Is it possible to save money on organic food? In this post, I’ll share 8 easy ways to save money on organic food — even if you have a tight budget!
Looking for more ideas? Check out this post where Jennifer shares 10 Ways They Afford to Eat Organic Foods on a $100 Monthly Budget.
Can You Save Money on Organic Food?
So many people have a misguided idea that the only way to eat healthfully is to spend exorbitant amounts to do so. If you live in Alaska or some remote part of the country, this might be the case, but in most areas, you can feed your family natural, unprocessed foods without spending hundreds of dollars each week to do so.
Sure, you might spend a little bit more than someone who is eating a diet composed mostly of processed foods, but it really doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg as some people will make you think — especially if you’re willing to get creative and think outside the box.
Here are eight ways to afford organic food on a tight budget:
1. Plan a Menu Based Upon What’s In Season and On Sale
If you want to feed your family on a budget, the first step is to have a plan for what you’ll be eating. Make your menu plan mostly based upon what is on sale at the natural foods store, what is in season at the Farmer’s Market, what organic food is on sale at Aldi or your other grocery store, and/or what you’re reaping in abundance from your garden, you’re going to significantly reduce your grocery bill.
2. Practice the “Buy Ahead” Principle
If you happen to come upon an incredible sale on tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market, or the health food store has organic frozen vegetables on a great sale, or Sprouts has a great weekend sale, or Aldi is offering some great deal on organic products, or you find a great markdown deal on organic food at Kroger, stock up. Buying items you routinely use when they are at their lowest price is another surefire way to savings.
3. Plant a Garden (Or Barter With Someone Who Does!)
Produce is typically only pennies per item from your own backyard, it’s tremendously fresh and you know exactly what you did or didn’t spray on it. Plus, you can can or freeze your extras — or bless your friends and neighbors with them!
Have a brown thumb? Find a friend who loves gardening and trade services (babysitting, bread-baking, car maintenance?) in exchange for their garden excess.
Note: When I’ve done the math on how much time you invest to plant and weed and water and harvest food from the garden, for me, it just wasn’t worth the return on my investment of time. However, if organic food is something you want to prioritize and you love gardening, it might be a great option for you!
4. Stick With Simple Meals
When you’re planning your menu, think about how much your recipes will cost you to make.
It doesn’t have to be a scientific to-the-penny figure, but just having a good idea that there is a $10 difference between the price of making one meal as opposed to another meal can help you decide whether you can afford to make something or perhaps should save it for a special occasion.
5. Serve Meat as a Condiment
I shamelessly stole this idea from Family Feasts for $75 Per Week because it’s so brilliant. Serving meat in soup or on pizza is going to be a lot less expensive than serving roast and sirloin, especially if you’re buying high-quality meat.
6. Buy in Bulk
In many cases, it’s at least $1 cheaper per pound to purchase in bulk. Buying grains, beans, as well as many other basic ingredients with long storage lives in large quantities will almost always save you at least 20%, if not more.
Costco, as well as many bulk foods stores and local co-ops, offer great pricing. You can also check with your local health food store to see if they’d offer you a discount for bulk purchases.
7. Consider Joining a CSA or Co-Op
If there is a co-op or CSA in your area, check into pricing and details for joining. You might find that it is an affordable and money-saving option for your family. If you can’t find an affordable co-op in your area, you could consider starting your own co-op.
8. Use Coupons on Non-Food Items
I know a number of my readers don’t eat processed foods, but they use coupons to save money on toilet paper, toothbrushes and other non-food items which they purchase. Your savings might not be so exciting as others who use dozens of coupons each shopping trip, but even saving $5 each week by using coupons can start to add up over time.
What other tips do you have to add for saving money on organic food? I’d love to hear!