By: Gabrielle Hall www.eatyourearthtones.com
I know firsthand how expensive it can be when trying to transition to an organic, holistic lifestyle! It’s not always in the budget to buy organic, and we all have to make peace with that truth at times.
What I prioritize firstly is being gentle with where we are at and supporting what it is we can do with what is accessible. But, we should all prioritize eating better when we can. Here are FIVE ways that you can start saving money ASAP on groceries!
✅ SHOP LOCAL / AT FARMER’S MARKETS: By buying locally grown food — especially at farmer’s markets — you’ll be strengthening your community by investing your food dollar close to home. Only about 18 cents of every dollar, when buying at a large supermarket, go to the grower. The rest goes to the various often unnecessary middleman, so the prices are set accordingly.
✅ BUY IN-SEASON PRODUCE: In-season produce often travels less distance to reach the supermarket shelves. And, for the same reasons above, in-season food can be offered at a lower price point or with sales (especially toward the end of the season). My family loves doing this with grapes, we STOCK up toward the end of the season when bags of grapes are sometimes up to 35% off!
✅ CLEAN 15 / DIRTY DOZEN: The clean 15, on the one hand, is a group of conventional produce that has minimal pesticide residue and can be purchased conventional to save money. The dirty dozen, on the other hand, are fruit and vegetables that are most heavily sprayed and should be prioritized by buying organic.
✅ CASHBACK APPS: Cashback and receipt-scanning apps allow you to submit your receipt or link your loyalty accounts at supermarkets for cash! Certain items only qualify for cashback for a limited time. These can even be big-ticket items like protein powders, oils, superfoods, and supplements.
✅ BUY IN BULK: Some supermarkets like Whole Foods or Costco offers a 10% discount for bulk buys. Did you know that discounted pricing on many items is available when you buy a full case or more at these stores? Often the bulk sections have better prices than those of pre-packaged “brand name” foods, like organic nuts and seeds.
Best of all, these tips stack! So, you can use all these tips together to save even more.
Do you have any other money-saving tips? Like and comment below to share with the rest of us!
+++ BONUS TIPS:
✅ PURCHASE STORE-BRAND ORGANICS: Many stores carry their own line of “natural”-marketed and/or organic products, like these below:
- Aldi: Simply Nature
- Food Lion: Nature’s Promise
- Giant: Nature’s Promise
- Harris Teeter: HT Organics
- Kroger: Simple Truth
- Publix: Greenwise
- Safeway: “O” Organics
- Target: Simply Balanced
- Whole Foods: 365 Everyday Value
**Keep in mind that the “natural” label is often a marketing scheme since it is legally used to label just about anything. When searching for organic products, look for the “organic” labeling and for organic ingredients in the Ingredients List.
✅ AMAZON PRIME: If you shop at Whole Foods often, it’s worth it to purchase Amazon Prime. It pays for itself, considering you can save up to 50% on select Prime Member deals and an additional 10% off sale items. If you have an Amazon credit card with Amazon Prime, you also get an extra 5% off every shopping trip guaranteed!
✅ GROW YOUR OWN: Growing your own organic produce is cost- and labor-intensive, but starting small can be quite beneficial for reasons extending beyond saving money. Consider growing culinary herbs in your kitchen windowsill or on your backyard patio/balcony, since most are conveniently located near the kitchen or breakfast area. Before I started my family’s backyard garden, we grew herbs in clay pots.
✅ BE FLEXIBLE: When apples are on sale, eat apples instead of avocados. But when avocados are on sale, purchase the avocados. But go beyond purchasing, find recipes for apples, use them in many ways so you know the apples will not have a chance of going to waste in your household.
✅ BUY THE RIGHT SIZE: When buying organic produce, buy larger fruits and vegetables when they’re price per item instead of per pound. Additionally, purchase smaller sizes when they are priced per pound. For example, you will get more for your money with a big watermelon versus a small one.
* To add on, when purchasing food by the pound, ask the clerk working in the produce section if they can cut pieces of fruit or vegetables that you have no intention of using. For example, where we shop at, the broccoli is priced per pound, but we do not always use the stalk. So instead of just eating that price and paying for composting the stalk, I ask the employee in that section to cut the stalks off.
✅ BRING A LIST: This is about prioritizing organic food over unnecessary impulse purchases. Having a list is a great way to reduce impulse purchases, which can save you a good amount of money in general.
✅ EAT BEFORE SHOPPING: I have don’t this as an experiment many times, the results are given: Eating before grocery chopping saves money and speeds up the time spent shopping. Shopping when you’re really hungry is a sure way to buy more food than you need, especially junk food. Why? Because when we are hungry, we tend to impulse purchase pre-packaged, convenient foods that we can prepare or eat right away to satisfy that hunger.
✅ CASHBACK CREDIT CARDS: You can sometimes earn up to 5% additional cash back on grocery shopping when you use your card to pay. This isn’t always what I readily recommend. Still, you could use your card and pay it off right after any purchase, like paying with a debit card because you won’t run up the credit but enjoy the extra 5% off!