Friday, October 20, 2006

Eating Organic on a budget--Frugal Friday

Kat asked me in a comment for ideas on eating organic on a budget. I love this topic. I could talk all day on this topic. I did some research on this as well as added some ideas of my own that I currently do. Here are some to get you started:

~Shop at your local farmer's market. My own farmer's market has a small section that is organic, but not nearly as much as much as the "non-organic" section. I buy both. I know that even the non-organic produce is fresher, in season, and cheaper than grocery store produce. If you are lucky, you might have a big supply of organic farmers at your farmer's market.

~Join a co-op. I buy lots of organic stuff, here in bulk, and it's cheaper.

~Grow your own. Start small like I did. Baby steps.

~Preserve and pickle. I do not can my food, but there are so many ways to preserve, my favorite being freeze. This year I stocked up on tomatoes when they were in season and now I have fresh canned tomatoes in my freezer for pasta, etc.

~Buy and cook in season.

~Avoid packaged foods if you can. Make your own.

~Reduce food waste. Eat leftovers.

~Stock up on organic sale items.

~Environmental Working Group has a "dirty dozen" of organic products you should buy. If you can't go all organic, at least consider these.

~Find local farms you can get food from. Local Harvest is a good source.

~I always think Annie has good resources and tips on eating healthy. Peruse her site.

It takes a lot of planning and organizing to eat organic on a budget. I by no means do all of these things, all the time, successfully. But I am always working towards it. If you have more ideas, please share in the comment section, or post on your blog and leave a comment that you posted, so everyone can check it out.

Also, there are so many books on creatively buying and storing food for your family. One I really enjoy is "Hearth and Home" by Karey Swan. It was a book I read when I was first married, and it taught me a lot about keeping a food storage for your family.

Frugal Friday


Lines From The Vine said...

Thank you so much for posting this
information. We did spend the summer gardening, but now I've been
wondering what to do through the
winter months!


joyfuljourney said...

I have wanted to join a co-op since we moved from Iowa. But, the only one that delivered in my parts just filed for bankruptcy! I live in cotton and wheat country. The farmers in our church who grow their own veggies are great about sharing with us, but I really want a farmers market that isn't over 100 miles away. Local Harvest is a good resource, but I'm just not finding any local contacts. Our tiny grocery store has pitiful produce! I know nothing about gardening. I feel stuck in the middle of nowhere without any good options. Got any suggestions?

Andrea said...

I would say first off--pray. The Lord could definitely lead you to what you are looking for.

As for gardening--if I can do it, you can! Cucumbers, tomatoes and squash are easy to grow. Start there. See what you can progress to!

Ask around. Any health food stores close by? (it doesn't have to be in your town, but they might have more resources)

Like I said, "Hearth and Home" is a great resource in encouraging you "where you are". I think what they did at a time was get crates of veggies, etc at their farmer's market (which wasn't close) and learn how to preserve them. (root cellaring, freezing)

Good luck! :)

Mississippi Girl said...

GREAT tips.. thanks. I've been interested in eating more "organic" foods lately and have been trying to incorporate them into our diet... taking baby steps, but am getting there!
Jennifer R.

Orrange said...

Thanks for the tips. We currently use a organic produce delivery service that is GREAT. Door To Door Organics in Colorado. But we are having a hard time finding a place to get organic red meat. We can buy chicken at the local Sunflower Market or Whole Foods but the red meat is so expensive that we just can't afford it. Any tips on where to buy it, in bulk or as a co-op or any way that makes it semi-affordable?
Courtney O.

Andrea said...


Word of mouth is always good. That's why getting hooked up with other local farmers and even at farmer's markets, they sell organic red meat way cheaper than Whole Foods. Keep talking to people. They can give you more and more ideas. A friend of mine got info from another friend which led her to getting a whole half of a organic cow for her freezer!

Noah said...

I have a post on CSAs in my blog. I currently subscribe to an organic CSA, which helps us afford organic produce.

orrange - do you have freezer space? If so, start calling around to organic farms that have cattle and such. Many around here raise organic cows, and slaughter once a year. To get in on it, though, you usually have to buy half or a whole cow at a time (all butchered of course). So it's an investment, but then you have meat frozen for use all year at substantial savings.

Kat said...

Woo hoo! Thank you so much Andrea!...I'll be back to read it more thoroughly after i put baby to bed. :-)

tonia said...

You're speaking my language! LOVE this topic. I'm gonna go read your links. :)

Holly said...

I love this topic, too. I do much of the same...haven't figured out the meat thing yet, but will hopefully soon.

I think the best "finds" are farm raised eggs. We buy from a lady down the road...fifty cents a dozen!

I also use alot of beans and seeds and alternative grains. (millet, for example.) I soak them with whey to make them more digestible...

Which reminds me of other things I do. :)

I make yogurt once a week. Easy Peasy, the way I do it. I make sour cream and cream cheese from the get some really GREAT bargains from a gallon of organic milk. I used to buy raw until we moved 3 months ago.

I make my own granola weekly, and make a LOT of broths (Nourishing Traditions) style for the winter.

I find with organic that almost EVERYTHING is used in a product. I mean, my milk goes thru these stages: Milk to drink, milk make to yogurt, yogurt made to cream cheese, the leftover product is whey and I use that to soak the beans. Nothing is thrown away.

Same with making broth. I bake two chickens. We eat the meat for supper one night. I pick the rest of the meat off and freeze it, ready for another several meals in smaller portions (like soup or casseroles.) Then, the next step is making the broth with the bones. It just feels good to know that even though organic is're not wasting anything.

Even organic carrots give you a better yield for your dollar. No need to peel them. Just wash them, for the skins are the most nutritious and you aren't washing off any pesticides.

Gotta run...I could stay all day and talk healthy living. But toddlers destroy the house when mothers do this... :)

Andrea said...

Wow, great tips, Holly. I like the chicken idea. Wonderful way to get nutritious food and not waste.