by Callie

Stretch Your Organic Food Budget

A lot more people would buy only organic food if the prices were lower. Unfortunately, eating better quality foods that are free of pesticides, GMOs, and chemical additives just doesn’t work with the average person’s budget, still – this segment of the grocery market is growing at 6 times the pace of mainstream products. A fact that has all the big food players competing for their share of the pie by buying up organic packaged food companies, and adding organic offerings to their established product lineups. Which is why Campbell, General Mills, and a host of major food corporations are jumping into the action at the same time that they’re battling mandatory GMO labeling laws. Why? Because the demand for organic food is only 5% of the total food market in the U.S. If it were more affordable, that percentage would leap to higher numbers.

Whether you can afford the prices at Whole Foods, or are struggling to feed your family healthier foods by thrifty shopping on Amazon or at Costco – organic food is still expensive! There are many who would gladly switch, if only better food would fit their weekly budget.

Despite what many suspect, it’s not just pocketbook gouging that drives the price of organic food. Perhaps a little bit, determined on the demographics of your geo location, but the cost of bringing in a harvest is a bigger share of the issue. And then there is markup for profits, and middlemen that figure into price calculations, along with business overhead that grocers large and small have to cover. But within the organic food category, there are distinct segments. Namely, fresh vs. packaged products.

Saving on the cost of fresh produce isn’t that difficult when fruits and vegetables are in season where you live. Naturally, when they’re shipped in from far away, that changes, but it’s the price of fresh organic meats that will take your breath away – year around. The problem here is a shortage of feed that organic farms have yet to find a solution to, leaving your grocer no alternative but to import the kind of meat you, the discerning shopper demands. The amount of growers of organic corn and soybeans in the U.S. is so small it cannot support market demand, making it impossible to fill your market’s meat counter with U.S. grown beef, pork, chicken, and lamb that is certified organic. Big Food is also facing similar issues in sourcing ingredients to churn out massive quantities. Something that wasn’t a problem when organic food was not a mainstream thing, but FOOD is going through some growing pains. Major food companies, and well-established independent organic packaged food brands have turned to adding farming to the stream that fills their cans, bottles, boxes, and bags on your supermarket shelf. But meat continues to present a problem that only imports can fill in mainstream grocery stores. The only solution is a dramatic increase in farms producing organic grains for animal feed.

The Rest of Your Grocery Budget

Everything you purchase from the center of the store adds a lot to your bill at the checkout counter. Be it in a bag, can, carton, bottle, box, tube, or jar, or something from the health and beauty aisles – if it’s organic, green, vegan, suits special needs, or humanely captured – it’s still pricey. Stop clipping coupons. Forget about Costco, Sam’s Club, and the other membership savings clubs. You can buy all these items for less, at true wholesale… for prices that make even Amazon Prime look overly expensive. Shopping at Thrive Market changes everything. They don’t sell anything that isn’t healthy, green or non-toxic, and for 25-50% less than anywhere else. All their products are identified as suiting your preferences, be it; organic, vegan, GMO-free, paleo, raw, gluten-free, or specially formulated for mom’s.

Yes, it’s a membership thing at Thrive. It only exists online, which is great since you can continue to stock the pantry, your health and beauty routine, and lots of other household and personal needs from the comfort of your couch. Shipping is free as long as you spend $45, and while some may argue that Prime offers that all the time, Amazon is NOT a wholesaler… all parties there are profiting, from the vendors to Amazon. Not that a business can exist without but profit, but with numbers, you can do well with less profit. How much is a ‘reasonable level of profit’ to you? Thrive Market’s profit margin varies from a little to none to a loss. Now, consider the cost of shipping, or driving around town to collect the same items, and the fact that reaching $45 in goods happens fast in today’s marketplace. You can hit that level at any store in minutes. But annual membership fees are only $59.95 at Thrive, so you’re already saving, though their total focus is on healthy products, and include no streaming movies or books.

Ever find yourself frustrated with the number of choices to wade through when you want to make a purchase? Look at the cereal aisle at any supermarket… you could spend 20 minutes just trying to figure out what to buy! The average grocery store stocks over 30,000 products, making arriving at determining what to put in your cart a major time consuming prospect. What is your times worth in terms of dollars? Thrive only stocks the top 3-4 brands of any one item, and their total offering of products is less than 5,000. Not only is this less frustrating, you’ll be done shopping in far less time. To make it even easier, they’ve grouped all their products by your needs, which far exceed their broad categories of customer values.

Curious? The cataloging is incredible. Get a peek inside by following this link, because if you try accessing what’s in store by a visit to their home page, the shopping pages aren’t quickly located. Not that it’s a bad thing really – your first month is free once you’ve signed up, and they’ve got so much to offer for anyone who wants to live a healthy lifestyle for less. You’ll soon seen why Thrive Market is in the top 5 for everything they carry – the prices are up to 50% lower than anywhere else.

The top of Thrive Market’s website: Home Page – look for the links for About Us, and Our Story to get to know the company better.

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Only strangers knock on the door at Callie's house. People who know her don't bother if the sun is shining - they know to look in the garden.