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Buying affordable organic food is possible

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Just a few years ago, if you wanted to buy organic food, you really had to hunt for it.  But now, nearly every grocery store has an organic section.  Even big box retailers like Walmart carry organic foods.

Organic food can be expensive. But there is a way to get organic food that is affordable, but you need to strike a balance between the desire to buy organic food, time, and buying it at a price you can afford.

Emily Bruso, who is on a budget, wanted to feed her family of six more organically grown food. She wasn't sure she had the time or money to figure it out.

"It has to be financially manageable. I'm a mom of four. I home school. It has to be, time-wise, do-able," said Bruso.

Minde Herbert thinks Bruso can do it. The self-described organic foods evangelist runs the web site Affordably Organic and preaches buying organic foods on a budget. At a Publix, she pointed out organic canned food that is actually cheaper than brand name canned veggies. Even canned corn, peas and green beans were cheaper. If you buy in bulk, big deals can be had.
 
Fresh produce can really add up at the register unless you know what you're doing.

"You have your Clean 15, and your Dirty Dozen," said Herbert.

According to environmental researchers, the Dirty Dozen are foods have a lot of pesticide residue on them -- foods like apples, leafy veggies, celery, and peaches. This is where you should spend your money buying organic. 

What are the Clean 15? Food scientists say foods such as sweet potatoes, onions, asparagus, and bananas save you money, because they have very little pesticide residue.

(For the complete list of the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15, click here!)

Organic meat can get very expensive.  At Kroger and Publix, there is a deal that you may not know about. Boneless chicken breast can run $6.39 a pound. A whole chicken is $1.69 a pound. It's the same product. Don't cut it up yourself, Herbert says take it to the butcher and ask if he'll do it for you.

Herbert insists even the time-strapped can save money by making a few things from scratch.  Pick one pre-packaged item and make it at home.

As for butter, cheese and milk, if you see organic on sale Herbert says buy a lot. You can freeze all of these things. For more information on buying affordable organic foods, click here!

Recipes:

RANCH DRESSING

1/2 c. organic mayonnaise
1/2 c. organic plain yogurt
3/4 c. organic sour cream
1/ Tbl. red wine vinegar
Then, spice it up with your choice of some or all of these:  1/2 tsp. dried onion powder, 1/4 tsp. powdered garlic, 1/4 tsp. dried parsley, 1/4 tsp. dried dill, salt and pepper. Store in fridge 2 to 3 weeks.

APPLESAUCE

Use about 10 apples, half sweet like Fuji and something more tart. Chop off four sides. No need to peel them either. Throw them in the crockpot. That's it -- no water, no sugar.  Add cinnamon, if you like. Put the crockpot on low overnight. In the morning, just mix them up to the consistency you like.  Use a blender or a hand immersion mixer or whatever you have.

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