There are affiliate links in this post – please read my full disclosure policy.
Even though we attempt to eat very healthy and make the majority of our food from scratch, we do not actually eat an “organic only” diet. But because of my detailed $200 grocery budget posts, I frequently get questions related to how to save money on organic food. In fact, just recently Amanda left this question on one of my blog posts:
I am so glad I came across your blog. I only read a few articles so far and I needed to leave you a message. I am so motivated and want to ask your advice. We are a one income household, with barely enough to manage and we want (mostly husband) to eat organic and all natural. This includes organic milk which is $6 a gal. Our two boys (4 year old and 17 months) drink a lot of it and we spent about $80+ a month for just milk. Also organic meats, fruit and veggies rack a bill up to a lot a month when we are just barely trying to pay our rent. Any advice, tips, and strategies? I’m going to start a price list and maybe try coupons but we don’t have Internet or a print working.
Here was my response. And if you’ve wondered how to save money on organic food and eat well on a tight budget, hopefully my tips will help you too!
How to Save Money on Organic Food
Ah, yes, going organic and all natural on a tight budget is always tough. And being a milk lover, I can appreciate your son’s enjoyment of milk. 🙂 Here are a couple of ideas for you. Hopefully they’ll at least help you brainstorm about ways that you can lower your grocery spending.
1. Stretch Your Milk
I don’t know if this is something that you’d want to do or not, but I know a lot of people that add water to their milk to stretch it farther. If you are going to use the milk in baking I wouldn’t add much water to it, but it should work for your kids no problem.
Ibotta regularly has savings on any brand milk as well as sometimes other items too. Checkout 51 has an offer each week where you can save $0.25 on any brand yogurt/bananas etc. I know $0.25 isn’t much, but it does slowly add up! And Shrink is an app that is pretty much solely dedicated to saving on organic products. They also have offers from time to time that you can redeem on any brand.
3. Eat Less Meat
If you don’t already, try having at least one meatless meal a week. We love meat, but I’ve found several delicious recipes that we enjoy enough that we barely miss the meat in them! This Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup is one of them. We love this Crustless Zucchini Quiche, too!
4. Stretch Meat with Beans or Rice
Stretch Mexican type of dishes with beans and/or rice. I always add some black beans to our taco meat and sub part beans for the ground beef in chili too. We actually prefer both of those things that way!
5. Shop at Aldi
If you have an Aldi grocery store nearby, check them out. They have a small, but growing selection of organic products at great prices! If you’ve never shopped there, be aware that you need to take your own grocery bags (or buy them there) and can only pay with cash or debit.
6. Cook from Scratch
As much as you can, make your food from scratch. You may have seen my homemade Bisquick mix and homemade cream soup recipes. I also make salad dressing, bread, homemade yogurt, chocolate cake, frosting and lots of other things too. In fact, I even enjoy a simple homemade frappe every morning! I don’t know how much you feel comfortable doing this sort of thing, but often you can make stuff much cheaper than you can buy it- and you get the regulate the ingredients too!
7. Try Shopping Online
It may be cheaper to buy some of your groceries online. I’ve used Vitacost occasionally and especially when they have sales, have found their prices to be pretty decent. (If you sign up for Vitacost using this link, you’ll get an offer for $5 off a $30 purchase that will be good for 30 days after you sign up.) They carry a lot of organic and natural products.
Direct Eats (formerly Abe’s Market) is another option that I’ve used with good results. Their prices often tend to be a bit higher, but again, if you watch for sales, you can do pretty well.
8. Request Coupons
Call your favorite organic companies and ask if they can send you any coupons. Actually, often if you just simply tell them which of their products is your favorite and why you love it, they’ll offer to send coupons without you even asking. Sometimes you’ll get a no, but often they are more than happy to help you out. I’ve gotten some great coupons by doing this!
9. Print coupons
I love using printable coupons to save money on things that I’m already planning to purchase. Sites like Mambo Sprouts, Hopster and Common Kindness have lots of printable coupons that are specifically for organic and natural products. But anymore, I find lots of coupons for organic products on Coupons.com, Red Plum and SmartSource too.
10. Grow your own
If you at all can, try growing your own produce. We live in the city and don’t have much outdoor space, but by being strategic, I’ve been able to grow a nice amount of produce for fresh eating. It only takes a small space to grow things like tomatoes and pepper. And you can even try growing them in pots if you want! Raised beds are another great way to pack a lot of veggies into a small space. Not sure how to get started? Google can be your best friend! 😉
And hey, if you have room and want more of a challenge, get some chickens for fresh eggs and meat!
How do you save money on organic foods?