How To Save On Organic Food

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The hype is everywhere -- eat organic food for a more healthy body. Problem is, that good body comes with a heftier price tag. Just visit your local supermarket and compare the price of "regular" tomatoes with organic ones --chances are, you'll pay at least 20% more.

But if you're determined to buy organic foods for your family there are ways to find lower prices. Here's how:

Shop around.
In your community, there are probably a number of markets and grocery stores that sell organic goods -- but the prices are not created equal. Do your homework by getting to know your options. Keep track of how much each place charges for different items -- you'll start noticing some patterns.

Visit farmer's markets.
You'll find lots of great local produce, and there is much more flexibility when it comes to buying. If you go later in the day, you'll probably get better deals because vendors will want to sell everything at lower prices rather than take the goods back home. You can also negotiate or ask for a lower rate if you're buying in bulk. Some farmer's markets also offer produce that is slightly misshapen -- but still good -- at a lower price. Just ask.

Join a food co-op.
Such organizations offer groceries and other goods to members at discounted prices. You'll probably have to pay some dues each year, but the savings will make up for the difference if you buy a lot of organic products. Visit to find one in your area.

Look for coupons.
You probably won't find them in your Sunday paper, but coupons for organic products do exist. When you buy an organic product, there may be a coupon on the packaging. You should also visit Web sites of companies that sell organic goods -- they may have special offers. And if you really love a product or company, write to them and tell them so. They'll probably send you a coupon to say thanks.

By Marshall Loeb