If I hear that healthy food is more expensive than junk food one more time, I’ll scream! Here’s how I go organic at Winco, where I spent a whopping 61 cents more to buy the two items on my shopping list that are on the Dirty Dozen 2016 produce list. (I offset that dramatic 61-cent increase by choosing organic cauliflower over conventional cauliflower—organic was 30 cents cheaper!)
Organic Choices at Winco
Here, I’m sharing the details of my latest shopping trip to Winco, where I found 25 organic produce items! For my own amusement and reference, I made a price list booklet that includes:
- Organic vs. conventional prices on 25 produce items at Winco.
- Printable table with 42 produce items I can take to any grocery store to compare organic vs. conventional prices.
- Cheat sheet with the Dirty Dozen, Clean 15, and GMO warnings.
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If you don’t have a Winco nearby, get ready to be jealous. Winco has been my favorite grocery store for more than a decade because of its amazing everyday prices on pantry staples (no need to wait for a sale!) and its huge bulk grocery section. But, for many years, Winco didn’t carry any organic food.
Every time I shopped, when the clerk asked me if I found everything I needed, I asked when Winco would start offering organics. Once, a cheeky clerk told me that the people who shop at Winco want to pay 5 cents for a tomato, not 30 cents, so the organic food would rot!
That may have been a true example of the huge price difference between organic and conventional produce a few years ago, but the price gap is narrowing as more people buy organic.
It’s more important than ever to know what you’re eating, and it will be harder than ever to get that information thanks to the DARK Act.
Here’s how you can avoid GMOs without busting your grocery budget!
Just to be clear, I am a fan of Winco, and a fan of saving money—this is not a sponsored post! Any affiliate links are for your convenience.
Get my Organic vs. Conventional Price List Booklet to track how much you really spend choosing organic produce over conventional!
- My local Winco currently offers 25 organic fresh produce items. It is unlikely I’ll ever need to buy all 25 in one trip, but it would cost $9.03 (23%) more to choose every organic produce item at Winco.
Pay attention at the store! Organic is not always more expensive!
- 2 organic items were cheaper than their conventional twins!
- 6 items were the same price for organic and conventional!
- I try to choose organic whenever possible, and I always choose organic for the Dirty Dozen 2016, plus a handful of other items that are heavily sprayed with pesticides and/or sprayed with super toxic pesticides:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
- Parsley (heavily sprayed)
- Cilantro (heavily sprayed)
- Kale (extra toxic)
- Collard Greens (extra toxic)
- Hot peppers (extra toxic)
- Based on the list above, I spent just 81 cents (17%) more on a recent trip to Winco to buy the organic version of the four items on my grocery list that are on my “Dirty Dozen Plus” list!
- I spent a total of $3.81 (21%) more on nine organic items!
Get this Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen cheat sheet here:
How to Upgrade to Organic for Free!
The easiest way to find money to upgrade to organic is to put processed food back on the shelf.
Yes, you just made life harder. But really, making your own ranch dressing, telling your kids I didn’t buy any chips this week but hey, we have carrots!, or swearing off LaCroix are all First World problems, so can you really complain?
I spent $3.81 to buy nine organic produce items at Winco on my last shopping trip. To “find” an extra $3.81 in my grocery budget, I could not buy any ONE of these items:
- A half gallon of organic milk. Milk is delicious, but not nutritious.
- Two packs of juice boxes. (or one pack of organic juice boxes). Apple juice is highly acidic, and drinking juice is not like drinking fruit, it’s like drinking syrup.
- One 8-pack of LaCroix. A six pack of club soda usually costs $1.50, if you’re desperate for bubbles. Squeeze a little piece of fruit into it and call it good.
- One bag of gluten free pretzels. Unless they’re organic, they may be gluten free, but ingredients usually include GMO corn and xanthan gum.
- One loaf of organic sandwich bread. I can make my own for less than 70 cents, or be more creative packing lunches.