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Oh that Martha Stewart! She’s always one step ahead of me when it comes to food. I was just talking to friends yesterday about how expensive our food bills are now that we try to live completely organic. Then of course, I find this tip list on Martha’s site answering my question before I even asked it.

How can we save money when we only want to buy organic goods?

+ Choose wisely
Since buying everything organic isn’t always financially feasible, make the switch for items most likely to have higher pesticide residues-apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, grapes (imported), lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, and strawberries. It’s also wise to buy organic meat and dairy products to avoid hormones.

+ Buy generic
A popular organic brand of pasta sauce costs $5.99 for a 26-ounce jar, while the same-sized jar of Whole Foods’ generic 365 Organics sauce rings up at $2.49. You’ll even save over a nonorganic product — a similar-size jar of Ragu pasta sauce goes for $2.69 at my local grocery.

+ Join a co-op
Many food cooperatives sell organic and natural food to members and volunteers at a discounted price. And they usually draw from nearby farms, thus supporting the local economy and minimizing the distance food travels from farm to plate. At Selene Whole Foods Cooperative in Pennsylvania, for example, dues are $30 a year, and members save 10.9 percent (volunteers, 21 percent) on most non-produce items.

+ Shop locally and seasonally
Farmers’ markets typically offer organic foods at lower prices than many grocery stores because the food is in season and doesn’t travel halfway around the world. At its peak, produce is most plentiful, which keeps the price lower. To find food cooperatives and farmers’ markets, visit localharvest.com.

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