I know A LOT of people have written about this topic already but I haven’t and it’s a question I get asked ALL the time.
First of all you have to STOP comparing. Don’t look at the price of conventional apples vs. organic apples at the grocery store. Yes, the conventional apples may be .69 cents a pound and the organic ones $1.99 but conventional apples are sprayed with over 40 CHEMICALS and may not even be fresh I just read an article that apples at the grocery store can be up to a year old) ICK! The cost of health risk and disease impacts all of us and greatly outweighs the small increase in our grocery bill.
We don’t choose organic to be trendy, we choose organic based on our value system and an investment in our health. Pay the farmer not the doctor!
- Budget- This is pretty common knowledge but there are people out there that actually have NO budget. I used to be like that back when I was making meals from a box but not anymore 🙂 One thing I do is break down my budget. For example our grocery budget is $700 a month which includes groceries, coffee shops and eating out if we do. I break it down by only spending $150 a week on groceries. Every time something goes into your cart round-up. If you buy an item that is $1.39 round up to $1.50 or even $2 to make it easier to keep track. It gives you a little bit of wiggle room to have a couple bucks extra for those little things you may need or had forgotten at the store.
- Meal Plan- I plan my weekly meals based on my husbands paycheck schedule so our “week” is Thursday to Thursday. Thursdays are my grocery shopping day. That way I don’t run out of money or food before the next paycheck, make sense? Meal Plan and make your list. I like to be organized with my list and have different sections like Dairy, Meat, Produce etc. So I am not going back and forth throughout the store . Meal Planning and making a list helps to just focus on what you need and not throw things in your cart. I only put things that aren’t on my list if I see good items on clearance at Sprouts or Whole Foods. Seeing a box of gluten-free cookies for .99 cents when they are normally $6 is a good reason to go off your list 🙂
- Grow your Food- We aren’t anywhere we would like to be on this one but we do have a herb garden and eggplant growing, we had a beautiful garden growing but my kids decided to rip it all out..not once but twice..I kinda quit this year after the second time. Growing your own herbs is a great way to start because buying them at the store adds up quickly!!
- Farmer’s Markets/CSA’s- I love going to Farmer’s Markets. Everything is in season and it’s all local and freshly picked etc. We have developed relationships with a lot of our local farmers here who now call us when something is ready to be picked that we like. It’s so nice to walk up to a booth and here” Hi Fravels” and they know about us and we know about them. 80% of our produce and meat comes from a farmer or a CSA. A CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” basically you sign up for a share with a bunch of people for a box of produce each week, bi-weekly whatever that group’s schedule is. You don’t always know what you get so it can be hard to plan meals. We use whatever we don’t need for actual meals to juice with.
- Make sacrifices The last thing to make eating organic work for your family is to sit down and look at your whole budget and see if there is anything you can cut back on or get rid of. If eating organic is important to you, you can make it work. If you look at your budget and see that you are spending $200 a month on coffee, eating out etc making cut that back by $100. That $100 can go far in your grocery budget. If it’s important to you, you can make it work. Maybe not 100% but you can start getting on your way.
These are some of my tips on eating organic on a budget. Next time I will be talking about the 5 things you should go organic on if you can’t make a full switch. Even if you are doing 5 things, those 5 things will benefit your family!!!