The Soil Association believes it is possible for most of us to shop and cook organically without compromising on quality. It might require some creativity and life-style changes, but these changes have the potential to leave both you and the planet healthier and happier. So use the following tips to stay healthy, ethical and green whilst saving money.
Sign-up to an organic box scheme. Get local, seasonal and organic fruit and veg delivered straight to your doorstep, and get excellent value for money while you’re at it.
Cook fresh fruit and veg from scratch. Avoiding over packaged convenience foods is usually both healthier and cheaper.
Cook in bulk. Make meals in larger batches, use herbs and spices, and cheaper ingredients like tinned tomatoes or beans and pulses to bulk things out, and then freeze left over portions. This is a great way making less into more.
Join or create an organic buying group. Bulk-buy your store cupboard staples with a group of friends at wholesale prices. The Soil Association are working to encourage more buying groups around the country and have produced a guide to getting started.
Join or start your own local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) scheme in partnership with a local farmer. CSA is a partnership between farmers and the public where you make an annual investment for a share of the harvest and can prove great value for money. Find out more.
Grow your own, for the freshest, most local food you can get, right on your doorstep – and free – Organic growing advice
Keep your own chickens and enjoy a great house pet and super fresh eggs every day. You can learn more about chicken keeping, and range of other courses on growing and cooking, through a Soil Association Organic Farm School course, supported by the Daylesford Foundation
Write a shopping list. As a nation we we throw away 6.7 million tonnes of food every year. By planning meals in advance, buying what you need and not what you ‘fancy’, and using left-overs you should be able avoid the need to throw away any food at all, and save up to £50 a month
Take a walk on the wild side. There’s plenty of free wild food available, and identifying and picking it is a great way of having fun outdoors. Here’s a guide to getting started in foraging from forager Fergus Drennan