I’m often hearing “I want to juice but organic produce cost so much”or “Juicing is too expensive”. You may have heard statements like these or even said them yourself and the truth is, juicing can be expensive. However, using the tips I’ve provided you with may result in a much lower grocery bill at the end of the month. First lets go over the basics of organic vs conventional.
Here’s the deal with organic produce, rule #1 choose organic over conventional whenever possible. Here’s why. To get the healthiest most nutrient dense juice possible, you’ll want to buy organic. It’s important because pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and whatever-cides are heavily used on conventional produce. So what does this mean to us? In 1995 the USDA tested roughly 7,000 conventionally grown fruit and vegetable produce and found residue of 65 different types of pesticide, with 2 out of 3 samples containing pesticide residue. Pesticide residue have been shown to cause numerous long term health risks, such as cancer and birth defects, nerve damage, impaired fertility and more.
“Laboratory studies show that pesticides can cause health problems, such as birth defects, nerve damage, cancer, and other effects that might occur over a long period of time…” – EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency)
So by choosing organic produce over conventional, you are avoiding the harmful effects of pesticides, but also you are consuming higher quality foods that are higher in nutritional content. A 2001 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that organic produce contained 27% more vitamin C, 21% more iron and 29% more magnesium than conventional produce and much more.
I spend on average $25-$30 a week on organic fruits and vegetable and that’s for myself and my partner. I used to easily spend double that if not more at places like Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck. Following these tips that I am going to share with you will help keep more money in your pocket and allow you to get much more for less than what you use to pay for.
Support Your Local Farmers
The bulk of my fruits and vegetables come from my local farmers market. Its my favorite place to shop, because I get amazing deals and the fruits and veggies are so fresh. They are picked the day before, instead of weeks or even months before like in regular grocery stores. Nor do they come from other countries; many produce in grocery stores come from far away place like Mexico, Asia, Canada and South America.
Tips For Shopping At a Farmers Market:
- Prices are negotiable towards the end of the market.
- If you shop there often, farmers will take care of you. Develop a relationship with your farmer. I’m a regular and I’m always given extra goods, 2 for the price of 1.
- Buy in bulk. Discounts are given when you buy in bulk, anywhere from 20-30%. Apples, pears, carrots, beets and other fruits can be stored longer than leafy greens. I don’t eat all my berries, so I freeze them for later use.
- Buy the ugly stuff often called seconds. I don’t know about you, but I don’t need a perfectly round apple. These fruits are often discount up to 50%. Seconds only means that the appearance is imperfect, but not the quality. If there is no sign, don’t be afraid to ask.
Some examples of what I bring in each week, click each image to see the full amount.
The easiest way to find a local farmers market in your area is to do a Google search: [your city] [farmers market]
Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
A CSA or community supported agriculture is another way you can buy local and seasonal foods directly from a farmer. Each week you’ll receive a box of fruits and vegetables, and other farm products may be included. All depends on the package you decide to select. Essentially its a weekly subscription of the freshest produce that is in season. Its a great way to try new vegetables for new ways of cooking.
Fin a local CSA in your area, check out:
I like this option a lot. Its a great way to get outdoor exercise, sunshine (free vitamin D) and de-stress/relax. You can grow in your backyard and/or indoors. Even if you don’t have space there are other option like joining a community garden. I have a hydroponic system set up to grow herbs and I also joined a local community garden in my neighborhood in the great city of Chicago.
Gardening Resources – Home Gardening Course
Membership Warehouse Clubs
Here’s another option, you can become a member at Costco from $55/year. These warehouse stores allow for bulk buying at a discounted price. They contain a fair amount of organic produce that you can buy in addition to other household needs.
Avoid The Dirty Dozen
If for some reason none of the above options are available to you, focus on purchasing these 12 fruits and vegetables organically. Every year for the past 8 years the Environmental Working Group (EWG) collects data on foods contaminated with pesticides. These 12 fruits and vegetables are found to have the highest amount of pesticides, so it is crucial to buy them organic.
“The most contaminated fruits, in alphabetical order, are apples, domestic blueberries, grapes, imported nectarines, peaches and strawberries.”
“The most contaminated vegetables are bell peppers, celery, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes and spinach.” -EWG
The Bottom Line
These tips have worked for me, and if you implement them, I suspect it will work for you.
Have you implemented any of these strategies? Which one has worked for you? If you have any additional tips to add to this let me know in the comments.
Oh, and don’t forget to share this on Twitter and Facebook.