Want to eat organic but scared of the cost? These simple tips will help you learn how to eat organic on a budget yet still eat well.
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Even though we attempt to eat very healthy and make the majority of our food from scratch, we do not actually eat an “organic only” diet. But because of my detailed $200 grocery budget posts, I frequently get questions related to how to eat organic on a budget. In fact, just recently Amanda left this question on one of my blog posts:
I am so glad I came across your blog. I only read a few articles so far and I needed to leave you a message. I am so motivated and want to ask your advice. We are a one income household, with barely enough to manage and we want (mostly husband) to eat organic and all natural. This includes organic milk which is $6 a gal. Our two boys (4 year old and 17 months) drink a lot of it and we spent about $80+ a month for just milk. Also organic meats, fruit and veggies rack a bill up to a lot a month when we are just barely trying to pay our rent. Any advice, tips, and strategies? I’m going to start a price list and maybe try coupons but we don’t have Internet or a print working.
Here was my response. And if you’ve wondered how to save money on organic food and eat well on a tight budget, hopefully my tips will help you too!
How Eat Organic on a Budget
Ah, yes, going organic and all natural on a tight budget is always tough. And being a milk lover, I can appreciate your son’s enjoyment of milk. 🙂 Here are a couple of ideas for you. Hopefully they’ll at least help you brainstorm about ways that you can lower your grocery spending.
1. Stretch Your Milk
I don’t know if this is something that you’d want to do or not, but I know a lot of people that add water to their milk to stretch it farther. If you are going to use the milk in baking I wouldn’t add much water to it, but it should work for your kids no problem.
2. Use Money Saving Apps
If you have a smartphone, I’d highly recommend checking out Ibotta (sign up and get $10 when you redeem your first offer!), Fetch Rewards (use referral code GE0EG at sign up to get 2,000 free points!), Checkout 51 (sign up and get $2 when you redeem your first offer) and Berry Cart (offers deals exclusively on organic products)
Ibotta regularly has savings on any brand of product and Fetch rewards you points for every receipt you scan and submit, so even if they don’t have any offers that are specifically for organic brands that week, you can still often save a little.
3. Eat Less Meat
If you don’t already, try having at least one meatless meal a week. We love meat, but I’ve found several delicious recipes that we enjoy enough that we barely miss the meat in them! This Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup is one of them. We love this Crustless Zucchini Quiche, too!
4. Stretch Meat with Beans or Rice
Stretch Mexican type of dishes with beans and/or rice. I always add some black beans to our taco meat and sub part beans for the ground beef in chili too. We actually prefer both of those things that way!
5. Shop at Aldi
If you have an Aldi grocery store nearby, check them out. They have a decent selection of organic products at great prices! If you’ve never shopped there, be sure to take along a quarter for the grocery cart (you’ll get it back!) as well as your own grocery bags (although you can also buy them there if you prefer).
6. Cook from Scratch
As much as you can, make your food from scratch. You may have seen my homemade Bisquick mix and homemade cream soup recipes. I also make salad dressing, bread, homemade yogurt, chocolate cake, frosting and lots of other things too. In fact, I even enjoy a simple homemade frappe every morning! I don’t know how much you feel comfortable doing this sort of thing, but often you can make stuff much cheaper than you can buy it- and you get the regulate the ingredients too!
7. Try Shopping Online
It may be cheaper to buy some of your groceries online. I’ve used Vitacost occasionally and especially when they have sales, have found their prices to be pretty decent. They carry a lot of organic and natural products.
Direct Eats is another option that I’ve used with good results. Their prices often tend to be a bit higher, but again, if you watch for sales, you can do pretty well.
8. Request Coupons
Call your favorite organic companies and ask if they can send you any coupons. Actually, often if you just simply tell them which of their products is your favorite and why you love it, they’ll offer to send coupons without you even asking. Sometimes you’ll get a no, but often they are more than happy to help you out. I’ve gotten some great coupons by doing this!
9. Print coupons
I love using printable coupons to save money on things that I’m already planning to purchase. Sites like Hopster and Common Kindness have lots of printable coupons that are specifically for organic and natural products. But anymore, I find lots of coupons for organic products on Coupons.com, Red Plum and SmartSource too.
10. Grow your own
If you at all can, try growing your own produce. We live in the city and don’t have much outdoor space, but by being strategic, I’ve been able to grow a nice amount of produce for fresh eating. It only takes a small space to grow things like tomatoes and pepper. And you can even try growing them in pots if you want! Raised beds are another great way to pack a lot of veggies into a small space. Not sure how to get started? Google can be your best friend! 😉
And hey, if you have room and want more of a challenge, get some chickens for fresh eggs and meat!
How do you save money on organic foods?