Organic is a way of life. A way of measuring quality and value through the chemical and genetic nature of our food. What goes into our bodies and ultimately what feeds every living cell within us with information is a foundation for health and wellbeing. And is not to be taken lightly.
The cost of buying organic can be frustrating and simply expensive. Here I have shared my top tips, for feeding a family of four (and that includes two teenage boys) within a reasonable food budget.
Buy in season. Most produce in season goes on special, is cheaper and fresher. This is a great time to freeze extra produce and make extra batches of your favorite seasonal recipes to freeze.
Visit your local farmers market. This approach works best if you have made up a weekly menu plan with in season recipes. This is a great way to explore seasonal goods, while supporting your local community! it can also give you insight into the type of farm and methods used. A good tip is to go towards the end of the market and bargain for deals with the vendors.
Shop the bulk section. Buy your beans, grains, nuts and seeds here – all dry goods. Some stores have extensive organic bulk sections, where you can stock up on your oils, nut butters, syrups and honeys too. It really can be worth a slight detour, or running a special errand to a organic grocery store with a large bulk section.
Shop online. As much as I cringe because this doesn’t support local businesses and the environmental impact of shipping. Shopping online can be very cost effective and help achieve more organics for lesser bucks. Some of the best sites and deals are found at https://www.vitacost.com
(membership required) Orders over $50 ship free.
Plan your meals. You can easily plan to use some of the same grocery items for multiple recipes. Download my weekly MENU planner, print it and pin it to the inside of your pantry, cupboard door or on your fridge take a pick on your phone and use at the grocery store, as your shop. And as you are planning your meals for the week, look at websites of your local grocery stores for specials.. plan meals around this.
Make double batches and freeze. This also doubles as cutting down on your time in the kitchen and can be useful for days when you’re in a crunch or simply don’t feel like cooking. Some of the best recipes to double up on and store for a later date are; soups, curries, stews, sauces, pesto, baking, casseroles, marinated meats, sauces, jams, spreads, bars and so on.
Plant a garden, or simply some potted herbs. This can be a small project to get going but the rewards are bountiful. Look up local produce that thrives in your area. Wether it be a garden or some potted herbs. You may be surprised at how fun and satisfying it is to harvest from your own yard, deck or windowsill. I find herbs to be wonderful, as I rarely need a whole package for one recipe.
If you are a meat eater, consider buying from a local organic free range ranch, they often have boxes of different cuts available for weekly, biweekly, or monthly deliveries. if you don’t have anything close, locally check out these guys, they deliver nationwide https://www.butcherbox.com
Make it yourself. Kale chips, granola, dips, spreads, baking, pizzas and whatever is an expensive pre-packaged, pre-made product. Look for recipes online and give it a go. You may be impressed and find that with a little organization these things are not difficult and worth a little planning and effort.
Review your grocery bills and get to know what is available around you. Are there farmer markets, organic grocery stores, costco? etc. get to know your options and compare prices.