So you want to buy organic, but the prices have you in a state of sticker shock. How do you go about buying organic and not blowing your budget? It can be done. And we’ll give you some of the best suggestions for buying organic as well as a place to look for coupons for organic food.
It takes a bit of discipline, a bit of grocery store savvy and a bit of giving up what is most Americans’ favorite food. But you can do it!
Eat Less Meat
Americans eat about 222 pounds of meat a year – that is half a cow per person per year! If you want more money for organic food, eat less meat. You and our environment will be healthier.
Check out local butchers and ask about their suppliers. One local grocery store sells organic beef for $7/pound while the butcher costs $4/pound. If you have a freezer, buy a side of beef. FFA and 4-H kids must sell their livestock each year and you can get some amazing deals.
Cook from Scratch
If you are like everyone else in the US, cooking from scratch takes up valuable. But it can be done and you can turn sales into future meals. Slow cookers (AKA crockpots) are wonderful! Find a Rick Rodgers slow cooker cookbook for some fabulous tips. If you cook one meal, cook extra, label and freeze it! Casseroles are great for this.
Some people spend one entire day a month prepping and freezing meals. If you have this level of discipline, you can turn organic food into a month of yummy meals.
Buy in Bulk and Seasonally
Purchase shelf stable, organic foods like pasta, beans, frozen and canned, in bulk. Take a few minutes to put the purchase date on the containers and use the oldest first. Those use by dates are not important for shelf stable foods. Researchers have found beans in 1,000+++ year old archeological digs that could still be sprouted and thus were still edible.
Also, that fruit might look really good, but if you are buying it out of season, you’ll pay for the privilege.
Chose Organic Produce Wisely
When purchasing produce, divide your shopping into organic and conventional. In the organic section, buy apples, strawberries, grapes, celery, peaches, spinach, sweet bell peppers, nectarines, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snap peas and potatoes.
Buy conventional avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, cabbage, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, grapefruit, cantaloupe, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
The theory is that the organic produce listed above tends to concentrate pesticides while the conventional list doesn’t. You will save money by dividing your list instead of going 100% organic.
Stores like Whole Foods are huge fun to browse through, but you may notice that the food is far more expensive. Send some time online and look for places to get locally grown food, online organic stores, and check prices at your local supermarket.
Check out Inspiring Savings, All Natural Savings, and True Couponing for organic food coupons. Brandless offers organic food for $3 a unit. Some options are great deals when you check the per ounce prices.
No matter your reasons for choosing organic, you can eat organic food on a budget. You just need to shop carefully, coupon, stock up on bulk, nonperishable items, and eat less meat!
Just remember that not all organic food is healthy. Organic Sugar Bomb Cereal is just as bad for you as Conventional Sugar Bomb Cereal.
Eating lower on the food chain, i.e. fruits, vegetables, beans, etc., is generally cheaper than buying meat and your heart will probably thank you for it in the long run. Avoid processed foods, even organic, as much as possible. And try not to waste through spoilage what you buy.