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 - in doing so 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, if you are wondering how to shop organic on a budget, here are ten easy ways:
1. Look out for organic in your local supermarket
Affordable organic food is available nationwide, with own-brand organic ranges in major supermarkets including:
- Asda and
Buying your store cupboard essentials from these places can be a great way to save money, and is a great place to start if you're looking to switch one or two essential items, like eggs or milk. Widely available and good value for money, organic milk has around 50% more beneficial omega 3 fatty acids and secures a good return for British farmers. And it’s easy to enjoy organic milk when you’re eating out– did you know that McDonald's and Pret a Manger only serve organic milk?
2. Precision buy
The alternative to bulk-buying is ‘precision buying’, a great way both to save money and reduce 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 is pictured below!
These shops usually allow you to bring your own containers, meaning no unnecessary single-use plastic too.
3. Sign up to join our organic community
To learn more about opportunities for getting involved in the organic movement on a budget, sign up to our monthly e-newsletter - it's packed full of organic offers and discounts, and we'll send you top tips for living in a more sustainable way that won't break the bank.
4. Eat seasonally
Eating with the seasons is a great way to get hold of organic produce that’s light on your wallet, whilst reducing the carbon footprint 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 are reflected in the price tag of the product you’re buying.
Check labels to find out which country 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 on our country-wide listings pages.
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.
Another way to enjoy meat is to enjoy different cuts of meat. Trying lower cost organic cuts like shoulder or belly can make a big difference to your wallet – and they have more beneficial nutrients too. Pop into your local butcher for advice on cuts, or make a weekly roast which can provide a couple of meals.
7. Grow your own
Joining the organic movement doesn’t have to be all about buying food from shops and supermarkets.
Whether on a windowsill or a worktop, an allotment or in raised beds, growing your own herbs at home is a great place to start, and an easy way to start learning about the connections between healthy soils and a healthy 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 lookout for reduced organic items - freezing them as soon as you get home will prolong their shelf life massively and stop them heading to the 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 below to get started!