Want to eat more organic food? These tips will help you eat organic food on a budget. Nothing complicated just easy to follow tips.
Organic, real food is a passion of mine. In talking to others about an organic diet it’s clear that the number one thing preventing others from making the switch is budget restrictions. While this can seem like a large obstacle, there are many ways to get around it and save money while eating healthy food. These are my top five favorite ways to save while eating a healthy, organic diet.
Eating Organic Food on a Budget
Choose Your Organic Priority List
If you can’t buy all organic decide which items are most important to you. For produce check the Dirty Dozen list and always try to buy those organically and worry a bit less about the others. If you want to avoid GMOs choose organic for items that may be GMO, check the Non-GMO Project for more information.
With dairy, if you can’t find or afford organic at least look for hormone free. For meat choose pasture raised with no hormones or antibiotics whenever possible, in my opinion, this is more important than the meat being organic.
Extra Tip: When you do buy conventional produce be sure to wash it extra carefully with some white vinegar. Use about a 3:1 water to vinegar ratio. You can also use a produce wash like Biokleen Produce Wash.
Support Local Farmers
Farmers’ markets and food cooperatives are a great way to save money. Since you are buying straight from the source you can skip some added costs. You can also talk to the farmers and find ones that are using organic practices even if they aren’t certified. This will save you money as organic certification is very pricey and that cost is passed on to consumers.
When I buy grass-fed beef straight from the ranch I pay around $6.50 per pound, I pay around $9-$10 per pound at Whole Foods. This is an example of how buying straight from farmers and ranchers saves you money. The ranch I purchase from sells some of their beef to Whole Foods so it’s the same quality.
Extra Tip: Some farmers and ranchers are even willing to barter for other goods and services.
“According to a report last August by the National Resources Defense Council, the average American tosses about 25 percent of food and beverages purchased. For a family of four, the money wasted could total from $1,365 to $2,275. Food spending as a percentage of the overall budget has decreased dramatically over the last few decades, but it’s still the third-largest expense for a household.” –read more
Planning your meals can help prevent a lot of waste. Meal planning may seem like a lot of work but once you get the hang of it it’s not. Simply plan for the amount of time you shop for, shop once a week? Plan for a week. Also keeping food on hand for favorite meals, assuming it won’t go bad, can help for nights when unexpected things come up. And don’t forget to stick to your shopping list!
Extra Tip: If you have a favorite meal that is freezer friendly, double it next time you make it and stick one in the freezer for a quick dinner.
Reduce Food Waste
Reducing food waste goes along with the above but you can take it a step further. A lot of things we consider scraps are useful. Chicken carcasses for chicken stocks, orange peels can be made into candy or even used to clean your garbage disposal, veggies scraps can be thrown into veggie and chicken stocks, there are so many ways to use scraps to make more meals.
Extra Tip: Save scraps in the freezer when possible. No use saving them just to let them go bad!
Shop Sales and Use Coupons
You may think coupons are for packaged food but you can find real food coupons sometimes. You won’t often find them in your newspaper but you can find many online.
I also check the companies websites, they often have coupons you can print. And don’t forget to check the stores you are going to be shopping in for coupons and sales. If possible, stock up when things are on sale and plan your meals around the sales.
Extra Tip: Use cashback apps like Ibotta to save even more. Natural brands are often in the app and sometimes there are rebates for any brand of an item.
Using these tips is sure to help lower your food bill in no time. Also, remember that healthy food is an investment in your families health. While healthy food won’t cure all health issues it can go a long way in making us healthier. As many like to say, pay the farmer or pay the doctor.
Want to learn more ways to save on groceries? Check out the Money Saving Grocery Guide.