How to Eat Organic on a Budget


how to eat organic on a budget

Ready to hear from REAL people, just like you, on how they afford organic foods?


We all know that eating organic food can cut into our monthly budget which makes it a little less appealing to do. How can we afford to eat organic foods? We have to look at the costs of eating processed, pasteurized, homogenized, genetically modified foods and the effects those have on our bodies. It becomes painfully (pun intended) obvious the bigger cost of NOT supporting organic farming. Vote with your dollars!


There are so many different aspects we can look at when it comes to money and affording things, but for now, we're going to focus on how what those real people do to afford to eat organic food and so I am going to simply share the answers from real people including myself.


1. Garden and Farmers Market

Survey:

"Make goals to grow your own food and shopping local when you can is cool too. It’s not as expensive as people think."


"Grow your own food when you can (with heirloom seeds) and non-pesticides."


"We get beef from a local farm."


"Try to grow some of your own food. I think it's actually really smart if more people grew small gardens for their families. I know this isn't accessible for everyone though. Even tiny gardens are better than nothing though."


Me:

I do not garden yet, it has been a plan of mine for a while now. Once we move into our own home we will definitely be doing our own garden. Either way, I love this idea and I think if you can do it, do it. You won't regret it! Plus, people who garden tend to feel happier and live longer! I don't have an excuse I just haven't done it yet so I do a lot of the next steps instead (for now).


3. Buy in Bulk

Survey:

"Shop at Costco. They have a lot of organic options."


"We buy in bulk, even produce, and split with my mom so our cost is split and we're able to buy more varieties of things."


Me:

Totally agree with the Costco idea. Taylor and I do this as well and it helps for sure! Since it's just Taylor and myself, we don't purchase a ton from Costco because we know the fresher you can buy the more nutrients you can grab. If you can be responsible with credit cards, using the Costco credit card you will get 4% back on groceries and gas! We have gotten up to $400 back for using that credit card on literally all the gas, groceries, and bills we have. But again, be responsible with it or it'll bite you in the ass before you know it.


I also love the cost split idea. We actually use Butcher Box, a meat subscription box, split the cost with Taylor's mom and both of us save money doing it that way.


Sign-up for Butcher Box here and get $30 off your first box!


4. Start Small by Substituting

Survey:

"Start small by switching things out for healthier alternatives."


"In the beginning focus on always buying the “dirtiest” (ie the produce with the highest typical levels of pesticides) produce organic like strawberries, apples, spinach" (Editors note: She is referencing the 'Dirty Dozen' list which you can view that list by clicking here!


Me:

Another phenomenal idea! Going based on the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 is a great way to start. Toxins are stored in fat and since plants don’t have fat and meats do, purchasing organic pasture-raised meat is the best option if you cannot do anything else. But of course, if you don't eat meat your choice just got easier!


5. Look for Affordable Brands and Sales

Survey:

"Always be on the lookout for more affordable brands."


"Fred Meyer has their Simple Truth line also, which I’ve been experimenting with this year and most of their options are pretty solid. And very affordable in comparison to other brands. It’s not as high quality as some but it really is a good place to start IMO. (Foods without labels are always the better choice)"


"Stock up on sale items that you always use."


Me:

This is something Taylor and I do as well. Always use coupons, look for sales, and shop around at the places that have the cheapest options of what you typically purchase.


6. The Real Cost of Non-Organic

Survey:

"You’ll do it if it’s important to you. Sometimes I justify any price differences I notice as investing in health that way vs settling for a cheaper quality option and risk medical bills/illness in the future. The logic clicks in my head so it’s easier to invest more into that aspect of our lives I feel."


"After eating clean the compromise to buy less quality isn’t even a temptation. Feeling crappy wasn’t worth the slight price shift."


"I think it’s important to adopt a mindset that the extra cost is worth it because your health is worth it."


"In my experience, when I’m eating clean, I eat way less than when eating processed foods. I’ve never seen my food bill actually increase."


Me:

I won't get into this one too much. Everyone pretty much covered the gist of it.


7. Spend Your Money Wisely

Survey:

"it’s always important to look for ways to support this lifestyle too like chip away at it because it’s a process. What can I sacrifice in my daily life that I can replace with a healthier choice?"


"Steer clear of organic snack foods as they are pricey."


Me:

What are you spending money on now that is not going to benefit you in the future? Starbucks, jewelry, perfume, clothes, shoes, etc. Again, not going to go too in-depth on this one. Just look at where ALL of your dollars are going and prioritize. That will be a good starting point.


As a snack food junky, I have to agree on the processed snack foods. Organic processed snacks can steal all your money. 😂 FIGHT THE URGE!


8. Is the Cost the Real Issue?

Survey:

"I was actually surprised to find out that the price thing wasn’t the biggest obstacle with making healthier choices, it’s been putting the follow-up work in to come up with things to make and taking the actual time to prep the food and cook. If that makes sense. Often times processed/low quality is so much faster so it is always easier for people to go that route. Especially with kids. Quick and easy."


Me:

I have to agree with her statement. Sometimes you just don't want to cook which makes those packaged microwave meals that much more tempting. What I do is cook enough dinner so that I will have leftovers the next day and it helps quite a bit! Don't beat yourself up over this one, everyone has those days after a long hard day at work.


9. Shop Around at Different Stores

Survey:

"We go to Grocery Outlet first and check their Organic selection. Their organic grass-fed beef is half the price as Natural Grocers Fred Meyer or Super one! Second Costco especially for fruit veggies and meal prepping!"


"Natural Grocers all organic produce is pretty affordable."


"Walmart sells organic ground beef for about the same price as regular ground beef "


"Shop at different stores."


Me:

I agree, shop around, as we discussed above!


10. Freeze, Dehydrate, and Can!

Survey:

"If you don’t own a freezer, get one, and remember a full freezer costs less to operate than an empty one. (Use bottles of water if it isn’t.)"


"Try to store garden goodies in the freezer/can them."


"Invest in a food dehydrator"