Saving Money on Food!
Hello Hello and welcome to the Simple Organic Guide Show – where we talk about everything and anything in the natural and organic living space.
I’m your host Jan Davis coming to you from the Southern Tier of Western NY. Today is Episode 7 – Saving Money and Stocking up on Organic and Natural Food even if you don’t grow any of it yourself.
Thanks for hanging out with me It’s June 7, 2018. I hope the beginning of summer is going great for you.
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New this week at Simple ORganicGuidewe’ve started adding recipes and tips for your convenience. This past week there was a no ice cream machine – homemade ice cream recipe for you to try. The best part – it’s simple to make, you make it with organic ingredients and no extra stuff that isn’t needed in your ice-cream. Don’t worry, over the next week I’ll be adding more ice-cream recipes you can use with your ice cream maker or without it.
Now it’s time to learn different ways to stock up on your organic and natural food without growing anything. If you grow something great, You get a little bit more, but if you don’t that is fine too.
Yes, you heard right – it’s time to save on good natural food.
If you thought you needed a huge garden to take advantage of stocking up on food – think again. You can stock your pantry, freezer and more by using the resources around you.
Besides coupon, store cards, bulk stores, and not shopping while you’re hungry and that’s an important one. I always spend more then I’m hungry. I’ve come up with 9 other places and ways for you to save money on healthy food.
Some we’ve talked about before, some we haven’t.
When you buy and store organic food you’re storing food without pesticides or genetically modified organisms. And if you’re lucky you can buy everything as fresh as possible so it lasts even longer.
1. Stock Up with Sales and Bargains
Watch your favorite stores for sales and bargains. That may make perfect sense. You watch your favorite stores for sales and bargains and then you start learning when things go on sale. Know what items your household uses all the time; like ketchup, toilet paper, milk, cheese, eggs, etc.
When you’re everyday foods go on sale buy several at a time. You’ll start noticing a pattern of when items being on sale when items are more expensive when coupons from the store come out and the items are on sale. Plus, your food will cost less in the long run.
How in the long run if you’re spending more money at one time. Well, one example in our house is organic sweeteners such as sugars, maple syrup, and honey. I use them for cooking and they are a must especially for baking, right?
Whenever sweeteners go on sale I buy a large quantity. Then I don’t need to buy because I don’t need to buy sweeteners which can be very expensive goes to other things and in the long run, I save money.
I’ve noticed items like sugar are on sale during the typical baking season, huge holidays, when the commercial world is pushing for people to bake and cook stores will put them on sale. Including the organic sugars, they have available to you.
2. Bargain Grocery Stores
A bargain grocery store could be a chain or individual store which carries groceries for less. In our area, they are individually owned. You’ll find these stores referred to as outlet groceries, outlet stores, bargain or salvage stores. Some only carry food, while others carry everything. And some don’t carry food at all but you can find some great bargains that have nothing to do with food.
Bargain stores buy almost or just outdated products from larger chains and distributors. The food is sold to the public at a fraction of the cost. The food is not bad they need to be pulled off of the shelf by manufacturer ruling or grocery rules before they go bad. Even if it does have a date on it, remember it is a USDA date, not necessarily gone bad date.
I have 2 in my area which I visit monthly. They are just 15 minutes apart so it’s not too bad. I look for items which my family eats quickly or won’t go bad. I also look for dog food or treats for my dog because I can get dog food that is very very high quality for the fraction of the cost, A fraction of the cost of junk dog food too. So it’s a good place to look for our dogs.
Items such as nuts, nut butter, pasta, and cereal are usually a good bargain. Plus, treats such as organic chocolate, chips and granola bars are very very inexpensive. Plus I can find some products I can’t find anywhere else.
This past week I purchased organic cereal which wasn’t outdated for $1.00 a box. In the regular store, this same cereal brand and everything is $4.99 or more. That is quite a savings.
The pros – the prices, and they are usually individually owned or operated. Usually, you can talk to the owner or decision-making manager. This means you might get case pricing just for asking. Plus, when you get to know the owner and you shop regularly you gain other perks. Like I know when the next shipment will come in. Plus one of the stores I know a week or two before the new shipment comes in they want to clear off the shelves so I get really great bargains.
The biggest con is you don’t know what will be in stock. You can’t depend on a certain product’s availability. These stores don’t restock items and they don’t order specific items. They purchase by the pallets
I personally don’t worry about the expiration date. I look at the packaging for damage and buy according to what I see. I don’t buy dented cans. And I don’t buy opened packages. Remember the date that is on any of these boxes are what the USDA deems. Yes, I have bought items which were bad from these place and had to throw them out. But I’ve also bought things that are bad from the regular grocery store and they also got thrown out. So it just depends on what you buy. AN dif you decide you want to go back and return something to a regular store because you can’t return anything to these stores.
3. Produce Stands
Produce stands can range from a gardener selling off extra produce to a stand selling multiple farmers goods. And we’ve talked about them before.
Look online for farms in your area, look in your local paper and check at your local farmer’s market. Many farmer’s market participants have their own farm stands in other places.
By buying local you can buy fresh and if you’re going to stock up fresh is always best.
Plus you can ask if you can buy in bulk for an even cheaper price.
4. Find a Farmers Market
Farmers Markets which come in all shapes and sizes is another great place to find organic food source. Just again like the farm stand you can buy fresh, you can buy bulk and you get to talk to whoever raised the food It is just another source.
5. Fill your freezer with organically raised meat from the source
Meaning from whoever raised it. Did you know many small meat producers have meat available for sale to the public? Some sell their meat by the pound, box, or animal.
Usually the larger quantity you buy, the cheaper it costs.
You can talk to the producer to find out what the animal eats, and how they are raised. Many small producers do not grain feed their rumen animals like cows, sheep, and goats. This means you’re getting grass-fed meat at a better price than in the stores. Plus, you know where your food comes from.
Typically, poultry is sold by the animal and pound. Lamb and goat can be found by the pound or the animal. While pork and beef are generally sold by the pound, quarter, half or whole.
Other places I’ve seen them sell their meat in a mixed box, which is a bunch of meat for one price.
They either combine different cuts for the same type of animal like all beef. Or you can get different cuts of a combo, so you might be able to get beef, some pork, some lamb etc. But it’s one price.
If you don’t know of a place to buy meat, check with a butcher. Most people who know who raise meat advertise online and sell by word of mouth. Start asking around, you’ll be amazed at the connections you’ll make. Plus you want to make sure you order early before they run out.
6. Buy Your Food in Bulk
Yes, you can buy almost everything in bulk nowadays. From carrots to oatmeal and candy to meat, bulk is available everywhere. Just look around your grocery store.
Our local grocery stores carry most items in large containers or family packs. But they also have bulk sections where I can buy items by the pound. I personally find organic bulk spices to be much less money than the already packaged kind. Plus, in the bulk bin department, I don’t have to buy a large amount and I still get the bulk price. This allows me to try different spices and different combinations without the upfront cost.
7. Learn how to Store Fresh Foods and Bulk items
Storing fresh food and bulk items is a key to saving money and stocking up.
Fresh food is stored in many ways. You can use any of the following methods to store your fresh food. canning, freezing, dehydrating or root cellar. Depending on what food you want to stock up on will determine the best method for you and your family.
The fresher the food the better it is to store.
Any item you buy in bulk you want to make sure you have containers that are airtight to keep them as fresh as possible especially if the packaging has already been opened or you are actually buying it in bulk.
8. Join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
We did a podcast on this, in fact it was podcast episode 4 which can give you more information about joining a CSA.
One way to stock up and know where your food comes from is by joining a CSA. A CSA gives you direct access to farm fresh food from a local source. As a CSA member, you pay a fee or a share for your food. You can buy different increments or multiple shares depending on your family’s needs.
A CSA is a partnership between the farmer and the consumer. The farmer has money up front, and guaranteed customers to plan and grow their products. The consumer reaps the benefits of the local fresh food at a consistent price.
When the farmer does better you get more for your share. And there’s nothing like picking up your weekly food and be given 3 extra pumpkins from the field. When there’s a drought you get less of an item, but the price stays the same. No more getting gouged when Mother Nature changes course.
You’ll enjoy trying produce you would never normally buy.
CSAs can be found across the United States both in the city and the country.
You can find a CSA by searching online, checking your local paper, or contacting your Chamber of Commerce. You can also try the websites such as localharvest.org, and yes we will have that listed at the bottom of our show notes.
9. Share an Organic Garden
Sometimes growing enough variety and quantity of food is too much for us to do. Instead of doing it alone create a share garden with several families.
Share gardening is when more than one family takes responsibility for the garden. You share one garden area, and everyone reaps the benefit. Or you can have different people grow different items on their own property, and share with each other. Some areas have community gardens. This is where the city has given small plots to neighborhoods for people to garden.
We’ve share gardened with different family members and friends over the years. It works out great and eases the need to grow everything by yourself. We’ve swapped potatoes, zucchinis, tomatoes, and more. Plus, it’s fun to get together to swap food. And if you need help in your garden there are plenty of people willing hands to help.
Stocking up on organic and natural food is one way to save money while eating healthy.
Try one of these 9 ways this week and see how it works. If you have other ways to save money while eating organic and natural food drop me a line at choices @simple organic guide.com I would love to hear about it.
Remember it’s your life – you need to live it as you choose and eat as you wish.
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For show notes please go to simpleorganicguide.com/episode7.
Don’t forget to try one thing from our show today and see if it helps you save money while eating healthy. Then make a comment at the bottom of the show or on our website.
This is Jan Davis for the Simple Organic Guide show where we talk about everything in the organic and natural living environment. Thank you so much for joining me.
It’s your life – live it how you want.
Have a great week and enjoy!
localharvest.org, to find CSAs.