DSC03148 (400x300)A customer was lamenting, “It’s just too expensive the eat organically! Organic food just doesn’t last!

Well, organic food doesn’t have preservatives, which are bad for us. Of course it doesn’t last as long as conventional food. However, with a little planning and a little prep, we can make organic food last as long as we need it to.

I came across a newsletter called Foodbabe, written by a woman named Vani. Talk about a wealth of information! Vani has got organized shopping down to a science. Here’s a condensed version of what she recommends:

USE ORGANIC COUPONS

  • Check websites of your favorite companies for coupons
  • Join food social media pages for special deals
  • Look for coupons in store newsletters
  • Stop by store sampling tables where demoed products offer a coupon
  • Download the GA app and have coupons come over your smart phone

AT HOME IN THE KITCHEN

  • Plan your weekly meals before you shop
  • Write out a weekly and monthly budget to keep you on track
  • DIY instead of buying certain foods such as granola, kale chips and smoothies
  • Prioritize your food wheel: keep protein to four ounces a serving; heavy up your vegetable and fruit buying
  • Invest in a water filter and quit buying bottled water

USE YOUR FREEZER

  • Organic frozen produce can be cheaper than fresh and works just as well, especially in smoothies
  • Freeze leftovers using inexpensive mason glass jars for smaller portions and less waste
  • Buy local produce in season and take advantage of Farmer’s Markets, and then freeze for consumption later in the year
  • Double stew, chili and soup recipes, then freeze for later

BUY SMARTER DSC03170 (350x262)

  • Buy the best grass-fed beef and free range chicken as well as organic eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt and milk you can afford—don’t skip on these. They are your healthy staples
  • “Be vegan before 6 p.m.” Have a green smoothie for breakfast with Ezekiel toast, a large salad with lentils for lunch or a wrap with hummus and chicken. It will keep your weight down besides
  • Reduce your meat portion by substituting with organic beans
  • Buy a whole organic chicken and cut it up yourself
  • Buy organic celery, but conventional avocados when making a choice. Conventional celery draws pesticides into its stalk as it grows; avocados have a protective outer shell. Asparagus naturally repels pests, so it isn’t usually grown using pesticides
  • Forget Starbucks; brew your own coffee and tea from organic beans and leaves

BUY IN BULK

  • Buy unpackaged nuts and dried fruits from dispensers and save
  • Buy only what you think you’ll need for a week so that reserves don’t go stale
  • Buy organic spice packets in smaller quantities as old species lose their medicinal quality
  • Buy a few pieces of chocolate covered nuts or raisins to satisfy that sweet tooth rather than expensive candy bars

KNOW YOUR GROCER DSC09183 (400x300)

  • Buy from a reputable store where you know your grocery and produce buyers
  • Get to know your local farmers or local Farmer’s Market
  • Be at the Farmer’s Market the last half hour of the day. Farmers will likely cut their prices then so they don’t have to haul produce back to the farm

These are a few things you can do to make your food dollars stretch. If you really want to live nutritiously, even on limited income, you can do it. You just have to get organized, and sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do.