First, prioritize your organics. Pick and choose to save cash. Some produce requires less pesticides to grow, therefore there is little or no residue after washing. The Environmental Working Group lists asparagus, avocados, broccoli, onions and kiwi as less affected. Peels on tropical fruits such as bananas further reduce your exposure.
Second, join a co-op. For an annual fee you'll get access to low-priced produce and other products from area farmers. Many of the options for organic and savings run between 15 and 30 percent. But, do keep in mind some co-ops require you to work there as well, so it may not be cost-effective for everyone.
The third tip may sound very familiar - clip coupons. Organics don't often pop up in the Sunday circular, but keep your eyes open for manufactures' coupons good on "any" of a particular line. That includes organics. Also check manufacturers' websites for printout coupons for your favorite organic brands.
Fourth, buy in-season. Produce is cheap to begin with and organic prices are more competitive. Compare prices at farmer's markets and local supermarkets.
Last, be sure to consider generics. Many supermarkets are adding organic lines to their private labels. It is a move that enables consumers to buy organic at significant discounts over big-name brands. Meijer has Meijer Organics, Whole Foods has 360 Organics and Publix has GreenWise Market.
For other tips on how to save while buying organic and other consumer tips, please click
Kelli Grant & Erika Wortham