M.H. asks from Fredericksburg, VA on April 27, 2010
Eating Organic on a Budget
I have been wanting to change my family's diet to natural and organic. I have been researching it for a few weeks now and have learned that the benefits are worth the cost. However, I am a single mother on a tight budget. So, I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on how to eat organic on a budget.
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A.A. answers from Denver on April 27, 2010
Look for a home delivery organics service in your area. It means you need to adapt your menu to what you get each week, but it means that generally speaking, you get the food for a fraction of the cost of the grocery store because they don't have to deal with the display spoilage phenomenon and the fact that people are stupid and won't buy an ugly piece of produce.
Doesn't cover everything, and it's still a financial challenge, but it's a place to start.
1 mom found this helpful
J.M. answers from Boston on April 27, 2010
You've gotten good advice. The only thing that I will reiterate is to cut way back on meat. Quality meat costs a fortune, and if you treat it as a "treat" rather than an everynight dinner, you will really save on your grocery bill. And shop at Trader Joes if you have one near you - so much cheaper than organic at the regular grocery store. Good luck.
D.B. answers from Richmond on April 28, 2010
I see that a couple people have already suggested CSAs and home gardening, just to expand on that- farmer's markets can also be a great source for organic. Keep in mind some small farmers may not be certified organic (it's a pretty expensive certification process) but may actually be organic nonetheless. Talk to the farmers at the farmers markets & get a feel for their methods.
There's a list floating around the internet called the dirty dozen. It lists 12 foods that are the most heavily dosed with pesticides.
There are a couple dairies you'll see in most grocery stores for organic milk, I can't recall the names at the moment- but the next time you notice what line your grocer carries look the company up on line. They often have coupons.
S.M. answers from Casper on April 27, 2010
Some things are more important, juicy things, for example, like peaches, tomatoes and strawberries. Look at Wal-Mart, I have heard they have organic produce for a few cents more.
Some of these things you can grow on your own. Strawberries and tomatoes are easy to grow and you can hang them where your children can't reach if that is an issue.
Best of luck!
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on April 27, 2010
Do you have a local farm that offers organic produce?
K.L. answers from Chicago on April 27, 2010
The Environmental Working Group puts out a list of what's most important to buy organic. Their website is www.foodnews.org.
S.A. answers from Washington DC on April 28, 2010
you may look into growing your own produce! Buy a book or two on container gardening. you can do it, even if you don't have a lot of land. Tomatoes, herbs, and many more foods (even oranges!) can be grown on the porch or inside in pots. It is the most inexpensive and healthiest way to eat. and the added bonus is that you'll be setting a good example for your children on how to raise good food and they will probalby be more interested in eating the vegetables, too!
You'd be surprised at how easy it is to raise your own food (just start 1 or 2 plants at a time of the vegetqables you like best to give it a try)
You'll save so much money and you'll have full confidence that the food you are eating is as natural and as fresh as nature intended!
another good way to eat better and more cheaply is to cut out meat just a few meals per week. It will help your body, your pocketbook, etc etc etc!
S.H. answers from Richmond on April 28, 2010
Sorry if any of this is a repeat - If you have a Whole Foods near you, they have coupon books at the front of the store (remember, you don't have to use them there!). WF is really expensive in my opinion but their sale items are usually a good deal. Try to plan your meals around sales. Trader Joes is an excellent store. Also, sign up for Mambo Sprouts - they will send you coupon books. You can also look up organic food companies - I have gotten coupons from Stonyfield Farms and Organic Valley. When you pair a coupon with a sale, you can get things really cheap or even free! If you are in the Richmond, VA area, look up www.dominionharvest.com and www.agriberry.com - both deliver organic food. I signed up for Dominion Harvest - $37 every other week for 10-12 veggies/fruits. You'd pay that at a store and this is all locally grown/organic food. Also, visit farmer's markets if you have the time. My last suggestion is to try to cut back in other areas so you can afford more on your grocery bill. I check coupon related blogs www.hip2save.com, etc. and I now get most of my household & hygiene products for free or darn close. This helps when I want to splurge on my grocery budget! Good luck.