While they might be healthier, organic foods are being left on the supermarket shelves by nearly half of shoppers thanks to an overriding uncertainty over what the foods are and what benefits they may hold, a new poll shows.

Conducted by CouponCabin.com, the survey revealed nearly 10 percent of consumers simply don't understand what organic food items are, and 38 percent don't see their purpose.

Additionally, nearly one-third said they aren't sure if organic food is better for you than nonorganic. Overall, 45 percent of grocery shoppers never, or only rarely, seek out organic food items.

The high cost of organic groceries is also keeping shoppers away. The study found that nearly three in four adults would be more likely to buy organic food if it was less expensive than regular grocery items.

"Whether you shop for organic items or not, healthy food can take a bite out of your monthly budget," said Jackie Warrick, president and chief savings officer at CouponCabin.com. "With a little creativity and some homework, you can make healthy food shopping more affordable."

Warrick offers several tips for buying healthy food on a budget:

  • Go Local: Check out a local farmer's market or consider joining a produce co-op to find fresh produce, meats and more at less expensive prices than your grocery store.
  • Use Coupons: With a little digging, you can find coupons for most grocery items.
  • Buy in Bulk: Stock up on healthy foods when there's a sale, and freeze whatever isn't used.

The research also showed shoppers pass on the organic items because they simply prefer nonorganic – or because the organic items aren’t available where they shop.

The study was based on surveys of more than 2,200 U.S. adults.

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