First why would you want to buy organic food? Organic food is produced without any pesticides or artificial fertilisers. The animals that produce meat, dairy products, eggs and poultry are not subjected to growth hormones or antibiotics. Eating foods that haven’t been exposed to these toxins reduce the chemical load your body has to get rid of giving your body a chance to focus on being healthy rather than focusing to get of the toxins you have ingested. Our family is not without budget constraints and I have had to find cost effective ways for use to eat as healthy as we can, organic food is not inexpensive but there are ways you can try and maximize your shopping dollars to get quality food. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Plan Meals and Make a Shopping List
Planning your meals and sticking to a shopping list when you visit the supermarket can make a big difference in your food budget. In the UK alone million tonnes of food gets wasted every year, along with a lot of money. Putting in that extra ten minutes of planning can result in eating better and saving money.
Join a Box Scheme
Join an organic vegetable box scheme and get fresh vegetables delivered straight to your door. All the vegetables are seasonal and usually produced locally. The idea behind these schemes are to support your local farmers by helping them get a fair price for their product while at the same time you receiving fresh vegetables, that have been harvested only a few days ago, at a low price. I have used a box scheme and have found their products fresh and good quality. I usually opt for a vegetable and fruit box, sometimes eggs and meat, I stay away from the more processed organic food such as desserts and chocolates, pies as these can be expensive and are often low in nutrient quality. Have fun planning meals around whatever your box contains, get the kids involved in the planning as well, they can learn about different foods and the nutrients they contain (hopefully setting them up to make good choices in the future)
Cook Your Meals in Bulk
Start making your meals in big batches where you can use less expensive ingredients such as beans, lentils, quinoa, couscous, after you have had your dinner freeze all the leftovers in portion sizes.
Search for Coupons and Special Offers
By keeping an eye out for coupons and sales in your local supermarket you can make quite a few bargains. Try stocking up on products that are on special offer when possible. Almost every time I frequent my supermarket I find organic meat or fruit or veg at a discounted price in my supermarket, the fruit and veg I will buy if I can use that day, the meat I freeze for a later date. You just have to have the mind set to be flexible and use what is on discount for dinner!
When you roast an organic chicken make soup stock to use in other recipes or make chicken soup the next day. Bone broths are not only full of great nutrients but it makes chicken more cost effective as you are using it for more than one meal! Use more organic vegetables in your recipes and less organic meat as the meat is often more expensive then the vegetables. Buy fruit in season when it is less expensive and freeze it to make desserts or smoothies in the winter months. Incorporate more brown rice, quinoa, pulses, vegetables into your meals you can make delicious meals without meat a few times a week. Make soup! Soup and salad can be an inexpensive way to make a meal for your family. There are many great soup recipes, coconut milk and lentil, tortilla soup with chicken, beef and barley, vegetable and so on. These are just a few things I do to help get the get the foods I want to feed my family within our budget, let me know how you are able to eat organic on a budget.