One of the biggest hesitations to eating organic, clean foods is the price. There is this stigma that organic food is expensive. After all, you have likely seen this picture that has gone around the internet:
Yeah, that’s pretty bad. But, here is the good news: It doesn’t have to be that way. Buying organic food is not just for the rich, elite (evidenced by the fact that we buy organic!) it is for normal people too! Granted, sometimes we cannot afford organic vegetables and so we get the normal vegetables instead, but we do a good job at getting mostly organic foods. Here are a few things that have helped us with buying clean, organic foods.
1.Looking at the finances
How many times do you go out to eat in a week? Statistics say that the average American family eats out four times a week! First off, that’s ridiculous. It is no wonder that Americans struggle with obesity and diabetes! But consider how much you spend eating out. Most of the time, you will find that you will spend less money buying organic groceries and making your own meals than eating out (unless, of course, you are eating from the Dollar Menu at McDonalds). Get a piece of paper out and do the math, you will be surprised.
Let me give you a glimpse into our finances. We try to spend under $125 a week in groceries. That is all of our food in one week. Sometimes we go over, but most of the time we stick in that range. I just cited that the average American family eats out 4 times a week. My family has 4 people in it. Suppose my family ate at the cheapest of fast food places 4 times a week, McDonalds. Suppose my wife and I both got a Big Mac (no fries and no drink, just the burger), and we got my 2 children a Happy Meal to share. That would end up being about 11.50 a meal, which would end up being 46 dollars a week! That is almost half of my grocery budget on only 4 meals, with no fries or drink, at the cheapest place around. The point is made, if you can afford to go to McDonalds, then you can afford to do organic grocery shopping.
2.Using savings apps
Here is a fun one. I started using savings apps on my phone. For most of them, all you have to do is scan the receipt that you got when shopping and you will earn money. Here are a few apps that have been very helpful, and lucrative, for me.
Ibotta- Ibotta has been the best app. I have earned a lot of money from this app (45 bucks in 3 months). It is a rebate app, so there are certain items that you buy and they give you money back, sometimes 25 cents, sometimes a dollar. The awesome thing is that Ibotta has a lot of clean options for food. There are rebates for vegetables, any brands of milk, butter, etc, and plenty of organic brands (Larabar, truRoots, Sprout, etc.) Another awesome part is that you get 10 dollars just for signing up. Follow this link to sign up!
Receipt Hog- I enjoy Receipt Hog the most of all the apps I have. It is not a rebate app, all you do is take a picture of your receipt. It rewards you based on how much you spend. I think I like Receipt Hog so much because it is fun. The more points you earn the fatter your pig gets, there are different ways to earn points. It is a quirky app, but it is fun. It may not earn as much as Ibotta, but with patience it pays off.
Walmart Savings Catcher- This one is one that I only discovered recently. Whenever you shop at Walmart all you have to do is take a picture of your receipt on this app. Walmart will look at your receipt and price match all locations in your area. I live in a very small town, so my savings are limited, I’ve had the app for a month and have earned 3 dollars. But for a person who lives in a larger town…Boy, oh, boy, the sky is the limit!
Receipt Pal- Receipt Pal is similar to Receipt Hog with one major difference, it does not reward you based on how much you spend, it rewards you on the amount of receipts you log. So you receive 100 points for every 4 receipts you put in. A 1 dollar Amazon gift card is 400 points. It is simple, and I am good at simple!
Yaarlo- Yaarlo rewards you on how much you spend. But instead of using a “point” system, it rewards you a percentage of how much you spend. Bear in mind, the percentage is only .25% for grocery stores. But over time it will add up.
Keep in mind that you will not “get rich quick”. Using these apps is a practice in tedium. You will earn a little bit at a time but earning a little is better than earning nothing at all. Basically, if you only earn 25 cents on your grocery trip with Ibotta or another app, do not get discouraged and say, “Oh well, it’s only 25 cents!” No, a penny saved is a penny earned. Keep grinding and keep earning.
3.Shopping at Walmart
People look at Walmart as the “poor man’s shopping”. Of course, we have all seen the “people of Walmart” pictures. Some people claim they would never be caught dead in a Walmart. It is because of this idea that some think that Walmart may not have organic options, only the cheap, chemical laced options of food. Set that idea aside! Walmart is really branching out in the organic department, bringing in many different brands to their shelves including their own Great Value Organic brand which, in normal Walmart style, is pretty affordable. You would also be shocked at the price of organic produce at Walmart. Keep your eyes open and you can get good deals, there are times when organic carrots are cheaper than regular carrots, or even onions, and every once in a while apples. Why would you not go organic when it is cheaper than regular? Of course, sometimes the organic items are a little too expensive for us, so we make do with regular items, but we do the best we can.
Here’s a small list of organic items we get at Walmart: apples, onions, spinach, lettuce, garlic, grass fed ground beef (only dollar more than regular ground beef!), tomato sauce, canned pumpkin, free range eggs, etc.
Walmart is not the only affordable place to get organic food. Aldi is another store that offers affordable options, the only reason we do not go to Aldi is because we do not have one nearby 😦 . Basically, the point is this, you do not have to go to Whole Foods, where the food is exuberantly overpriced, and grocery shop there. There are options for normal people like you and me.
4. Keeping a Budget
This really should go without saying, and it is important for life, in general, not just when it comes to eating clean. Know what you are going to spend on a weekly or monthly basis and then do not go over that amount. Figure out what your family needs to spend on food and don’t go over it. Too many times people go grocery shopping and just grab things off the shelves because it looks good to them, only to be dismayed when they are shown how much they have to pay. Watch your money. We use an app called EveryDollar to keep track of our spending, I highly recommend it.
Those are the things we do that allow us to shop organic. What about you? What methods do you use or ideas do you have to make grocery shopping more affordable?