• Follow the loss leaders. Grocery stores and specialty chains typically offer several heavily discounted items each week. These promotional items are called loss leaders because stores are willing to take a financial hit on them in order to bring consumers into the store. Stock up on sale items in the organic section and build menus around them.
• Stay local. In-season and locally produced fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper than out-of-season items that have been imported.
• Wash it yourself. We pay a premium for veggies that are already washed, peeled or cut. When time allows, I save money with do-it-yourself washing, peeling and chopping of fruits and veggies. The savings are significant.
• Hit the freezer. I love organic blueberries, but when the out-of-season price spikes to $6.99 for six ounces, I go to the freezer aisle. That's where I pick up a 10-ounce package of organic berries for about $4. The freezer section offers a variety of frozen organic fruits at reasonable prices. Frozen fruits are great for snacking or baking.
• Join an organic co-op. Before we let our membership lag, we were part of an organic food co-op in our neighborhood for over a year. We have since joined another group and are pleased with the savings. Our produce bill has dropped by 30 percent due to the co-op, which purchases fruits and vegetables in bulk from local, organic farmers.
Sharon is the author of the Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money -- a coming of age memoir about money -- and a contributing writer in Wise Bread's 10,0001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.