The last few weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about switching our family to organic food! After doing a lot of reading and talking with some people who’ve made this life-style change, I feel strongly that this switch is important for our family. We won’t be able to do this switch cold turkey, but slowly and surely, adding one change at a time.
Organic costs more than non-organic and is difficult to find coupons for, but that being said, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be frugal and within a lower grocery budget. Mrs. January provides some pretty good suggestions on how to save money when buying organic and Wellness Mama shares how to eat healthy on a budget.
To summarize my plans for the big (and slow) switch, this is what we’re planning to start off with:
1. We will slowly change all of our produce to organic. Eating in season will help us save money here as well as shopping the sales: if organic bananas are on sale one week and organic apples are not, then we will be eating bananas that week!
2. During the summer we will shop at the Farmer’s Market. While not all items at the FM are organic, most are, but even if not, I feel like it’s healthier to eat food that has been grown locally and hasn’t travelled from somewhere in our country.
3. During the winter we will shop The Organic Box. I love this idea, and while it seems expensive, after looking at what I’ve spent on non-organic produce in a month (sometimes $20/week!) this seems a reasonable price for organic delivered to your door! I also LOVE the idea of adding on extras like organic milk and eggs! Once we’re in our new house we will start off with the couples box to see how much we get (don’t want to waste!) and go from there.
4. Buying parts of an animal. We have done this in the past by buying chickens from friends. Now we’re looking into buying 1/8 of a cow at $3/lb. This might have to be a slower switch than produce, because buying a section of an animal costs a bit more and we may need to wait until next year so we have money saved up.
5. Using coupons for whatever is available for organic items! Today I found a coupon for organic herbs at Save-on-Foods! They are out there, but few and far between. Dairyland has stackable coupons for organic milk (I have a $3 stack so can get a 2L for $1.99 or $0.99 if it’s on sale! and certain organic brands will send you coupons if you request them!
So this is how we’re going to start the Big (and Slow) Switch. Our goal is to stay within our $450/month grocery budget and maybe even SLOWLY begin to reduce that as well – this month we managed to spend only $305 on groceries! If you have any tips on saving when buying organic, please let me know!