Top Picks

The Cheapest Store to Buy Organic Groceries

Whole Foods should be afraid...very, very afraid.

Top Picks

The Cheapest Store to Buy Organic Groceries

Whole Foods should be afraid...very, very afraid.

Think you need to drop a ton of cash to eat a chemical-free, organic diet? Think again. Aldi, one of the world's biggest—and cheapest—food retailers, recently announced their plans to sell more organic superfoods. But that’s not all: In an effort to remain on-trend and attract more health-savvy customers, the grocery chain is also adding more gluten-free offerings to their shelves and removing antibiotics, growth hormones, partially hydrogenated oils, artificial ingredients, and MSG (an additive that's been known to increase appetite) from all of their private-label products. Um…WOW!

Aldi’s groceries—both fresh and packaged—are about 30 percent lower in price than Walmart's, which means their new health-focused offerings could give Whole Foods' lower-cost chain, 365 By Whole Foods Market, a real run for its money once it launches later this year. But take that lower sticker price with a grain of salt. When retailers and producers are able to sell their organic produce for less, it’s often because they’re growing their conventional crops close to their organic fruits and veggies. So, while the blueberries you throw into your weekly smoothies may say that they’re pesticide free, that may not exactly be the case. Why not? When nearby crops are sprayed with pesticides, organic crops often get covered in the stuff, too, thanks to something called pesticide spray drift. This occurs when pesticides drift away from their intended target, hence the name.

It’s well known that Aldi is able to keep their costs down by displaying foods in their shipping cartons and requiring customers to bring their own shopping bags, but it may be worth doing a little research to see if pesticide drift is affecting any of the foods you buy at Aldi or elsewhere. If that’s the case, it’s all the more important to wash your organic produce thoroughly. For even more grocery store hacks to keep your family safe and healthy for life, check out these 50 Best Supermarket Shopping Tips Ever!


17 Cheap Organic Foods You Should Be Buying

Compared to non-organic, there are certain organic foods that are so affordable that you'd be a little crazy to ignore them while



Beans, beans, they’re good for your….wallet. Fiber-rich and wallet-friendly, organic beans are well-worth stocking up on for only a few cents more than conventional ones. A can of organic chickpeas, for instance, might set you back $1.39 instead of the $1.09 conventional would cost. If you look for organic beans in the bulk bins, you may find even better deals—and you won’t have to worry about contamination from cans. (Always look for BPA-free cans!)



Whether you rely on it for its fat-burning prowess or enjoy it for its caffeine jolt, the organic varietals of tea are worth the extra pennies and even cheaper if you buy loose varieties in bulk. “Sampling done by the FDA shows that imported tea contains illegal levels of pesticide residues 26.7 percent of the time,” offers nutritionist Kayleen St.John, RD, at Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. “But organic tea is not produced with synthetic pesticides and poses less of a health risk."

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Corn Tortillas

Mexican night? Don’t mind if we do. “While sweet corn on the cob is traditionally considered to be safe, corn [used] in food products, also known as ‘field corn,’ is largely GMO,” says nutritionist Lisa Hayim, MS, RD, and founder of The WellNecessities. In fact, nearly 90 percent of corn in America is genetically modified. “Instead, opt for organic corn tortillas. I love Food for Life's Ezekiel tortillas or Whole Foods 365 Organic Tortillas,” adds Hayim.


Organic Frozen Fruit

Organic frozen fruit lasts from 6 to 12 months (peace out, rotten banana syndrome), is convenient when a fruit is out of season and is more affordable than fresh organic fruit. “Organic store-brand frozen fruit can be a great option because they have to meet the same criteria as brand names to get the ‘organic’ label. With frozen fruit, you can purchase these labels and save on your daily smoothies, plus you save even more when you don't have to throw away fruit that's gone bad,” comments Jeanette Pavini, savings expert for To stretch your dollar farther (or not spend one in the first place!), find out the 25 Easy (and Cheap!) Ways to Lose 5 Pounds.



Wildly versatile and incredibly affordable (a few pounds shouldn’t cost more than $10), potatoes can also last a few weeks, so you don’t have to worry about cooking them right away. And serious “Ugh!” alert: “A study reported by the Environmental Work Group—the organization that puts out the 'Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen’—found that the average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce,” comments Hayim. If you're a huge sweet potato fan, don't miss these 20 Sweet Potato Recipes for Weight Loss!



Dried herbs and spices aren’t that expensive to begin with, and are worth forking over a little bit extra to get the organic ones to avoid scary pesticides. An effortless way to make dishes more flavorful, the non-organic varieties are irradiated (definition: exposed to radiation), which zaps them of their health-supportive properties.



“Not all produce is grown equally; some fruits and vegetables are more likely to have pesticide residues,” cautions St. John. “The Environmental Working Group has a ‘Dirty Dozen’ list to help consumers identify high-risk produce. Apples are at the top of the list but, the good news is, their organic counterparts are relatively easy to find and not terribly expensive,” she adds. Grab a two or five-pound bag to enhance your savings if you have a larger family. Hungry? Check out these delicious apple recipes!


Organic Soups

“With organic soups, you get a lot of bang for your buck, especially if you know where to shop! For example, on a given week, Amy’s Organic Soups could be $2.42 at Walmart, compared to $3.69 at regular grocery stores,” says Pavini. “A bonus? You can use organic soup to cook other dishes, giving even slow-cooker recipes and casseroles a tasty kick,” Pavini continues.


Animal Products

“American agriculture has become incredibly dependent on administering antibiotics to livestock. This contributes to the formation of resistant bacteria that might infect humans. Organic meat and dairy, on the other hand, prohibit antibiotics use,” says St. John. To cut down on costs, slash the amount of meat you use in dishes and focus more on loading up your plate with vegetables. Pro-tip: “You can also save by the cut of the meat [when buying organic beef]. For example, the flank or shoulder are usually less expensive cuts,” suggests Pavini. Animal products not your thing? Then you'll want to share how Veganism Found to Be the Best Diet for Weight Loss!


Olive Oil

Sure, it might cost you between $10-20, but it’s mere cents when you consider the number of servings or uses in a bottle. “By buying organic olive oils, which are mechanically-pressed, you avoid oils that use chemical solvents for extraction,” St. John says. “And given olive oil’s versatility, you might consume multiple servings per day, like in a baked good, salad dressing, or roasted anything."


Earthbound Farm Spicy Spinach

Greens like spinach and kale are notorious for heavy pesticides, so you really should opt for organic whenever you can. With a suggested retail price of just $3.99, this handy 4.5 oz clamshell is loaded with a tantalizing blend of spinach, pak-soi, mizuna and other zesty greens. If half your battle for making a healthy lunch or dinner is grocery shopping for the ingredients, this mix of greens makes it a cinch. Just add a hearty protein like baked tofu or beans.


Carrington Farms Chia Seeds

At only $9.49 for a 14-ounce bag, these tiny-but-mighty organic seeds are well worth buying. (Store ‘em in your fridge to enhance shelf-life.) Simply slip them into yogurt, oatmeal, protein shakes or any of these chia seed recipes for weight loss. Oh, and did we mention they’re high in antioxidants and pack more omega-3s than salmon? Further bragging rights: They’ve got more calcium-by-weight than milk and are loaded with fiber, potassium, and iron.


Aloha Coconut Water Powder

Coconut water addicts, brace yourself for the most convenient (and brilliant) thing since sliced bread: By gently drying fresh coconut water from young organic Thai coconuts, this powder retains all of its naturally-occurring minerals, including electrolytes, while being way easier to transport than a can or bottle. Aloha isn't exactly known for low prices, but consider this: $13.40 gets you 30 sticks (that's less than 45 cents per serving) while a can of coconut water is at least $2. All you do is simply mix the powder with water for a natural, potassium-filled drink. Or, add it to tea or coffee for a boost of sweetness.

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Daily Greens Juice

Game, set, juice: These 12-ounce organic green juices will have you thinking juicing is berry tasty. At only $5.99 a bottle, these cold-pressed (which ensures the juices maintain their nutrients), are well below the $8 or $9 you’ll throw down for a competitor or at a juice bar—where in many cases, the ingredients aren’t even organic. Trying a juice cleanse? Go for the Costco box of 16 juices (which features the new Green Lemonade) for $59.99. And if you're not into juices, then consider one of these 56 Best Smoothies for Weight Loss.


Rhythm Superfoods Roasted Kale Chips

Clean ingredients? Check. Irresistible crunch? Check plus. Made with organic Lacinato kale (conventional kale is frequently contaminated with insecticides), these chips are an excellent source of vitamins A and K. For just $2.49 a bag, why not grab a few of their delectable flavors? Chili Lime, we’re looking at you.


Soy Products

“When buying soy, or a soy product, opt for organic since 90 percent of soy production is genetically modified,” cautions Hayim. For the best deals, look for house-brand tofu, or check the frozen aisle for organic, frozen edamame, which stay good for a long time and are great in stir fries and for snacks. “Remember to look at soy milk, tofu, soy beans (edamame), miso paste, and tempeh [all of which fall into the soy family],” advises Hayim.



A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that organically-grown berries contained 50 percent more polyphenols, antioxidants, and levels of vitamin C, compared to the conventionally-grown berries. “And remember not to wash them until you are going to use them; they'll last longer that way!” Pavini adds. Look for sales on discounted organic berries (stores sometimes offer 2-for-1 specials) or go for the frozen variety.