I live in a smaller town with only a few grocery stores. We have one natural food store and the options are good but the cost is high. This is where I get my local milk, local bread and other local products. I do like to shop around because two of our smaller grocery stores are beginning to carry more and more organic options. They have one small aisle dedicated to organic foods but throughout the store I am finding organic choices also. I just don’t have all day to go from store to store figuring out what is cheaper and with gas prices and pollution, I really have to think about what I need. So can I really feed by family organic food without going broke and is it that much more expensive?
Do You Have To Be 100% Organic?
Having my children eat food that is free of pesticides and hormones a majority of the time, if not all of the time, has become a huge priority in my life for them and for many other good reasons. My son goes to a preschool and there snack choices aren’t organic or natural (cost the director says) and my daughter goes to daycare a few hours a week and her meals aren’t organic either.
I’m guessing most moms are like me, they just do the best they can, when they can. It isn’t easy but it is possible if you make good choices, plan ahead, stock up on sale items, use coupons, and buy online if you have to (and I do).
How To Cut Organic Costs
Let me share a few secrets for cutting down on the cost of organic food and some tried and true family favorite brands. First off, money and cost does matter but the more moms buy organic and request stores carry organic brands the lower the cost will become.
If I like something at one store I try to call or write the manager of my favorite grocery store and get them to start carrying it. I call often!
Other Organic Cost Saving Tips
Use the List
Before even worrying about money, I like to consult “the list”. Healthy Child Healthy World has put together a simple list of 10 foods you should choose organic based on the number of pesticides found on these foods. Like peaches, apples and strawberries! Yes they are yummy, but they are also some of the worst offenders in terms of pesticides.
Buy in Season
This is something we are not used to, so changing your habits may take a while. Buy things that are in season, and not summer or fall fruit or veggies in the wrong seasons. When the farmers market has organic blueberries – stock up! Freeze or can whatever fruits and veggies you can buy in season and when the winter hits you’ll be prepared and won’t have to pay the high price.
Rethink your Food Budget
How much do you spend on boxed or canned foods? Do you shop in the aisles or on the outside of aisles? Consider not buying the boxed potatoes, soda and chips and using that part of your food budget for fresh fruits and veggies that are organic or from the farm market.
Grow Your Own
One of the simplest ways to be sure what is in your food is to grow it yourself. Not only that, but you will usually save tonnes of money over time.
I am not really good at this but I would like to improve and grow my own tomatoes and summertime foods I love. It is cheaper and I can control how the veggies are grown.
Go Online & Get Coupons
If I find a brand I like I go to their website and sign up for their newsletter and get instant online coupons. I also request them and contact them the companies for more coupons. I’m not a coupon clipper either so this is a huge thing for me the savings are adding up and making it easier to buy organic.
You can also get the monthly green specials on all sorts of organic natural products from various website if you hunt around online.
Companies I Love Buying From
So far, I am on the mailing list and get coupons from these companies because my family is enjoying their products so much:
I love that they are natural, certified organic, convenient, no Trans fat and the garlic bread with our spaghetti is to die for!
The juice is well loved by the kids and bears the USDA organic label because 95% or more of their ingredients are organic. (Read all about labels here) All the flavors are natural with no preservatives, artificial flavors or refined sugar. My kids love the apple juice and I add 50% water to make it go further!
My husband refuses to give up beef and to be honest I like it too. I could easily give it up or rarely eat it. Buying natural meat is expensive but saving a dollar or two helps. I bought 1 pound for almost $6.00 and it was so lean and fresh I was amazed. Our spaghetti with the organic noodles and sauce tasted better than ever. Everyone enjoyed the meal and the meat made a huge difference being natural, we could taste it right away. If you’re family eats meat and you don’t buy from a local farmer, I’d suggest you give this beef a try.
Our two grocery stores carry this brand and most of their products. I think the price is very reasonable and every product I have tried has been great. We love the angle hair pasta. I couldn’t find coupons on their website but have emailed and requested some. They have also partnered with PBS to support Chefs A’ Field, a program for children learning about cooking and farm fresh food.
So these are my tips and recommendations for now but many more will hopefully follow. If you have advise, money saving tips or coupon links please post them!