy organic food, especially if you are on a tight budget or have a large family to feed.
So how can we live a healthier life and provide the best food for ourselves and our loved ones, without breaking the bank?
Here are 8 top tips to help you get your kitchen in order.
Write meal plans for the week and shop accordingly
This way you know exactly what you need to buy, and won’t waste money buying food that will end up in the bin. Also, you will be less likely to impulse buy, and consequently won’t be tempted by “treats”, that are no good for you or your wallet.
Stock up on cheaper organic veggies
For example carrots, onions and potatoes are not much more expensive organic than non-organic. You are better off eating more of the cheaper organic veg than eating expensive veg with pesticides! Also when buying broccoli or cauliflower use the whole veg! Don’t throw the stalks or leaves away. Broccoli stalks can be chopped up and steamed, and cauliflower leaves can be cooked just like cabbage! Or they can be tossed into a stockpot with your bones and add lovely rich minerals to your stocks and soups.
If you buy organic veggies, don’t throw your ends away!
It’s so easy to re-grow many veggies from their stalks – garlic, spring onions, celery, cabbage, and carrots to name a few, most can be grown on a window sill, and you will be getting free organic veg for weeks!
Prioritise your organic shopping
All your meat and dairy should be your number one priority, as non-organic produce is pumped full of antibiotics, and fed on grains that have been treated with pesticides that become part of the meat. Choose your fruit and veggies carefully too. Anything with a thick skin like bananas, pineapples and avocados is ok to eat non-organic as the skin will have largely protected the edible flesh from contamination, whereas fruit and veg that either has thin skins or are fully edible such as berries, leafy greens, apples and peppers will have allowed the toxins to penetrate the flesh and cannot be washed off.
Buy your veg in season and locally
It’s usually much more expensive to buy out-of-season vegetables than it is to buy seasonally. Also, locally grown vegetables won’t have shipping costs factored in, so are usually cheaper.
Grow your herbs
For a packet of herbs in the supermarket, you can usually buy a small plant for the same price, but you will have fresh herbs to use for much longer than your packet will last!
Check prices online
Especially for your pantry purchases like flour, nuts, seeds, oats etc, there are some great online stores where you can bulk buy, and save pounds!
If you can’t afford to buy organic fruit and veg, then give your produce a good scrub with a vegetable brush and a solution of 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water before you eat or cook them. This will remove a lot of the pesticides from the thicker-skinned veggies, but remember – produce that you can’t peel (like your leafy greens and berries) and thin-skinned produce (like potatoes and grapes) are always better to be organic.