3 Simple Steps to Eating Quality Food on a Budget
While a health movement has swept the nation, inspiring people to eat organic products and cook with “pure” ingredients, high quality food is still extremely expensive. Even cooking easy meals with organic ingredients is costly and going to a restaurant with all natural ingredients may simply out of the question. Whether you’re concerned about nutrition or you simply enjoy the taste of fresh-off-the-farm food, here’s a guide to getting wholesome eats for cheap (well, cheaper than normal):
Visit a Farmers Market or Farm Stand
To get ingredients that have no unnatural additives or preservatives, you want to get as close to the source as possible. This means buying straight from the farmer. Find a farmer’s market or open-air market in your area. Question farmers about the farming methods used. Don’t be shy! Most farmers will tell you exactly how the food is grown and harvested. Buying from a market will be much cheaper than getting goods from the organic aisle of the grocery store. Also, if you’re buying from a farmer, you are buying in season, which cuts the costs even more. With the food shipping costs cut, the prices of the items go down.
*It’s worth a mention that you can also try and cut a deal with a farmer for discounted items. If you’re a regular customer, there’s no reason why a farmer wouldn’t want to help you out in return!
Check out Your Local CSA Program
Community Supported Agriculture can also help you get your hands on farm-fresh eats. Simply google the CSA or serach LocalHarvest.org to find one in your area and sign up. All you have to do is sign up for a subscription to receive a box full of seasonal produce every week. You can also select the farmer that you would like to work with, if you have a particular farmer in mind that you trust. While this is a little more pricy than going straight to the farmer’s market, you’re still buying in bulk and saving money. You also save on gas getting to the grocery store or farmer’s market. The CSA boxes usually come straight to your doorstep.
Grow it Yourself
The cheapest option is to plant a garden. If you’re lucky enough to have a back yard, small patio or temperate climate, plant your own little tomato patch, herb garden, or fruit tree.
While healthy, wholesome, and nutritious food will always be more expensive due to the quality, you can definitely cut your expenses in half by following these three simple tips.
Written by Carolyn Knight, Contributor Writer to My Halal Kitchen. Are you interested in writing for My Halal Kitchen? Simple email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and type “kitchen contributions’ in the subject line.