Organic on a Budget
In an ideal world, organic wouldn’t need to be more expensive, but a big part of the problem is that the true cost of our food isn’t always reflected in the price.
We campaign tirelessly for greater subsidies for organic farming and incentives for farmers who switch to nature-friendly farming systems, and in doing this we hope to create a sustainable farming system that can provide good food for all.
However, it’s also important to realise that when you do spend a little more on an organic product, you’re casting a vote with your wallet, opting into a fully traceable food system with no hidden costs, one that prioritises the highest standards of animal welfare, supports wildlife and creates living soils and a healthy ecosystem for generations to come.
In the meantime, here are a ten easy ways that you can start to choose organic on a budget that won’t cost the earth.
1. Stock up your store cupboard and buy in bulk
Organic food is available nationwide, with own-brand organic ranges in major supermarkets including Tesco, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, Aldi, Lidl, Asda and Morrisons. Buying your store cupboard essentials in bulk from these places can be a great way to save money, as own-brand staples like organic pasta, canned tomatoes, beans and other dried goods can often be found for the same price as branded non-organic items. Find out more about where to buy organic.
2. Precision buy
The alternative to bulk-buying is ‘precision buying’, a great way both to reduce both money and unnecessary food waste. Herbs, chillies, lemons and spices, and other foods which often go to waste when bought as a multi-pack, can now be bought loose at local independent retailers such as Bristol's Better Food, whose refill wall pictured below. These shops also allow you to refill your own containers, meaning no unnecessary single-use plastic too.
3. Sign up to our monthly e-newsletter
To learn more about opportunities for getting involved in the organic movement, sign up to our monthly e-newsletter - it's packed full of organic offers and discounts
4. Eat seasonally
Eating with the seasons is a great way to choose organic produce that’s light on your wallet and also reduces the environmental impact of your diet too. Importing fruit and veg from around the world out of season takes a huge amount of energy, and the costs of this will be reflected in the price tag of the product you’re buying. Check labels to find out where your food has come from and take a look at our Seasonal Food page to find out what’s growing in the UK at the moment.
5. Sign up for a box scheme
Organic box schemes are a great way to try a bit more organic, they offer wide varieties of seasonal fruit, veg, dairy & meat products, delivering largely local produce to your door, many box scheme providers offer introductory discounts. Find your local box scheme.
6. Less and better meat
Reducing quantity but improving the quality of the meat we eat can have a positive impact, not just on the environment, but on our health too. Whilst organic meat might cost more, eating less mitigates these higher costs, and also means you’ll be supporting a farming system with the highest standards of animal welfare.
7. Grow your own
Joining the organic movement doesn’t have to be all about buying food from shops and supermarkets. Growing your own herbs at home is a great way to learn about the connections between soil health and your crop, as well as saving money in the process. Look out for Soil Association certified organic seeds at your local garden centre.
8. Look for organic essentials
Many own brand organic products in supermarkets aren’t actually more expensive than their non-organic counterparts. You don’t have to go 100% organic all at once, as small switches can make a big difference. So next time you shop, try switching the basics: onions, carrots, potatoes and bananas.
9. Don't be afraid of the freezer!
Keep a look out for reduced organic items - freezing them as soon as you get home will prolong their shelf life massively and stop them heading to landfill.
10. Sunday meal prepping
...doesn't have to be a chore - get your family, kids or housemates involved, and it can be a great way to get back to the joys of cooking, saving time and money and making sure no ingredients go to waste. Try out some of our recipes to get started!