Do you want to eat more Organic but you think it’s too expensive? You don’t need to go to Whole Foods and pay a fortune. If you know what you want to buy you can probably get it for less somewhere else. You can eat Organic on a budget! Today I want to share with you my 10 tipps on how you can save on Organic food so you can eat Organic on a budget.
1. Look for Coupons and Deals
We tend to shop mostly at our local Fred Meyer because it’s close by and therefore very convenient. I have a rewards card which earns me money every time I shop there and I get personalized coupons based on the foods I buy, which I love. On their App I can see what’s currently on sale and sometimes they have really good deals. They also add more and more products to their Natural and Organic private label Simple Truth (Fred Meyer is Kroger owned), which is great because it is usually more affordable. I also have the Whole Foods App where they have some deals too. Especially as a Amazon Prime Member you can save there on different products every week. In general I find it realtively easy with the Internet to check out deals by just checking the grocery store websites.
2. Buy in bulk
Rolled oats were an eye opener for me when it comes to bulk foods. I always had bought Organic oats packed and cringed every time because a) the package was usually on the smaller side and b) they were expensive for the amount I got! One day I checked out the aisle with the bulk foods at Fred Meyer and saw that the Organic oats in there were on sale. I bought a huge bag and it was much cheaper than the packed version -and it still is cheaper even when it’s not on sale! Another good aspect of buying in bulk is that you can reduce your waste if you bring your own bags.
Costco is also a great bulk option for some things. We had bought fresh spinach and sweet potatoes a few times and were never able to finish all before it went bad until I had the idea to freeze it. Now I buy the fresh spinach und freeze most of it in bags. I freeze the sweet potatoes too. I cook them in the oven first, let them cool and put them into the freezer on the baking sheet for a couple hours. After that I put them into bags and back into the freezer. It not only saves me money but is so convenient too.
3. Join a CSA
We’ve joined Imperfect Produce last year and we love it! They buy produce which wouldn’t make it into the grocery store because it doesn’t pass the cosmetic standards. By doing that they help lowering the food waste. Did you know that 20 billion pounds of food go to waste on farms every year because of these cosmetic standards? I find that quite shocking! There’s nothing wrong with the food. It’s perfect too eat but it might be to small or too big to meet the grocery store’s cosmetic standards (weird, right?). Everything we’ve gotten from them has been perfectly fine so far and I still wonder what’s considered “ugly” about this food? The good thing for me though because it won’t get into the grocery store is that I can get the food for less and also make an impact to make the food system better by limiting food waste.
4. Eat less meat (and dairy)
This is an easy one for me because I am not a big meat eater anyway but if you’re a meat lover I can totally see this being a tough one. Meat is something I would definitely buy Organic to avoid antibiotics, growth hormones and GMO’s. I also want my meat to come from a healthy animal, so grass fed and animal warefare is important for me too. So good organic meat is more expensive than conventional one. Here’s the thing though: it pays to eat less meat! We know that too much meat isn’t good for our health anyways. The saturated fats are not good for your heart and create inflammation in your body. Another fact is that the high meat consumption is contributing to climate change big times. I think the meat and dairy industry did a great job in making us believe that we need to eat a certain amount of animal protein and drink our milk to be healthy but in reality we don’t really need that much. For my grandparents meat was something special because it was expensive and they couldn’t afford to eat it too often. You don’t have to stop eating meat alltogether, just try to eat less meat. Try to swap out meat for some plant protein sometimes. You can find tons of great recipes for plant based meals on the Internet!
5. Know the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 List
You don’t have to buy everything Organic if you know the Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 Lists and follow them. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the meanwhile 13 conventional fruits and vegetables which contain the highest pesticide residues. So you would want to buy these Organic instead to avoid eating a big load of pesticides. There’s also a Clean 15 list of conventional produce which has low or no pesticide residue at all. Which means you could buy the conventional produce and would still be safe.
6. Cook from scratch
It’s easy and convenient to pull out a frozen pizza out of a package and put it into the oven but it’s a) cheaper to make it yourself and b) most likely also healthier to make it yourself. For example: I like to buy two or three bags of Organic potatoes at Trader Joe’s and turn them into hash browns and potatoe wedges. It’s super easy! Once I am done the hash browns and potatoe wedges go into the freezer. I also do that with muffins -savory and sweet. Stuff your freezer with homemade meals 😉 So much cheaper than buying it packed!
7. Plan your meals
To be honest, this is something I can still optimize. I don’t plan our meals for the whole week ahead every time but I wish I did because I think it not only takes the guesswork out of: “what’s for dinner tonight?”, it also saves you money because you’re more likely only buy the things you need.
8. Buy local and/or seasonal
We are lucky that we live fairly close to some farms. One of them has an orchard, berries and honey. We love that place! Everything is fresh, tastes way better than store bought and we get to pick it ourselves! It is such a great experience for the kids too and the place itself is gorgeous, so a win-win overall. I can’t wait to go back in the summer once U-pick opens again. They are not certified Organic but they don’t use pesticides and grow their produce as natural as possible.
9. Keep it simple
Sometimes on the weekends we like to cook meals which take a bit longer and are a little less simple. Especially my husband does that and of course I won’t stop him if he wants to do it 😉
During the week I mostly like to keep it simple with our dinner. My experience with the kids is that they prefer a more simple dinner too. Potatoe wedges, non-starchy vegetables and a fried egg would be a simple dinner. For me it means less time in the kitchen and simple ingredients help saving some money too.
10. Shop at different stores
The same products can have different prices at different stores. For example: a bottle of Simple Truth Coconut Aminos at Fred Meyer is $5.49 whereas at Trader Joe’s the same sized bottle of Organic Coconut Aminos is just $2.99. That’s a huge price difference! I’ve also noticed that with same brand products at different stores. It’s worth it to keep your eyes open and check out different stores. Once you know what products you usually tend to buy you fairly quick figure out at which store you get the best bang for your buck. I make lists for different stores and if I have a couple items on my list for one store I’ll go. Making lists for shops you don’t go to on a regular basis makes sense for me because I wouldn’t drive all the way to Trader Joe’s to just get a bottle of Coconut Aminos 😉
Did you find some inspiration to save money and eat Organic on a budget?
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