The cost of buying organic food is an important aspect to consider when contemplating whether or not an organic diet is feasible for your family.
Is Organic Food Expensive?
Research indicates that the cost of organic food continues to be a main concern for many shoppers. For example:
- Only 10 percent of the American public buys organic food items on a regular basis.
- Nearly 70 percent of shoppers who don't buy organic food say cost is their primary reason for avoiding these products.
- Depending upon the item, organic food choices can cost 50 to 100 percent more than comparable non-organic products.
- Shoppers who consistently choose organic products and other healthy diet choices typically spend 20 percent more on groceries than people who purchase less nutritious foods.
However, when contemplating the cost of buying organic, one must also consider that a healthy diet can save you money in terms of decreased medical costs. Reducing the amount of pesticides and harmful chemicals you consume will help keep you healthy and energetic-benefits that may be well worth the added expense.
Future Trends in the Cost of Organic Food
Experts predict that the increasing demand for high quality organic food will eventually lead to a decrease in prices. Most economists believe prices would decrease if one-third of the population regularly purchased organic food. As more customers voice their preference for organic products, stores will need to stock a wider variety of items and keep their pricing competitive in order to stay in business. Selling more organic products will also allow retailers to make bulk purchases that can pass savings onto the consumer.
Of course, the organic farming model itself will always keep prices of organic foods slightly higher than comparable non-organic items. Many organic farms are small, family-owned operations that rely on small scale distribution and thus lack the resources to develop more cost effective business practices. Organic farming is also much more labor intensive than non-organic farming, which results in higher production costs.
Tips for Minimizing the Cost of Buying Organic
When buying organics on a budget, smart shopping is key. Instead of doing all of your grocery shopping at one store, compare ads from several different locations in your area to find the best deals. You may also wish to investigate the bargains available at your local farmer's market or through a community supported agriculture program.
Finding organic food coupons can be a bit difficult. Sites that offer printable grocery coupons for traditional foods, such as Coupons.com and Smart Source, sometimes have organic coupons as well. However, most shoppers find they have better luck checking the manufacturer's site directly to learn of coupons, sales, and other special offers. Here are a few links you may wish to bookmark:
If the cost of buying organic is a significant concern, you may need to prioritize your purchases. Instead of buying organic food exclusively, consider purchasing organic versions of just the following Dirty Dozen foods, since they typically contain higher than average levels of pesticides and herbicides:
- Bell peppers
Additional LoveToKnow Resources
LoveToKnow Save is an excellent resource for anyone interested in reducing their grocery bill while still managing to eat a healthy diet. For more tips on saving money, check out the following helpful articles: