Organic Grocery Shopping on a Budget

organic-grocery-shopping-budget

A few steps I'm taking to feed my family healthier food and manage my food allergies without breaking the home bank.

I learned long ago that what you eat can have a profound effect on how you feel. Especially if you have a food allergy.

In some ways my food allergy to soy and it's derivatives has been a blessing. It has forced me to take a deeper look at what goes into my body and as a result I’m healthier and manage a healthier weight than if I were able to consume anything I took a fancy to. The same goes with what I feed my family. I feed them healthier foods. I read labels a lot and I can quickly spot when a sensitivity to food has resulted in a rash or mood change.

As a family as much as possible we try and buy organic foods and items that aren’t doctored up and added to . This means pretty much no convenience foods.  All of our food purchases are not organic but as we find new products that are affordable we swap out the old with the new.

Staying on a grocery budget while trying to purchase as many organic food items as I can has not been easy. Organic and health food items cost significantly more in the grocery store than you popular brand convenience foods.

With rising food and gas prices I’ve feel an extra push to do what I can to get more for our hard worked for dollars.

I see a lot of frugal moms on the internet who are able to take advantage of some amazing deals that I cannot partake of because of ingredients. I don't think I'm alone and while I rarely save a lot of dollars on actual items at the grocery store there are still steps to take to minimize our own organic, soy-free grocery budget.

So here are some of the simple, don’t have to go too much out of my way, ways that I’m using to save a few dollars and eat healthier.

  • Number one is to grow what you can yourself. A small plot, a porch, a windowsill, fit what you can into your own space. We just moved and I'm planning my garden. This year we will attempt Square Foot Gardening. My friend grows lettuce in the winter on her Northwest, southern facing porch, and almost all the rest of her vegetables in a small backyard plot. I know this is not always possible but if you can it’s a great way to save and eat healthy.

If you can't grow your own organic produce know which ones are at the top of the list for buying organic. Meaning which ones are most likely to have the most pesticides used on them.  Here is a great article on the topic.

Not all produce is created equal

  • Number two is to make a lot of your convenience mixes. I’m not much of a convenient mix person but I try and make things like cookies, pancakes, and bread in batches and freeze the extra. Occasionally I’ll make rice and pasta mixes (think rice-a-roni) and homemade poptarts and I do make freezer meals quite a bit. These are some of the resources I use….
  • Number three is if you find a deal on an organic or healthy item that you can a) store away for future use and have the space for the excess b) is something you actually do or will use c) won’t break your grocery budget, then get as much as you can handle.
  • Number four is to realize there are coupons for organic foodstuffs. Okay I didn’t realize this for a while but now that I know here are some places I regularly visit for the coupons. This can bring that $4.00 gallon of organic milk down a peg.

http://www.mambosprouts.com

Organic Deals

  • Number five: I don’t do this but I have friends that do and I am considering it for the future. I haven't calculated the costs though. If you are so inclined join up with a co-op for year round organic veggies grown on a farm near you. Visit Localharvest.org for more information. Check out the little interactive section on the right and add your information there.
  • Number six: Take a good course in grocery savings. There are several out there but I recommend this one: Growing Slower Grocery Savings.

The regular frugal ways to save money are…

  1. Meal Plan
  2. Cook for the freezer
  3. Don't buy things you normally would not just because they are on sale or have a coupon.
  4. Perfect your cooking so that your food tastes SOOO good you never want to eat out again! Unless you're exhausted. Try this FREE class from Craftsy: Cooking Mistakes: What Goes Wrong and How to Make it Right.

And lastly here are some great tips for those of use dealing with food allergies.

 

 

Grocery Savings Made Simple

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