If you eat organic, chances are you are paying up to 50% more for your groceries compared to conventionally grown food using synthetic pesticides.

However, you can still enjoy the benefits of healthy, nutrient dense foods on a budget. Here are a few ways to live within your means and stay healthy.

Shop at your local farmers market. When you shop directly from the farmer you save money. It’s also a whole lot better for you because you’re getting the food shortly after being harvested and avoiding the warehousing and time it spends in transit.

Coupons come in quite handy and can help you save a significant amount of green. The one caveat here is that most produce, organic meats and wild fish rarely offer coupons.

That’s when brands like US Wellness Meats and Vital Choice come in. They are both wonderful resources for grass fed, wild meat and fish. They are much more affordable than the average store-bought grass fed meat and wild fish. You can order them online and they also ship directly to your door.

Another great option is Thrive Market, which is an online member based shopping club with discounted rates for all who join. For a small membership fee, you can enjoy deep discounts on all your favorite organic pantry staples.

Organic store brands are also a great buy. For the most part, these tend to be less expensive than their conventional name brands.

Join a Co-Op. Most co-ops don’t require you to work long hours. They know you work already. The great thing is that you can work just a few hours per week or month and in return enjoy great member discounts on your groceries.

Sign up for a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture. With this, you pay a fixed reduced price for a share of a farmer’s crop. This allows you to eat what’s in season. These are generally delivered to you on a weekly or monthly basis.

Grow your own. You don’t need acres of land to grow your own food. You can plant herbs on your windowsill and grow simple veggies in your small yard.

Lastly, all items you purchase don’t necessarily have to be organic. The Dirty Dozen list from Environmental Working Group breaks down which fruits and vegetables are grown with the most pesticides. This list can actually help you in choosing where to allocate your funds.

Bowl of organic strawberries

These items should always be organic:

  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Grapes
  • Kale
  • Nectarines
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Peaches
  • Peppers (Bell)
  • Collard Greens
  • Snap Peas (not domestic)
  • Potatoes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Cucumbers

These have been sprayed with the highest amount of synthetic pesticides and herbicides, so you want to make sure to avoid these foods when they are conventionally grown.

Mangos, papaya, kiwi and other fruits

In addition to the dirty dozen, there is also The Clean 15 list.

These foods have the lowest amount of pesticide residue so these would be safer to consume non-organic.

  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet peas
  • Avocados
  • Asparagus
  • Sweet Corn
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas

Not everyone will have access to some of these options, but you can always take advantage of online resources.

So no matter where you live, you can always take advantage of at least one or more of these healthy budgeting tips.