This post about how to buy organic on a conventional budget was inspired by Stonyfield. As a Stonyfield Yo-Getter, my opinions are my own.
Confession: I didn’t always buy organic foods. When I would see a few random products at the store with an organic label, I always noticed the higher price tag. I even kind of rolled my eyes at the fact that they wanted that much just because it was labeled organic. Then, I had kids. That’s when I started really noticing my impact on our Earth, and most importantly, the Earth’s impact on them.
This girl. This girl is growing up right before my eyes. She turned 4 this month, she started Preschool a few weeks ago, and she’s quick to let me know she’s a big girl now. She and her sister are the reason that we buy organic now. I don’t just buy organic products for them, but for the whole family because I know that my health directly impacts them too!
But how do I justify the extra costs of buying organic? We didn’t find extra money lying around in the budget for groceries, but we did start making adjustments to our budget to justify the extra expenses of buying healthier foods. Today, I’m sharing some quick, easy tips on how to buy organic on a conventional budget.
Buy organic foods in season
It literally pains me to go to the grocery store and pay $3.99 per pound for zucchini right now because I know in the summer I’ll have mounds of zucchini begging to be used in our favorite mini zucchini muffins. It’s always best to buy organic produce when it’s in season, just as it is to buy conventional produce in season.
Choose frozen organic foods
But what if you can’t always buy in season? Here in Tennessee, I can’t possibly grow organic mangoes, but I can buy them from the freezer section. I often find that buying frozen organic foods is considerably cheaper than fresh and I can make the frozen last longer since it has a longer shelf life.
Grow your own organic produce or Join a CSA
The best way to eat organically is to grow your own food. When we grow tomatoes, carrots, peas, and zucchini in our backyard organic garden containers, I know exactly what’s in them and what’s not. If growing your own food isn’t possible, ask around about a local CSA. It’s a great way to get delicious, organic foods at a great price from local farmers.
Shop at Walmart
Some people shun the big chain, but I definitely don’t. I shop at Walmart weekly because in my rural area, it’s one of the only 2 main places to shop for groceries. If I want to visit a Whole Foods, I have to travel almost 2 hours! That’s why I get so excited when I see our local Walmart start carrying a new organic product and we’re up to quite a few, especially compared to how many organic products were on the shelves just 2 years ago.
Some of my favorite organic foods to buy at Walmart are Moreaya’s favorite YoKids pouches, organic milk, and organic frozen fruits and vegetables.
It’s true most of the coupons that come in your local paper are for processed foods, but there are places to find great coupons on organic foods. Two of my favorites are Mambo Sprouts and Stonyfield. You can also check out the Amazon’s Prime Pantry and Subscribe & Save options if you’re like me and don’t have too many organic food stores near you.
Buy organic foods in bulk
I’m often surprised at how many organic foods I am seeing lately in Sam’s Club. We shop there about once a month and I always try to buy as much as our budget will allow because buying in bulk is always better on your budget in the long run.
Meal Planning is the key to sticking to any budget, organic or conventional. When you meal plan you’re less likely to waste food or buy foods that are unnecessary. When I go to the grocery store with a list based on a weekly menu, I always end up spending less – win!
When you start learning how to buy organic, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing kind of decision. That’s what makes being green easy – you take the small steps that your family can afford and can tackle successfully. If you can’t buy everything organic, especially in the beginning, I would advise you to choose the important products. Organic dairy, grass-fed beef and hormone free chicken, and the Dirty Dozen are the best places to start.
The tips are really common sense, but maybe something you hadn’t thought of some of them before. No matter how your budget allows, learning how to buy organic on a conventional budget is really one of the best decisions you can make for your family’s health.