5 Tips For Eating Organic On A Budget

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I used to think it was impossible to eat organic without having to increase our budgeted amount for groceries. And when I first ventured down the road to a natural lifestyle, our grocery bill did increase. But along the way of that journey, I’ve found a couple of different methods for getting our grocery bill almost right back to where it was before. If you want to switch to an organic and wholesome diet without having to change your monthly grocery budget, these tips might be helpful to you!

1.) Coupon

It took me a while to learn that you actually can coupon for organic products. It is definitely more challenging, but it is possible. I save anywhere from $5-$15 a week on coupons. The key to using coupons with organic foods, is to be flexible to change what products you buy, based on what coupons are available. But be sure not to buy a product that you don’t really need just because you have a coupon, or you’ll end up spending more in the end. I don’t get my coupons from a newspaper, I print them off from online. Here are my favorite places to print coupons from:

Mambo Sprouts

Common Kindness

This site always posts great deals on organic products:

The Green Backs Gal

In addition to those sites, I check websites of specific brands we buy for coupons as well. Some sites you have to subscribe to in order to get coupons, so I’ve made a separate e-mail address just for coupons. It takes a little more time to look up individual coupons, but the savings is worth the few extra minutes!

2.) Have a Plan

I know if I didn’t meal plan each week/month, we’d quickly lose track of our grocery money! There are plenty of nutritious and delicious meals that can be made at a low cost. We try to do at least one, if not two, meatless dinners a week to help save money, since quality meat is more expensive. Rice and beans doesn’t have to be boring (we’ve found lots of yummy ways to make them)! Veggie quesedilllas and black bean quinoa burgers are just a few of our favorite meatless meals. We also try to do fish once a week, ground beef once or twice a week, and chicken usually two or three times a week. Other favorite meals get added in to the mix as well, such as a pot roast or breakfast for dinner. I also try for at least one or two of our meals per week to be crock-pot meals (which I try to have them pre-made in freezer bags) for those extra busy days.

3.) A Little Extra Time in the Kitchen

I absolutely love being in the kitchen and cooking from scratch. But if spending hours in the kitchen isn’t your thing (and I rarely have hours to spend in the kitchen!), there are still so many things you can save money on by making homemade, without spending countless hours in your kitchen. I pre-make a lot of things in a big quantity, and then freeze most of it. Once you start getting a stash built in your freezer, you’ll spend a lot less time in the kitchen. When I make bread, I make extra and then wrap it up in and tuck it away in the freezer.

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A few other things I make ahead and freeze are, cookie dough, muffins, granola bars, homemade chicken nuggets (a healthy and quick alternative to store bought), applesauce and breakfast wraps to name a few. And by making things yourself instead of pre-made, you’re saving money and knowing exactly what ingredients you’re putting into your body!

You’d be surprised at how many store bought items you can make in a matter of minutes. I make ranch dressing with yogurt for salads and dips, and it takes all but 5 minutes to whip together the 6 ingredients!

4.) Consider Buying in Bulk and Shopping Online

Buying in bulk is an initial up front cost, but it is so worth it! We save a nice chunk of money through doing so. Look into a membership at a place like BJs or Costco, or compare prices online. I shop at BJs and order from both Amazon and Vitacost. I’ve recently heard of another source called Azure Standard (I haven’t placed an order yet, but their prices seem very reasonable). Online ordering is so nice because it’s pretty easy to order enough for free shipping, and then you save on gas money as well. Plus it’s so nice getting grocery’s delivered right to your front door!

5.) Buy Local (and store up for the winter!)

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Produce is obviously the cheapest in the summer time, and it’s usually the cheapest when bought straight from a local farmer. Find a farmer nearby who grows organic produce and stock up! Buy double of certain items to freeze or can for the long winter months when produce is expensive and not fresh or local. Having a full pantry or freezer will help save money when winter rolls around! Check out this site to find farms in your area:

Local Harvest

I hope these tips can help you save money on healthy food, so that you can stretch your dollar even further. I’d love to hear how you save money on organic food!

 

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