||1. Budgeting for Organic During Penny-Pinching Times: While the economy remains stagnant, consumers are nevertheless embracing organic more than ever. In 2010, more than 40 percent of parents reported buying more organic foods today than they did a year ago, up more than 30 percent from 2009, according to the U.S. Families' Organic Attitudes & Beliefs 2010 tracking study. With increased demand comes increased acreage for organic agriculture, which protects the water and soil of neighbors. Between 2002 and 2008, the average acreage certified organic rose by 15 percent compared to last year. Generic-label organic products and direct farmer-to-consumer sales help keep organic food costs down for consumers.
How to tap into the trend: Look to sign up for a CSA, known as community-supported agriculture program, today. Consumers typically receive 10 to 20 percent off when they pay for a season's worth of produce the winter before a harvest, which is comparable to the discounts given in food manufacturer coupons.