Food prices have been rising for a while now, and sometimes it can be hard for my family to afford the food that we need. I know many of you have the same issues! Organic food is more expensive (saw a gallon of organic milk this morning for $5.99!!!), and many families feel that going organic is a luxury they can’t afford.
Think of it this way though (like I did): the potential health risks to our children would end up costing us so much more; not only financially (medical bills, etc) but also the emotional toll seeing your child go through illness would cost. It seems worth it when you look at it that way!
At any rate, even frugal families can afford healthy organic food, using the following methods.
- Buy in bulk. You can cut costs on other things you buy, such as toilet paper, paper towels, etc. by joining Costco, Sam’s Club or BJ’s, depending on where you live. Buying in bulk is cheaper, and means less trips to the store! Many of you may already be doing this. Just look at your budget, and see where you can cut costs or eliminate costs.
- CSA Programs. A Community Supported Agriculture Program is a great way to get organic food for less! In a CSA, you pay a set fee to a farm; in most cases, the fees are per growing season. You are provided with a portion of the farms produce every week for the duration of the season.Participation in a CSA program has many benefits, but it also has one major negative point. The produce you receive in exchange for your payment depends entirely on the success of the growing season. If a drought ruins the crop, you can’t get a refund, nor do you receive any food.
- Farmer’s Markets. Farmer’s Markets are a great way to find healthy, organic produce at a fraction of supermarket prices, and can be found almost anywhere. They used to have one every Thursday in the parking lot of the office building I worked at a few years ago. Farmer’s Markets are great, because you can talk directly to the growers and know exactly where your food is coming from.Local farms are a dying breed; buying through Farmer’s Markets helps keep them alive. If you aren’t sure where to find local Farmer’s Markets, check http://www.localharvest.org. You can find CSAs, Farmer’s Markets near you and local farms.
- Local Farms. Farmer’s Markets and CSA’s are only 2 ways to purchase from local farms. Many will offer their produce and other farm products for sale to the general public.
- Road Side Stands or Flea Markets. Have you ever driven down the road, and seen someone set up on the side of the road with fruits and/or vegetables? I see them all the time! Next time you see one, stop and take a look. Your local flea market may have stalls selling fresh fruits and veggies as well.
- Store Brand Milk. To avoid the use of rBGH, check out your local grocery store’s brand of milk! I was in the grocery store this morning, and was looking at the organic milk (which was $5.99 a gallon, in case you were wondering)…but then I noticed that on the $2.49 gallon of HEB brand milk it states that NO growth hormones were used in the production process. What a great way to save money! Walmart and Kroger have both stated that their store brand milk does not contain rBGH.
- Use coupons. I use coupons for cleaning supplies…I use coupons for diapers, or cake mix. For some reason, I never thought to check for coupons on organic food. Guess what? They exist! Here’s where to find them:
- Grow your own. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Save money on organic food by growing your own. This is a project that I am working on getting started now. I am researching (cuz remember that’s what I do before I do ANYTHING! LOL) and once I get started I will post information!
As you can see, it doesn’t have to be expensive to feed our children healthy foods. There are ALWAYS ways to save money!