Everyone loves to save money when buying groceries, especially organic groceries seeing that they tend to be more expensive than conventional food. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy organic food, you just have to be smart about how you add it to your shopping list. Eating organic on a budget takes planning. If you just pick any organic foods in a store it can add up really fast. Don’t be discouraged, we will show you how you and your family can eat organic on a budget. Here are 7 easy ways to eat organic on a budget.
Many of the organic brands offer coupons and deals on their websites. Make sure you check manufacturers website and also grocery store websites like Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Sprouts etc. Some companies offer deals by signing up for their newsletter.
There is a certain lure to buy canned goods, boxed mac & cheese etc. however you will save a substantial amount of money if you make it yourself. It's also better for you because you control what goes in. Low salt, low sugar, real cheese and whatever you prefer to be added. And it will taste better. It's a win win!
Better in bulk
I can’t say it enough. Plan, plan and plan your grocery list. It will save you a ton of money. Stores like Costco has developed their organic section to compete with stores like Whole Foods. Check what foods your family consumes the most, and if it's a product you can freeze and buy in bulk. Know your portions and safe leftovers for a creative second meal.
Always shop store brands because USDA - organic is the same across the board no matter what brand. A great example is Whole Foods with their in house 365 brand that is a lot cheaper than the rest of the brands
Use EWG’s dirty dozen list
The list contains non-organic fruits and veggies that are the most contaminated by pesticides (you can download the EWG’s app for iPhone or Android and take it with you to the grocery store). If you can’t buy them organic, opt for other fruits and veggies. (Though, if your kid’s craving something on the list – no need to avoid them altogether. Fruits and veggies are always good for you!) EWG also creates a “clean 15” list which are non-organic items typically found to have little-to-no pesticide contamination — feel free to buy whatever is on that list to make your meal. No matter what you bring home, always give produce a good washing.
Use these insider tips to get the very best deals:
- Get to know your local farmers, it’ll put you in a better negotiating position.
- Ask about farming practices. Some farmers don’t get formally USDA certified organic, because it's so costly and by doing that prices stay lower. On top of that, people have to farm according to certain standards for 3 years before even seeking certification. Help those farmers out! If you ask, you might learn that they don’t use conventional pesticides or GMOs or all the things you’re trying to avoid with organics.
- Try and stay late. Farmers often offer deep discounts at the end of the day, so the food doesn’t get too old-looking to sell and they don’t have to haul their food back to the farm
This will take time but it saves money. Without a grocery list, you’ll end up trying to think of meals on the spot (that you will forget at least one ingredient for) and simply tossing random food into your grocery cart. This will not only create chaos during dinner time but a great deal of food waste – which is money down the drain. Reduce your waste by buying only what you need, using (or freezing) foods before they go bad, and eating up those leftovers.