Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.
Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:
Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, “Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”.
Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from your home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can be incredibly inspiring. And it’s not as intimidating as it seems. So pick one thing to grow – you can do it.
Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.
Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.
Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips, and much more.
Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.
Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest, most-delicious produce while supporting local farmers. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of a local farm by joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
In the Fargo/Moorhead and surrounding areas:
- Bluebird Gardens offers a couple of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) options with drop off locations in North Fargo, South Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead, Underwood, Battle Lake, Otter Tail, Perham, Breckenridge, Wahpeton, Fergus Falls, Dilworth, Rothsay, Barnesville, Frazee, Vergas, Pelican Rapids and Detroit Lakes. Visit www.bluebirdgardens.net for more information.
- Sydney’s Health Market boasts the areas only all organic farmer’s market. Available Fridays during the growing season. They also have organic produce available in the store, delivered fresh every Tuesday. Visit www.sydneyshealthmarket.com or call 218-233-3310 for more information.
Be Selective. Decide to only purchase organic milk and produce. See the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” for the most-contaminated produce and tailor your decisions based on these:
Bring Your Own Bag. Many stores offer a discount when you bring your own bag. It’s usually around 5 cents per bag,
Eat With Friends. Last but not least, make it fun! Choose some like-minded friends and get together to each prepare an organic dish—a great way to add variety to your organic diet while keeping your own purchases down. Get together for a weekend potluck—or, during the week, arrange a food swap to minimize cooking and maximize eating organically.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
eat the seasons
eat the seasons aims to promote an understanding of food seasons. Each week they list the seasonal foods that are at their peak, and share enlightening facts, useful tips and enticing recipe ideas picked from the web and their favorite books.