“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” ~Hippocrates

Eating fresh produce and a lot of it can be costly if not done right.  Here are a few key things I put together that may help you better budget for extra fruits and veggies!

fresh produce

 

1. Frequent your produce stands and farmers markets!  Not only is the produce locally grown and in season but most farm stands or markets have day old produce for really cheap.  I stopped by my market today and got some bruised banans that are perfect for smoothies and they were discounted 50% off the markets regular price (and their regular price is already pretty cheap for our area).   Here is a good site to search for local farmers markets in your areas.  http://www.localharvest.org/farmers-markets/

 

2.  Be choosey about the organics.  While I will advocate for organic foods as much as you can afford because organic foods are much healthier for us, have more nutrients, more living enzymes, and come without the chemicals and pesticides, it can get costly to buy all organic.  Choose from the dirty dozen / clean 15 list.  Be sure to buy all the dirty dozen foods organic and save money by purchasing locally grown non organic from the clean 15 list. Some of your local produce stands might just use organic methods but don’t certify their products as organic due to the cost which will then raise their prices in turn cutting into their profits and likelyhood to sell.  That is yet another reason to shop your local stands and markets.  Here is a link with the list of the dirty dozen / clean 15.  http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

 

3.  Join a co-op or buying club.  This route is an excellent way to keep produce costs down while supporting local agriculture efforts on a scale that’s even more intimate than shopping at a local farmers market.  In addition to produce, you may also get things like farm-fresh eggs, baked goods, cheeses, honey and more.  Here are a few links to help you find a co-op or buying club in your area.

 

http://www.coopdirectory.org/

 

http://www.coopdirectory.org/

 

http://www.localharvest.org/food-coops/

 

4.  Buy in bulk!  Sam’s club does some organic produce.  Not a huge selection but every little bit counts.  My local Sam’s club sells big tubs of organic spinach for the cost of the small bags in most supermarkets.  They also have organic spring mix and a few other organic choices.   You could also buy the clean 15 from them in bulk to save money.

 

5.  Buy in season.  This is a big one.  Buying in season not only cut your cost but is also much more nutritious.  When food is not in season locally, it’s either grown in a hothouse or shipped in from other parts of the world, and both affect the taste, nutrients, and cost

 

6. Grow your own!  Even a small patio is enough space to grow whatever produce you can.  Grow some potted herbs or small plants that climb.  Sweet potatoes in a tote are easy to grow and you get the benefit of the greens as well.  You can eat the sweet potato vine!  We are talking about the edible sweet potato, not the ornamental sweet potato vine.  Those are NOT edible.  However, if you grow sweet potatoes they will produce a climbing vine that is very easy to grow and it grows pretty fast.  Not to mention it is very tasty as a salad green or in smoothies and loaded with nutrients.  And then you get to pick some sweet potatoes to boot!  Best of both worlds!  😉  My two year old and I love basil and banana smoothies.  They give you a good boost of energy, have a refreshing cool flavor to it, and has a good bit of nutrients.  Basil is easy to grow in pots and can be used to make fresh pesto, smoothies, and many other recipes.  The bottom line is there are a lot of easy maintenance and easy to grow items you could grow at home or even on a patio!  It doesn’t get any fresher than your back yard.  😉

 

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Comments on: "How to buy fresh produce on a budget" (3)

  1. There are many studies that say organic foods do not necessarily have any more nutrients than non-organic foods. The study I have posted, done by Cambridge University, says that there is not enough statistical data to support the claim that organic foods have higher nutritional benefits. Another source is NPR; just today the radio was stating that organic foods do not necessarily have more nutrients, but may contain higher levels of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. While I think organics foods certainly have more flavor, I think it is mis-leading to tell the general population that “organicfoods are much healthier for us, have more nutrients, [and] more living enzymes.”

    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=803824&fileId=S0029665102000058

    • Thank you for your questions / concerns. There are a number of reasons I stated organic is healthier. One is of course the pesticides. Another is the enzymes/energy in organic food vs conventional. I am not sure if you have ever heard of Kirlian photography study but Kirlian photography refers to a form of photogram made with voltage. A study was done on fresh foods in comparison to cooked as well as organic vs conventional and the raw fresh foods as well as the organic foods had a more complete and more alive energy field then the cooked and or conventionally grown foods. This is extremely important to our health.

      In journal Environmental Research there was a study done lead by Dr. Oates where she states “Conventional food production commonly uses organophosphate pesticides, which are neurotoxins that act on the nervous system of insects – and humans – by blocking an important enzyme,”. As we know, enzymes are important for digestion and health. David Wolfe too talks a lot about the energy field in both humans after eating organic vs conventional as well as the actual energy field around the organic foods themselves in. As we already know, living foods have more enzymes then dead or half alive as I like to call conventionally grown produce. 🙂 People talk a lot about living foods and enzymes in raw foods vs cooked but the same holds true for organic vs conventional although not as drastic as a difference, there is still a difference none the less. And just as we are what we eat, so is our food. Soil in organic gardens contain more nutrients and enzymes then that of conventionally grown gardens therefore the food itself will contain higher levels of such.
      As far as the nutrients in organic in comparison to conventionally grown foods, there is a lot of research that backs up the findings that organic food does in fact have more nutrients. In the PDF article from Vol. 71, Nr. 9, 2006—JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE on page R121 which is attached in a link down below you will read “Worthington (2001) reviewed 41 studies that compared crops produced with organic fertilizer or by organic farming systems to crops produced using conventional farming systems. It was reported that organic crops contained 27% more vitamin C, 21.1% more iron, 29.3% more magnesium, and 12.6% more phosphorus than did conventional crops”. In that same article on page R22 you will see a chart showing varying enzyme levels in organic vs conventionally grown foods such as Polyphenoloxidase enzyme. Polyphenoloxidase play an important role in the resistance of plants to microbial and viral infections and to adverse climatic conditions, as well as the ripening of fruits. Yes, it does play a role in enzymatic browning which can be a good thing as well as a nuisance. It will ripen your fruits fast however some fruits are actually healthier and tastier when browning or super ripe such as bananas. These studies come from various sources. Feel free to take a look at just a few sources I have provided below. I suggest taking a look into the kirlian photographs of organic vs conventional. It is quite amazing to see! If I can find the links for you I will post them. 🙂 And p.s. Omega fatty acids are a nutrient. 😉

      http://llufb.llu.lv/conference/foodbalt/2011/FOODBALT-Proceedings-2011-27-32.pdf
      http://www.naturalnews.com/046024_organic_food_nutritional_content_pesticide_residue.html
      http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/17/organic-vs-conventional-food.aspx

      http://www.naturalnews.com/033791_living_foods_energy_fields.html
      http://www.livingfoodsinstitute.com/resources_articles_1.php
      http://nutritionresearchcenter.org/healthnews/organic-foods-contain-more-nutrients/
      http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0012346
      http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/robson/All%20about%20Organic.pdf

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