15 Things You Must Know to Save Money on Organic Food

This practical list of tips will help you save money on organic food to reduce your exposure to pesticides, protect pollinators, and avoid GMOs. Switching to organic food doesn’t have to break your bank, if you follow these simple tips.

guide to organic food

*Many thanks to Nature’s Path for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine. #AlwaysOrganic.*

15 Things you Must Know to Save Money on Organic Food

Despite what the naysayers say about certified organic food being being an unnecessary rip-off, there are many valid reasons to switch to organic food. If you’d like to lessen your impact on the earth, reduce dependence on fossil fuels,  ingest fewer toxic chemicals and more nutrient-rich foods, and help save the bees, the monarch butterflies, and other pollinators, you might consider switching to organic foods.

You might think going organic is too expensive and not practical for you, yet there are many things you can do to help keep the cost of organic food down. Today I’m sharing 15 cost saving tips with you to help you add more organic foods to your diet.

Know Where to Buy Organic Food

The first thing to do if you want to keep the cost of organic food as low as possible, is know where to shop. More and more stores are selling organic foods these days – did you know even ALDI has an organic line? It’s true. I buy a lot of organics at ALDI and I’m very happy with them. See if your favorite store carries an organic line and compare costs – sometimes organics cost about the same as their conventionally grown counterparts.

Buy in bulk

There are two ways to buy in bulk and both ways can add up to significant savings on organic food. The first way is to shop for beans, spices, nuts, and flour from bulk bins in many grocery stores. You’ve seen the bulk bins right? They often offer significant savings over smaller packages (and produce less waste too). The second way to buy in bulk is to buy in large quantities. I buy lots of dried good like wheat berries, rice, dried beans in large quantities (25-50 lb bags) for a reduction in price.

Buy online

Don’t forget that you can buy on line! Amazon, Thrive Market, direct from companies, and organic coops like Azure Standard are great places to find organic foods for less money. Shop around, make a price-point list, and order organic food from the comfort of your own home. Having it show up directly to your door is a pretty amazing way to grocery shop too.

Buy directly from the farmer or from CSAs

Another way to save money on organic food is to buy it directly from farmers or from a CSA. I’ve never participated in a CSA myself, but I buy a lot of organic items directly from farmers in my area. It’s a great way to support your local economy, reduce fossil fuel use (less transportation), and really get to know what you’re buying and feeding your family.

Proper Storage Techniques for Organic Food

Minimize produce food waste

Learn proper storage techniques to keep your produce fresh longer. Do you know which fresh food should be stored in the fridge and which should be stored on the counter? My partner for this post, Nature’s Path, recently published a free ebook called Your Guide to Organic Food. This beautiful ebook has lots of practical tips for switching to organic food, making produce last, and yummy recipes too! It’s also free so go here to grab Your Guide to Organic Food and check out their helpful tips for properly storing produce.

Minimize food waste for shelf-stable foods 

Just like there are tips for making produce last longer, there are also tips for making shelf-stable food last longer too. For instance, store your spices away from the heat of your stove. Make sure your dried goods are in air-tight containers to prevent spoilage and bug infestation. And store oils in cool, dark areas away from heat and light.

Waste Not / Want Not

My dad’s mantra when I was growing up was Waste Not Want Not. To make your organic grocery dollars last longer, make sure you eat up those leftovers. I know a lot of people don’t like leftovers, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. Leftovers are amazing! As often as I can, I try to have leftovers to reduce the amount of time I have to spend in the kitchen. If you don’t like leftovers, maybe you can think of creative ways to turn them into a new meal.  Whatever you do, don’t let those leftovers go to waste if you want to save money on organic food.

How to Prioritize your Organic Dollars

Buy in-season 

Have you ever noticed that in-season produce is cheaper than out-of-season produce? Yesterday I was in the grocery store and a little old lady was griping about the strawberries. “They’re just so expensive,” she said. “And they look terrible.” She was really muttering to herself, but I couldn’t help myself and replied, “Yes, it’s just not quite strawberry season yet, is it?” There’s a reason in-season produce fruits and veg are cheaper – they are in big supply and don’t have to be trucked in from another hemisphere.

Eating organic strawberries is great in the spring and early summer, but in the winter, citrus is where it’s at. Oranges, grapefruit, tangerines. These are the organic fruits we should be buying right now to maximize our organic spending dollars.

Freeze & Can 

Another way to stretch your organic dollars is to freeze and/or can organic produce when it is in season. Buy in bulk and then add to your freezer! I love having frozen blueberries in my freezer in the winter. I’ve also frozen pomegranate seeds and smashed avocado in the winter when these produce items are in season and cheap. Then I can pull out the frozen foods and enjoy them even when the price and quality at the grocery store is outrageous.

Dirty 12 / Clean 15

As much as I would like to buy everything I can organic, the cost is sometimes prohibitive. That’s when I turn to the Dirty 12 / Clean 15 list. There are certain produce items I always buy organic: apples, grapes, and berries, because they have the highest levels of pesticides and are very high on the Dirty 12 list. But avocados, pineapples, and kiwi are on the Clean 15 list and have a lower level of pesticides, so I don’t feel as bad if I have to buy conventional versions of fruits and produce on the Clean 15.

Use Coupons

I love the memes I see that claim you can’t use coupons if you eat real food, because it’s just not true. I’ve found coupons on lots of organic food that I’m happy to use. Every dollar saved is a huge win in my book! Nature’s Path even has a coupon code to use in their Guide to Organic Food book! Hint hint. 🙂

stocked pantry helps save money

 

Get Organized to Save Money on Organic Food

Make a Price-Point list

A great way to save money on organic food is to make a price-point list. Prices fluctuate a lot at the grocery store so if you keep track of what you pay, it’s easy to stock up on essentials you know you will eat when they cost their lowest.

Make a weekly menu plan

It’s true that having a menu plan is a great way to keep you on track. Knowing what you’re going to eat makes sure that you actually eat the food you buy and helps you stay out of unhealthy restaurants. I’ve tried many types of menu planning from weekly, to bi-weekly, to a monthly plan to find what works best for me. It’s simple to write down meals you’d like to serve in your planner or on your calendar and is very helpful. If you don’t currently menu plan, give it a try!

Keep a stocked pantry

A stocked pantry is such a huge help when you’re trying to save money on groceries, especially if you keep track of prices and stock up when your favorite organic goodies are on sale. Always having a few items on hand for easy organic meals when you don’t feel like cooking or simply don’t have the ingredients for a more elaborate meal is a great way to stay out of stores and restaurants.

Grow Your Own Organic Food

Grow your own garden

Growing your own garden is such a great idea because it can save you money on groceries and it’s a great way to connect with the earth too. I have a big garden very year and love eating the produce I grow in it. I also involve my kids and think it helps them to love fresh fruits and veggies too. If you don’t have a spot for a garden, maybe you have room for a couple containers. It’s not hard to grow tomatoes on your porch or balcony! You might be surprised what all you can grow in a container garden.

Grow your own kitchen herbs

If you enjoy cooking with fresh herbs, a great way to save money is to grow them yourself. A basil plant costs as much as the cut basil my grocery store sells. A nice kitchen window is a great place to keep a few herb plants and looks as pretty as it is functional.

These tips help me feed my family of six an organic menu for less. We don’t eat 100% organic, but knowing how to prioritize my organic dollars and make the organics I do buy last as long as possible is very important to me. I hope you found something useful in this list too.

Many thanks to Nature’s Path for sponsoring this post. If you’d like to check out their amazing {and free} ebook, Your Guide to Organic Food, head over and grabt! It really is a beautiful book with yummy recipes and more tips. Do you have another tip that I didn’t mention?

15 practical tips to help you save big on organic groceries. #alwaysorganic #ad

Let the Kids Make their Own Healthy School Lunches!

I’ve already seen the back to school pictures all over facebook, so I know healthy school lunches are on the minds of parents everywhere. Let your kids make their own lunches this year with this list of affordable and healthy organic and/or non-gmo items from Aldi USA! Many thanks to Aldi USA for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine.Healthy Back to School Lunches your kids can make themselves!

Let the Kids Make their Own Healthy School Lunches 

Back to school Healthy Lunch cart DIY

DIY Lunch Station

I shared a couple weeks ago that my four kids (who have previously been homeschooled) are heading off to school this year. This is a first for me and I would be lying if I said I’m not nervous about the transition already. I’m totally anxious and worried about a lot of things, one being how to prepare healthy lunches for four kids every day!

To make the process easier, we created a DIY lunch station using my lovely IKEA cart and a dedicated lunch bin in the fridge as well! This station will let my kids help pack their own lunches. Some things will still require a little help from me, but it will be pretty easy for the kids to grab and go from the lunch cart and fridge bin. I picked up all the goodies for this lunch cart recently at Aldi. If you guys follow me on this blog, you know I love Aldi and their ever growing selection of organic and non-gmo food items.

Let the Kids Make their Own Healthy School Lunches!

Healthy School Lunches with Items from Aldi

I prefer organic and non-gmo options so they make up most of this list, but Aldi also has an impressive selection of conventional grocery items as well. I also listed the prices I paid, but do keep in mind that they can fluctuate based on location and availability. Also, because we do like occasional sweets (keeping it real!), I also included a few of my favorite sweet items to pack in school lunches too. They aren’t necessarily healthy, but they sure are good and the kids love them!

Fruit / Veggies

  1. Organic strawberries – $2.99 / lb
  2. Organic baby carrots – $1.59 / lb
  3. Organic grapes – $4.89 / 2 lbs
  4. Organic apples – $5.99 / 3 lbs
  5. Mandarins – $2.49 / 3 lbs
  6. Bananas – $0.29 / lb
  7. Organic, unsweetened apple sauce – $1.99 / 24 ounces
  8. Simply Nature Organic frozen berry blend – $2.99 / 12 ounces
  9. Organic spring salad mix – $2.49 / 1 lb clamshell
  10. Simply Nature Organic frozen berry blend – $2.99 / 12 ounces

Dairy / Meat Products

  1. Simply Nature Organic classic hummus – $2.29 / 8 ounces
  2. Simply Nature Organic peppercorn ranch dressing – $1.99 / 12 fluid ounces
  3. Simply Nature Organic salsa – $1.89 / 16 ounces
  4. Never Any! Turkey lunch meat – $3.29 / 7 ounces
  5. Simply Nature Organic white mild cheddar cheese slices – $2.99 / 6 ounces
  6. Mini Babybel cheeses – $2.79 / 4.5 ounces
  7. Simply Nature Organic yogurt – $2.99 / 32 ounces

Breads / Grains / Beans

  1. Organic refried beans – $0.99 / 16 ounce can
  2. Simply Nature Organic corn tortilla chips – $1.99 /11 ounces
  3. Simply Nature Non-gmo verified multigrain crackers – $2.49 /10 ounces
  4. Simply Nature Organic seeded bread – $3.99 / 27 ounces
  5. Simply Nature Organic granola – $2.69 / 11.5 ounces

Pantry Items

  1. Simply Nature Organic peanut butter – $3.89 / 16 ounces
  2. Simply Nature Organic mayonnaise – $2.99 / 15 ounces
  3. Simply Nature Organic peppercorn ranch dressing – $1.99 / 12 fluid ounces
  4. Simply Nature Organic salsa – $1.89 / 16 ounces

Snacky Items

  1. Simply Nature Organic animal fruit snacks – $2.69 / 6 pouches
  2. Simply Nature Organic fruit strips – $4.99 / 21 strips
  3. Simply Nature Organic coconut bars – $3.99 / 4 bars
  4. Simply Nature Organic white cheddar puffs – $1.99 / 4 ounces
  5. Simply Nature Organic squeezable fruit & vegetable blends – $2.29 / 4 pouches
  6. Simply Nature Non-gmo verified fruit &  nut bars – $2.99 / 4 bars
  7. Simply Nature Non-gmo verified no sugar added flavored applesauce – $1.49 / 6 cups
  8. Southern Grove Trail Mix bags – $3.99 / 8 bags
  9. Utz Certified Yogurt filled chocolate bars – $1.99 /
  10. Mamba Candies – $0.69

This is not an exhaustive list of all the organic and non-gmo options Aldi sells, but it should give a you really good idea of what all they have. If you like to eat a healthy diet but haven’t been to Aldi in a while, I hope you check them out! You can connect with Aldi on facebook, twitter, and instagram.

back to school healthy lunch ideas

Ideas for Lunches Using the List Above!

Using the items in the list above, here is a list of “main dish entrees” my kids love in their lunches. In fact, when I put together the lunch for this post, two of my kids said that’s exactly the lunch they want. Every day. LOL!

  • Chips & refried beans & cheese
  • Peanut butter & crackers
  • DIY lunchables with cheese, deli meat & crackers
  • Peanut butter & jelly sandwiches
  • Meat & cheese sandwiches
  • Hummus & cracker & carrots
  • Yogurt parfaits using frozen berries & granola
  • Peanut butter & apples & raisins
  • Green salad with trail mix & ranch dressing

Do you pack your kids’ lunches? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks to simplify the process.

Tips for Introducing a New Puppy to Older Dogs #GrainFreeForMe

This post is sponsored by Wellness® Natural Pet Food and the BlogPaws® Pet Influencer Network™. I am being compensated to help share the reinvented Complete Health Line and other Wellness Products, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers. Wellness is not responsible for the content of this article.

Tips for Introducing a New Puppy to Older Dogs

Tips for Introducing a New Puppy to Older Dogs

In May, we added a new Great Pyrenees puppy, Harry, to our family. You may have seen pictures of him on Instagram. Before Dan and I had kids, we raised puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. We had a new puppy coming in every year and we also had our existing, older pet dog, Montana. We have lots of experience introducing puppies to older dogs, so when we got Harry, I wasn’t really worried. However, we have learned tried and true tips that make the introduction process a lot easier.

Meet Harry the Great Pyr puppy

Introduce on neutral territory

Depending on your current dog’s behavior, it might be a good idea to introduce your new puppy to your older dog on neutral territory like a neighbor’s house or a park. This is a good idea because you current dog might be possessive of her things aka your house. Bringing both dogs to a neutral territory for the first time can help the older dogs feel better about, and be more accepting toward, the new puppy.
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Whole Chicken Kitchen Hacks and Recipes

Using the whole chicken is the most economical way to cook chicken. But what the heck do you do with them? Check out this collection of Whole Chicken Kitchen Hacks and Recipes to help you the biggest bang for your grocery dollar

Are you intimidated to cook with a whole chicken? If so, this post is for you - Whole Chicken Kitchen Hacks and Recipes. Learn how to cook the whole chicken and save money!!

Welcome! If you’re here, you probably like to feed your family healthy foods on a budget! I try to feed my family mostly local, in-season, and organic food. But that can get expensive. Especially when it comes to meat. One way I save money on buying organic meat is to look for less expensive cuts of meats – and when it comes to chicken, that means using the WHOLE chicken. There are a lot of benefits to using the whole chicken in addition to cost, but I know they are overwhelming to contemplate for a lot of people. I hope this post will help you feel better about using the whole chicken, and it’s divided into two parts:

Whole Chicken Kitchen Hacks and Recipes

1. Kitchen Tips, Tricks, & Hacks so you know how to cook the chicken.
2. Delicious recipe ideas for using the whole chicken

These posts will teach you how to cut up a whole chicken and also show you how to cook it properly using a lot of different techniques.

Whole Chicken Recipes

How to get the most out of your whole chicken {7 meals One Chicken} – Don’t Waste the Crumbs

How to butcher a chicken – Just a Taste {A live chicken?}

How to cut up a whole chicken – A Return to Simplicity

Whole Chicken Recipes

How to grill a whole chicken – Tablespoon

How to debone a whole chicken – Parley Sage Sweet

How to cook a whole chicken in a bundt pan – Mr Food

Whole Chicken Recipes

How to cook a whole chicken in a crock pot – The Kitchen Wife

How to butterfly {Spatchcock} a whole chicken – Culinary Ginger

How to brine a whole chicken – Cooking with Kimberly

Now that you know how to prepare a whole chicken, get a bunch of delicious recipe ideas on the NEXT PAGE! Click on the button. next page graphic