One of the common misconceptions about sustainable living is that it has to cost a fortune. In reality, every individual and family can live an eco-friendly, healthy life. Here are some reliable tips that will help you bring seasonal, organic, and local food to your family without breaking the bank:
1. Limit processed foods
2. Eat With the Seasons
Eating seasonally means buying healthy, delicious foods when they are at their peak, which saves money and connects you to your local environment. Check out your local farmers market and see what farmers are offering right now (the season’s most plentiful crops will often be the cheapest). Go to www.eatwell.com or www.localharvest.org to find local sources of everything from fruits and vegetables, to meat and dairy products.
3. Make Your Own
Starting with one food at a time, find replacements for packaged goods you’d normally buy at the supermarket, including bread, cereals, crackers, and canned beans. Eating homemade food doesn't mean giving up taste or eating like a rabbit - it means eating great food that you can be proud of (this totally includes cookies.)
4. Buy in Bulk
Most supermarkets now have bulk aisles where you can save on packaging and processing. Find nuts, beans, rice, grains, and granola without the waste, and save money. Bring your own plastic bags and containers to be a true eco-hero.
5. Grow Your Own
Growing your own fresh foods can be so rewarding, and everyone can do it! From a few containers of herbs on your patio or kitchen counter to a full garden in your backyard, growing your own edibles is a creative way to save money.
6. Eat Out Less
It’s no secret—cooking at home saves big bucks. If you think of yourself as a good cook, try this fun experiment - think of your favorite restaurant meal, and try to duplicate it at home with local, organic ingredients. You get to control everything about the meal, and feel good knowing that you've saved money and supported local farms.
7. Eat “Ugly” Fruit (and Veggies)
Ask around at your local stores and supermarkets - they probably have an area of discounted produce. It's all about being creative - a tart made with slightly ugly apples or a soup made with the farmer's less than champion squash tastes just as fantastic!
8. Buy a Share in a Local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Farm
Get local produce delivered to you every week, for less than you’d pay at the store! You pay upfront at the beginning of the year and receive a box of farm fresh goods throughout the entire harvest season. Your whole dollar goes to the farmer, and you get more bang for your buck. Go to www.localharvest.org for more info.
-Blogger Allison Jones wrote this article. To see more of her tips check out her blog lemonbasilpdx.com