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10 Ways To Feed Your Family Natural/Organic Food On A Budget

organicfoodAs parents of young children, we of course want to feed our kids the healthiest food that we possible can, but we can’t spend a fortune on food either. We have all heard more and more recently about the chemicals, pesticides, antibiotics and hormones that are present in the foods that we eat.

So many of us are trying to live more frugally and stretch our tight budgets as much as we can.  The idea of eating organically while also sticking to a strict grocery budget seems out of reach.

But, I want to share with you some of the ways that my family has been able to include natural/organic foods in our diet, and even increase the amount of organic foods we are eating, while continuing to stick to a pretty tight grocery budget for our family of four.

Here are 10 ways you can feed your family natural/organic foods on a budget:

  • Meatless Monday 1 of 10
    Meatless Monday
    Choosing to serve a meatless meal once a week is good for your grocery budget and the planet. While organic meat is expensive, it's the right choice because it is hormone and antibiotic free, and the meat industry is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases. Our family does Meatless Mondays, but you can choose whatever day of the week works best for you.
  • Pick and Preserve Your Own 2 of 10
    Pick and Preserve Your Own
    Picking your own produce means that it's local, in season, and as fresh as can be. It's also usually cheaper than buying at the market or grocery store. While local growers may not be certified organic, you can find farms that use organic practices, and pick enough to preserve, by freezing or canning, to eat throughout the rest of the year.
  • Grow Your Own 3 of 10
    Grow Your Own
    There's nothing like heading out to your own garden to pick produce to use for dinner that night. Free organic produce from your own yard - you can't beat that!
  • Buy Generic Organics 4 of 10
    Buy Generic Organics
    Most chain grocery stores now offer their own generic brand of organic food, which is often much cheaper than buying the big brand organic products.
  • Know The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen 5 of 10
    Know The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen
    The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen is a list put out by the Environmental Working Group each year of the fruits and veggies with the most pesticides and the least. By focusing on spending your money for organic produce from the dirty dozen list, and buying conventional produce on the clean fifteen list you can stretch your dollars a little bit further.
  • Don’t Buy Organic Junk Food! 6 of 10
    Don't Buy Organic Junk Food!
    Just because the oreos are organic, doesn't mean they are good for you, and you'll be paying a premium price. Use your money to get the most nutritional bang for your buck that you can.
  • Buy In Bulk 7 of 10
    Buy In Bulk
    Find a good bulk food store, or co-op, near you and stock up on natural and organic pantry staples for low prices. With a stocked pantry you can whip up all kinds of meals at a moments notice and save yourself and your family from the dreaded drive-through.
  • Cook From Scratch 8 of 10
    Cook From Scratch
    Use all of those ingredients that you buy in bulk to cook from scratch as much as possible. I love old cookbooks because of their instructions for making basic staples that we are used to buying at the grocery store, but can so easily be made at home!
  • Get To Know Your Farmer 9 of 10
    Get To Know Your Farmer
    Head to your farmer's market, or use Local Harvest, to find local farmers who sell directly from their farm. Like with picking your own, you can find farms that use organic practices although they may not be certified organic, and by buying directly from the farm, you cut out the middle man, and as you build a relationship with the farmer, they may even give you some discounts.
  • Buy Online 10 of 10
    Buy Online
    Another option for those who may not have a good health food store, or bulk food store nearby, is to buy online. Amazon often runs good deals in their natural and organic grocery section. Saving Naturally and The Thrifty Mama are two good sites to follow for online natural and organic grocery deals.

If you’d like to read more, I highly recommend the ebook Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford.  It is full of great ideas and tips for keeping a realistic budget while still meeting the needs of your family for healthy and organic foods.

How do you feed your family good food on a budget?

Top photo: Tim Psych/Flickr

Photo sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

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