Do you wish you could feed your family organic foods, but when you see some of the price tags, your eyes pop out of your head? Yeah, me, too. I recently set out to find ways to feed my large family organic foods on a tight budget. Here’s what I found out:
1. Local Produce. Hit the farmer’s market to help out some local farmers while you save money on organic items. You can also try Local Harvest to search for farms, farmer’s markets, CSA (community supported agriculture) and more.
2. Grow your own organic garden. Sounds hard, doesn’t it? But trust me, if I can do it with my two non-green thumbs, so can you. My husband is usually the gardener in our family, but one summer he was traveling for work and the responsibility fell on me! I found out how easy it is to pull weeds and water tomatoes, carrots and green beans. One day I realized we had never bought any weed-killer or pesticides, which meant we basically had an organic garden. Even if you live in an apartment, you can grow herbs in a pot, have a patio garden or even consider renting space out from a local gardener. Renting space is still cheaper than buying organic fruits and veggies from the leading natural foods market.
3. Coupons and sales, baby! Watch, wait then POUNCE on those items your family loves when they go on sale or when you have a sweet coupon. Head to All Natural Savings online for coupons for organic foods. Combine coupons with sales for some extreme couponing and you’ll be dancing in the aisles! Pro tip: buy store brands instead of name brands if you don’t have a coupon.
4. Seasonal Items. Why pay $5/carton for organic strawberries when they can get as low as $1.50/carton in the good old summertime? It’s easy to find out which fruits and vegetables are in season on From Field to Plate’s site.
5. Stock Up. When you find a good deal, stock up! It’s easy to freeze certain items while you make jellies, jams, etc. with the rest. Can your own spaghetti sauce, carrots, beets, green beans and more from what you grow yourself (sometimes you have way more than you can eat coming in all at once), get a good deal on at the farmer’s market or find on sale at the natural foods market. Canning is easier than it sounds, and you can find a used pressure cooker or borrow one for a weekend. Simply Canning has a wonderful site with many great resources, then hit YouTube for how-to videos.
6. Buy in bulk. Because you’re not paying for packaging and name brands, some organic basics like cereal, grains and beans are much cheaper when dispensed from a bulk container.
7. Skip the “junk.” Organic graham crackers and fruit snacks cost a fortune, so try some carrots and hummus or make your own yummy granola bars to save a bunch of green.