Is eating an organic diet important to you?
When it comes to organic food, everyone’s line in the sand is different. I have friends who are adamant about eating only organic food and I have friends where eating organic is not a priority. We fall somewhere in between.
No one likes the thought of pesticides, synthetic hormones, and antibiotics in our food, but the price of organic prohibits many from buying a completely 100% organic. Unfortunately, these high prices are a result of strict guidelines for foods to be labeled organic.
I work weekly to adhere to our grocery budget, so I am always looking for ways to save money on organic food. It is possible to buy organic foods even on a strict grocery budget and here are my best tips.
How to Save on Organic Food
1. Buy through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).
CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and it is a commitment between local farmer/s and community members who pay the farmer for a seasonal membership. Each week the member receives a pre-purchased and pre-determined amount of produce and the farmer receives upfront money to run their operation. Some CSAs might require the members to volunteer hours on the farm in return for the produce.
This is a fantastic way to buy locally grown organic produce directly from the farmer and usually at prices below what you’ll find at a grocery store.
These pictures are two examples of CSA shares we have received in the past:
2. Buy your grocery store’s private-label organic brand.
Many stores are focusing on expanding their store brand organic products and improving the quality and packaging. The consumer is benefiting from better quality foods and products at competitive prices. It doesn’t hurt to try the store version of a product; if you don’t like it, go back to the brand name.
Here is a quick price comparison on a recent grocery trip:
- Name brand 32 oz. organic yogurt $4.19 vs. store brand 32 oz organic yogurt $2.99.
- Name brand half-gallon of organic milk $4.69 vs. store brand half gallon organic milk $3.79
3. Compare the price per unit and if the size makes sense go for the best price per unit.
Compare the price per unit of product in question. Often the higher the weight, the better the price per unit. Stores usually list this price on the shelving sticker. Unless I think the size is too big for us to consume in time, I go for the best price per unit.
- National Brand Organic yogurt, 32 oz @ $2.99 = $1.50/lb, 6 oz cups @ .79 cents = $2.11/lb.
- National Brand Organic Milk – half gallon @ $4.69, gallon @ $6.19
4. Look for Mark Downs.
I regularly find organic dairy, eggs, bread, and meat marked down. I have never had a problem buying organic foods this way and it’s the #1 way I save money on organic meat and dairy. Just last week, I stumbled onto organic yogurt sticks and organic eggs marked at 50% off, because they were close to the use-by date. We eat eggs almost every day for breakfast and I put the yogurt sticks in the freezer. The frozen sticks go right into my kids’ lunch boxes every day and are thawed by lunchtime.
5. Visit the websites of companies that you enjoy.
If you are brand loyal, consider calling those companies to let them know of your loyalty. Also, ask them directly if they have any coupons that they could send to you. You might get a no, but it doesn’t hurt to try. And there’s no need to be disgruntled if the company declines because they genuinely might not offer coupons. I have had some success in the past by simply making a phone call.
6. Shop Aldi
Look for Aldi’s SimplyNature line for a variety of organic products, such as spaghetti sauce, pasta, snacks condiments, beans, dairy, produce, and more. The prices are very competitive and usually less expensive than a regular grocery store’s brand.
Organic: Yes or No?
I really like the taste of a particular brand of organic milk and yogurt and I consistently buy that brand and prefer it to other brands. But I only buy organic meat if I find it marked down at a really great price and I only buy organic produce if the price per pound is similar to the non-organic version. When it comes to organic food, focus on what is important to you.
Is it important for you and your family to eat organically? Do you have any other cost-saving tips on organic food? Please let us know in the comments.
For more grocery budget tips, check out my 31 Days to Slash Your Grocery Spending series.
Day 24 of 31 Days to Slash your Grocery Spending: Save on Organic