20 Ways To Save Money Eating Organic
My 20 tips to save money eating organic!
Eating organic can be expensive. I know…trust me.
Let me guess.
You want to start eating healthier, organic food to avoid toxins, chemicals, factory farmed meat, and get the maximum nutrition? Yea! Me too!
But, you don’t want to break the bank trying to stock your fridge and pantry? Me neither.
It is always going to cost more money to eat organic and non-gmo. But, there are few things better to invest in than your health. Think of all the money you are going to save on medical bills in the long run!
Luckily, there are ways to save money buying the highest quality produce, meat and pantry staples. Let me share 20 of my money saving tricks with you so you can eat healthy and organic on a budget.
1. Clean 15, Dirty Dozen
While it is best to eat organic produce as much as possible, there are some foods that are okay to get non-organic. EWG lists their Clean 15 produce that is okay to consume when not organic, as well as the Dirty Dozen that you always want to buy organic.
2. Buy Fresh Produce That’s In Season
Food is most affordable when it is in season. Ever noticed how expensive fresh berries are in the winter? They’re pretty bland too. That’s because they’re not in season, so it costs more to source them. To avoid this, buy fresh produce when it is at it’s peak season.
3. Buy Frozen Produce
You can save a ton of money buying frozen organic produce. Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak freshness and flash frozen, so they have optimal nutrition and flavor. Plus, they’re more affordable, and you can enjoy your favorite produce year round! I prefer frozen over canned so I don’t have to worry about BPA.
4. Buy In Bulk
Costco and bulk bins are going to be your best friend. You save a ton of money on produce, nuts, seeds, baking flours, spices, etc. by buying them at bulk warehouses like Costco or bulk bins at Whole Foods or Sprouts. Plus, you can buy the exact amount you need for your recipe!
5. Cut Back on Meat Consumption
I only consume pasture raised, 100% grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free meat. (I get it all from ButcherBox, which I highly recommend!) It is more expensive than factory farmed meat, but much better for my health, for the well being of the animal, and for our planet. To offset costs, you could no longer eat meat at breakfast, and eat about half the portion size of meat you used to. Make your lunch and dinner plate 80% plants, and only 20% meat.
6. Use Every Part of the Animal
To get the most value out of my ButcherBox order, I order the whole chicken which I break down myself. I use the carcass and all the bones to make bone broth. No part of the animal is wasted, I’m saving money by not having to buy bone broth, and I’m getting the maximum use out of the money I spent on the chicken.
7. Homemake As Much As Possible
We are very close to being a 1 ingredient household. I make all of our almond milk, condiments (mayonnaise, BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, salad dressing), nut butters (almond butter, pecan butter, cashew butter), sauces (stir fry sauce, pesto, chimichurri), trail mix, energy bars, bone broth, cashew cheese, crackers, baby food, etc. This saves us a ton of money, it’s healthier and tastier!
8. Buy The Whole Food
9. Use The Whole Food
Avoid food waste and get the maximum value from the food you buy and use every part of it. Save your vegetable scraps to add in to your bone broth. Repurpose the almond pulp from homemade almond milk to make almond pulp crackers or almond pulp porridge. Save your carrot peels to throw in a salad or smoothie.
10. Start A Garden & Grow Your Own Produce
I have a container garden, with 12 containers growing produce around my house. Container gardens are a great way to start because you just need a big container and some soil, all of which you can get at your local nursery (or Costco in the spring time!) In the summer I grow tomatoes, zucchini and tons of herbs. In the winter I grow kale, cauliflower and carrots. It costs a fraction of the store bought price, plus I love teaching my kids where our food comes from.
11. Shop At Farmers Markets
Not only are farmers markets packed with the most nutrient dense produce that’s picked at peak freshness, it’s cheaper because there are less transportation and building costs. Visit localharvest.org to find a farmers market near you. INSIDER TIP: I always pay cash, and ask the vendor for bulk discounts. The vendor almost always says yes!
12. Buy Direct From the Farmer
If you can cut out the middle man (grocery store), you will save the maximum money. If you can source your meat or produce directly from the farmer, you get the most value. Here in California, I can buy almonds directly from a nearby almond farmer for almost half of what I would pay for it in stores. I also find my favorite produce stands at the farmers market and will visit them on site for more savings.
13. Shop Online
We all love Amazon, but did you know you can buy a ton of organic, healthy kitchen staples on Amazon too? It’s the best price I can find for spices, almond flour, cooking oils, etc. You can save even more (up to 15%) using Amazon Subscribe and Save on your most used products!
14. Stop Eating Out + Meal Plan
The amount of money we would spend eating 2 dinners out a week is enough money to buy the groceries I would need to cook all of our dinners that week. Plus, it’s healthier and more nutritious! Stop eating dinners out and instead cook at home and you’ll be shocked at how much you save. By taking the time to meal plan every week, I am able to choose meals that have overlapping ingredients so I can buy them in bulk and use up everything that I buy. This means less groceries to buy, therefore more savings. Plus I am much less likely to eat out if I have a meal and groceries all ready to go. Great news, I’ve done the meal planning for you! I’ve been sharing my weekly clean eating menus since September 2019, all for FREE!
15. Stock Your Freezer with Meals
I love having a well stocked freezer with meals I can thaw and reheat at a moments notice. I have a whole section of freezer friendly recipes on my site, and whenever I’m cooking those for dinner I’ll often double the recipe and freeze the second batch. Less work for me in the future, plus I get the most value out of the groceries I’m buying.
16. Use Coupons + Weekly Sales
Organic and healthy food goes on sale too! Sign up for the weekly sale ads to be emailed to you at Whole Foods and Sprouts. Try and schedule meals with ingredients that are on sale. And if a favorite product is on sale, buy a bunch of it to have on hand and save in the long run! If you’re an Amazon Prime member, always keep an eye out for Amazon Prime deals at your Whole Foods store. You can scan your barcode right at checkout for instant savings.
17. Get Backyard Chickens
The best eggs are fresh eggs. We have 10 chickens, and are never at a shortage of fresh, organic, pastured eggs. The chickens eat all of our vegetable scraps that I’m not able to repurpose, and their manure makes the most amazing fertilizer for our container garden.
18. Avoid Food Spoilage
Organic food spoils faster since it isn’t treated with pesticides and chemicals. If your fresh fruit and vegetables look like they’re about to start spoiling, chop them up and freeze them! Store nuts and nut flours in the freezer to avoid them going rancid. Store herbs in fresh water in your fridge to extend their life. If fresh herbs are about to spoil, hang them from a string to dry them out and use them as dried herbs. Make sure your fridge is clean and free of moisture to avoid mold. Properly seal dried goods to avoid ants and bugs.
19. Only Drink Water
Not only are sodas and caffeinated drinks full of sugar and toxins, they cost a lot of money too. Instead, just drink water. Get a reusable stainless steel bottle so you can bring your water with you everywhere you go. If you want to add a little more flavor, add in fresh lemon, mint or fruit to infuse the water.
20. Go Generic
You’ll save money buying the generic Sprouts, Whole Foods 365 or Kirkland brand at the respective store. I often find I like the generic brand quality more!