The natural foods and textiles movement has come a long way in the decades that I’ve been paying attention to it. (It also blows my mind that at thirty I can say I’ve been paying attention to something for decades- thanks Mom for behind totally ahead of the times!) Especially in regard to natural foods and beverages, it has become more accessible and widespread, showing up in stores outside of the typical Whole Foods or Natural Grocers specialty chains. However, when it first came to be, buying organic was, and still in lots of instances is, expensive. I remember during my time in college calling Whole Foods ‘Whole Paycheck’ because of the sheer expense of groceries that didn’t work well with my college-kid budget and still to this day balk at some of the prices on the shelves. I understand that there are two reasons for the hefty price tag: they are, in my mind, higher costs and lower yields because of organic farming practices, and marketing. So it is important to find cost effective ways to go organic.
While it can be pricey, I still absolutely believe that living a more organic lifestyle impacts our health in a positive way. Eating, wearing, and using products free of manmade chemicals, artificial ingredients, and pesticides reduces our risk of things like antibiotic resistance and buildup of heavy metals in our internal organs. Now, obviously, not all non-organic certified products are bad or filled with not-so-great for you compounds, but there are a lot that are.Two lists that come out each year are the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen that showcase which types of produce are the most tainted by and are the cleanest from pesticides, respectively.
Six Cost Effective Ways to Go Organic
So now that we know why I think it is important to go organic, we should figure out how to do so in a way that is accessible for everyone. In my last post here on Habits of a Modern Hippie I dove into the innate privilege that some people, including myself, have when it comes to the world of wellness and how it is presented in marketing and social media. To that end, I’ve compiled five effective ways to go organic that can be options for everyone!
1. Buy in Bulk.
While grocery stores with beautiful bulk bins that accept mason jars as containers like Sprouts, Whole Foods, or zero waste specialty stores make bulk shopping easy and lower waste, you can definitely find great bulk options everywhere from your local grocery store to Walmart. Making things like your own trail mix from bulk nuts, fruits, and grains to popping your own popcorn instead of shelling out nearly $5 for an already popped bag can save you lots of money. I like to pre portion out snacks, like popcorn in mason jars, for when I know I’m going to be busy to save both time and money during the week!
2. Do Your Research.
Quick decisions and impulse buys can cost you. So before you head out to do your grocery shopping, errands, or clothing shop do a bit of research! It can be as small as seeing what’s in season in your area and looking at circulars, to researching brands and options online. One particular fun organic product I’ve found that was surprisingly inexpensive while being fabulous is wine! I recently was able to taste a few brands of wine that are found in natural foods stores, and as I was blown away by their taste, quality and the fact that they are certified organic, non-GMO, and either vegan or vegetarian. The sommelier who was explaining each varietal as I was tasting them asked me to guess each price. I was off by a solid $20 to $30 dollars on each guess- each guess was high! Both brands I love, Les Hautes de Lagarde and Tarantas, have price points as low as $9.99, which is a great price point for wine in general, but AMAZING for organic wine! My favorite out of the bunch so far is the Tarantas Sparkling Rosé which is perfect for the warm days ahead!
3. Make Your Own.
Much like the meal prepping that I mentioned above, making your own lifestyle items is both eco-friendly and a great way to create cost effective ways to go organic! Everything from cleaning supplies (here are a few of my favorite recipes) and face masks (my favorite DIY Matcha mask or DIY acne mask) are easy to make with a few ingredients you can buy in bulk and filtered water!
4. Shop Online.
As much as I love shopping local and supporting local makers, sometimes when you are looking for organic clothing options that are both well made and inexpensive that can be hard to find. There are so many great clothing stores popping up online that specialize in eco-friendly wares, my favorite of which is Pact. Pact clothes are fair trade, organic cotton, and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. On top of that they are super cute, incredibly soft, and really affordable! I live in their sweatshirts and sleep shorts, and this will be the first spring that I’ve known about them so I can’t wait to give their dresses a go!
5. Grow Your Own.
Little things that feel just out of grasp because spending 3-4 extra dollars on a little plastic clamshell of herbs seems silly, can be remedied with $10 at your local hardware store! I love growing my own herbs on the windowsill! As long as you have light and a couple of jars that you can up-cycle lying around, you can grow your own herbs! You can start from seed, or with it currently being spring, from plants that you can get for 4/$10 at the store! No more spending an extra few dollars per meal on fresh, organic herbs, you can make a one time investment and have fresh goodies to pick at your leisure!
How Do You Incorporate Organics Products into Your Lifestyle?
There are so many cost effective ways to go organic, and these five are just the tip of the iceberg! From preserving in-season food, to hosting clothing swaps I know that there are so many more avenues to explore! I’d love to know how you plan on incorporating more healthy, organic products into your lifestyle! Let me know over on Instagram!
Some links are affiliate links. All opinions are my own.
Jessa Pioquinto says
I love your article, it provides practical and nifty ideas for neophytes of organic lifestyles just like me.
May I ask though what kind of herbs can survive indoor planting without too much sunlight? I live in a condominium unit with no verandas or big open spaces, practically just a window for ventilation.
I will appreciate any tips. Thanks!
Evie Carter says
I love the acne mask! I remember a couple of years ago my husband and I were thinking about going organic because we had little kids and thought it would be great for them to live a healthier lifestyle. But, when we saw how much it costs, all the planning went out the window fairly quickly. Sad that eating and living healthier is so much more expensive.