Did you know that it is possible to save money when you’re trying to live as organically as possible? Although eating organically will still take a big bite out of your grocery budget, here are some tips to help you save your hard earned dollars while feeding your family a healthy diet:
First of all, a major way to save would be to know the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen list of fruits and vegetables. If your budget can’t allow for you to buy absolutely everything organically, focus on the fruits and vegetables that use the least amount of pesticides.
Here are the lists:
Dirty Dozen (try to only buy these when they’re organic)
- Nectarines (imported)
- Grapes (imported)
- Sweet Bell Peppers
- Blueberries (domestic)
- Kale/collard greens
Clean Fifteen (Buy these when your budget won’t allow for these in organic form)
- Sweet Corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet potatoes
Here are 10 more ideas to help you reduce your grocery budget:
Use coupons from The Healthy Shopper
I’ve posted about The Healthy Shopper coupons in the past and I think they could be a valuable resource for you! Sign up and print the coupons that interest you then use them at your local health food store or other stores that have a natural living section. You’ll find coupons for brands such as Simply Natural, ECOVER, Liberte, Natura, Seventh Generation, Sisu, Tom’s and more.
Cook from scratch
Cooking from scratch is always cheaper, no matter what kind of food you purchase. But in the case of organic eating, purchasing individual ingredients to create something that you could purchase already made (convenience items) could save you a bucket of money.
Buy in season
Produce bought while at the peak of its season, will undoubtedly be cheaper. Click here to find a list of in season produce in your area. (scroll down to see Canada)
Purchasing locally grown and produced food, cuts down on the cost of transportation and supports your local economy. Buying locally means you’ll be receiving the food soon after it’s harvested, which means you’ll be getting a lot more life out of your purchases, in turn, reducing waste. Items that aren’t grown locally, have most likely spent a good amount of their “life” being transported to stores. Which means, you may find that the items spoil quickly forcing you to throw them away.
Buy what’s on sale
Many large grocery stores are starting to have pretty decent organic sections. Quite often, by looking in the flyers, you’ll see some items on sale that you can add to your shopping list. When you shop the sales, you be able to base your meal plan around these items and possibly purchase the items you use frequently in bulk.
Pick your own produce
Picking your own produce can be fun, especially for kids or a group of girlfriends! For a list of farms where you can pick your own produce in Canada visit PickYourOwn.org.
Try organic gardening
If you have the yard space, why not try your hand at gardening? You could even try container or square foot gardening if your space is more limited. You Grow Girl is a great resource for learning about organic gardening!
Join a CSA
With a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you’ll be buying locally and getting a ton of produce for your buck!
Try freezing or canning
Freeze or can all the produce you’ve picked up from your local produce stands, farmer’s markets or that you’ve grown in your own garden. Doing this, you’ll be able to enjoy seasonal items all through the winter! Stop by your local library to read up on canning and freezing methods and recipes. Or, here’s a great online article to help you out!
Shop at your local farmer’s market
Buying directly from the farmer will help you save some dollars. In shopping at your farmer’s market, you’ll also know exactly where/who the produce and other items come from! Find a farmer’s market near you on FarmersMarketCanada.ca.
I hope that this will help those of you who were asking for some tips on eating organically!
Do you have any other tips to share for eating organic on a budget?