Thanks to a documentary I watched (can’t even remember the name now) in my late teens, I started to be more aware of the foods I was putting in my body. Living in the Midwest in the early 90’s you can just imagine how difficult it was to start eating organically. I spent lots of time and money in health food stores and farmer markets.
After moving to south Florida it became easier to find organic foods but the price tag was still outrageous. It wasn’t until the last 10 years or so that you could even find organic foods in the conventional grocery store. Boy, did that make life easier. I want let you in on a little secret, I HATE going to a zillion grocery stores. I like to hit one or two at the most throughout the week and be done with it. I have friends that go to sometimes 5-6 places to get the best deals. It’s not for me, but I admire those that have the energy to do that and I am jealous of the money they save by shopping around.
Since I don’t shop around I need to save in other ways when grocery shopping while not compromising feeding my family healthy foods. Here are my top 5 tips for buying organic on a budget. We are a family of four with 2 boys ages 8 & 10 years old so you can imagine how much food they eat, and it’s not decreasing anytime soon.
5 Tips for Buying Organic on a Budget
MENU PLAN – Every week take a look at your pantry and ask yourself this question: what meals can you create out of ingredients you already have on hand? Try to come up with three meals each week using ONLY ingredients you have on hand. Then you can buy less at the grocery store,and have more grocery dollars to use towards organic produce or milk.
GROW YOUR OWN – This is kind of a no-brainer. Start from organic seed or seedling and grow some of your own veggies. If you don’t have a ton of space start with the ones you eat daily or weekly that would cost you the most to buy then branch out to others if you have more room. If you have no garden space at all, no worries….you can plant most vegetables in large pots.
DIRTY DOZEN/CLEAN FIFTEEN PLAN – If you haven’t heard of the dirty dozen/clean 15 rule, here’s the low down. This list is helpful in assisting you in finding which fruits and vegetables you should purchase organically and which ones are safer to eat when buying them conventionally. This list can save you a ton of money at the grocery store each week. DOWNLOAD A COPY – Dirty Dozen Clean 15
BUY IN BULK – As I mentioned earlier I only like to go to one store for my weekly shopping, but about once a month I head to Costco for my organic snacks and Whole Foods for my bulk grains. Buying organic grains and snacks in bulk is one of the easiest ways to save money. Remember you can always freeze your grains so they stay fresher longer.
USE COUPONS – I need to be better at this, but I do try and I love how organic companies are making coupons more accessible. Most grocery stores have a rewards program, SIGN UP! Not only will you save money every time you shop but you will receive coupons too. Their computer system recognizes the products you purchase most and then gives you coupons that reflect your shopping habits. I personally love Mambo Sprouts and many coupons give out coupons when you sign up for their mailing list. Stonyfield sends you a coupon right away and also sends you deals periodically that fits your needs.
We are a family of 4 with two very hungry growing boys and we can eat organically on a budget for less than $200 a week eating real foods, but I couldn’t do it without utilizing these tips above on a weekly basis. So the next time you are in your local grocery store take a look around and you might be surprised to see more organic foods than you expected. That happened to me recently when I ran into my local Walmart. I was pleasantly surprised to see more organic choices and great prices, especially my all time favorite Stonyfield yogurt. I was so excited to see so many options, more than my regular local grocery store. That meant I had to stock up for me and the kids. The Stonyfield squeezes are perfect when we are running out the door trying and to get something healthy into the kids before baseball or lacrosse practice.
Eating organically can be done on a budget. Do your best to make small changes then those small changes will lead to bigger ones down the road. Every little bit counts and will make huge differences over time.
This is a sponsored post created in partnership with Stonyfield as a Stonyfield Ambassador. All opinions are always my own.