|Visiting the local farm from which we buy much of our organic produce.|
In many cases, going green is totally compatible with being frugal. Our consumerist culture has gotten us into a lot of trouble with chemicals and climate, and you can take a large step in a greener direction simply by buying less. In part 1 of the series "The Cost of Going Green" I described a number of ways to save money while going green.
But sometimes being green does cost more money. For example, organic and natural food usually cost more money than conventional food. Below are some ideas to make greening your food more affordable (I wish I did all of these, but I don't. I'm working on it):
10 Ways to Save Money on Food while Going Green
- Cook more at home.
- Make more from scratch.
- Feed your baby regular food.
- Buy fewer processed and packaged foods.
- Buy in bulk when practical (whole grains, beans, pasta, etc.).
- Prioritize. If you can only afford to buy some produce organic, start with The Dirty Dozen to reduce your family's exposure to pesticides. Also keep in mind that while organic produce is better for your family and the earth than conventional produce, conventional produce is better for your family than no produce.
- Plant a garden.
- Drink water. You will save lots of money by only occasionally drinking all other beverages (juice, milk, tea, coffee, soda, alcohol, etc.).
- Become a less-meat-atarian. Eat more legumes and tofu, less meat. Then you can afford the good stuff (grass-fed beef, organic chicken, etc.).
- And my least favorite: Eat less (total). Americans eat 300 more calories per day than folks a couple of decades ago. And not because we are expending any more calories. So those extra calories are just making us fat.
Here are some additional ideas from a farmer.
1 March 2011 Update: Check out this post for information about healthy bargain foods. These foods are healthy and affordable sources of antioxidants, calcium, fiber, omega-3s, and protein.
The Complete Series: The Cost of Going Green
Save Money while Going Green
Save Money on Food while Going Green
Some Thoughts on the Cost of Going Green
What are your money-saving ideas for going green with your food?
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