Buying Healthy Food on a Budget

By April. Filed in Eating  |   
Home del.icio.us this! Digg this! Share on Facebook! Tweet this! RSS 2.0 

In order to eat healthy our buying habits have to change. It took me a long time to realize I needed to buy a lot more produce than I was buying at a time because I was running back to the store every other day. If we don’t want to be tempted into eating bad things or going out we should have massive amounts of fruits and vegetables filling our fridge. Especially if you are juicing. They know the juicers when they see us coming at Costco. Ideally we should all be growing our own food and hopefully there are a lot of you out there that are that can share ideas to get the rest of us doing it. There are still ways to get affordable organic food into our homes even if you don’t have a garden.

Farmers Markets:

If you don’t know if you have one in your area do a little searching online and see if you can find one. Some are amazing while

This was our first trip to a CA farmers Market last August. Can't wait to go back!

others are a bit scary as far as quality and prices go. Here in Vegas ours were pretty lacking but I hear they have some certified organic stands now, but in the past I found it was cheaper to go to Trader Joes and Whole Foods. However, in California our food costs dropped substantially because of the amazing amount of produce we were able to obtain at the farmers markets. The key to landing good deals at farmers’ markets is form relationships, and ask lots of questions. Ask about seconds you may be able to buy at a discount. Ask about discounts for buying in bulk. Ask how you can buy their produce when the market is closed. The best deals I got were when I got there right before closing and they didn’t want to haul the stuff out with them. I got our huge Halloween pumpkins for $2 each with a little bargaining at closing.

CSA’s:

CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture programs. I haven’t participated in one yet but if there is one outside of Vegas then your chances of finding one are high! When you buy a share in a CSA program, you pay a portion of a local farm’s operating expenses. In return, you receive weekly boxes of fresh fruits and vegetables in the upcoming harvest and they usually deliver and sometimes offer recipes.

Amazon.com and other online shopping:

I get many of my more unusual items like chia seed and my powders online. Amazon usually has good prices but I always compare them to Nutsonline.com and The Raw Food World. (You can find a link on my Links page)

Costco:

Costco actually has a lot of organic produce and if you are careful you can get it quite fresh. We get our avocado’s, organic carrots, pesticide free cucumbers, organic spinach, watermelon, frozen organic blackberries, and other frozen organic fruit by season. You can also get wild salmon and organic beef there. Follow the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper Guide to determine whether it is imperative for you to buy certain items organic. Print a copy and keep it in your purse/wallet. Pretty soon you’ll have it all memorized.

Co-op’s:

Co-op’s are so much fun! It took me a long time to find one in our area but it has been so worth it. If you don’t know of one, get involved! Find a Meetup, or Yahoo groups with other natural minded families. They are usually the ones involved in this type of thing. You may have a lot more choices for organic food in your community than you realize. All it takes is a little research to find out. Organic associations and organizations in your state are good places to start. Just type the name of your state and the word “organic” into a search and see what comes up. Some that may be in your area are:

Azurestandard.com covering CA, WA, OR, ID, MT, WY, IA and NV Check their website for more information. They have tons of brands you see at Whole Foods and more! I love them! We get all of our (organic) apples, olive oil, nuts, coconut, dried fruits, lentils, and so much more from them! https://www.azurestandard.com/

Bountifulbaskets http://www3.bountifulbaskets.org/ They are non-profit and you can get a conventional basket of produce for $15 or an organic one for $25 and you get tons of produce for this price. They are all over the place and you might be surprised to find one coming to a park down the street from you. They cover AZ, CO, ID, KS, MT, NV, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, and WY If they aren’t in your area you can always ask. They have doubled their states they cover since I’ve known about them.

Other resources: http://www.coopdirectory.org/

Local Farms:

If you see a farm on the side of the road with a little sign make sure you stop! I found a gem of a farm in the middle of nowhere where I got a huge tub of local raw honey for $20. He also sells organic beef for way cheaper than the co-op I’m in gets it and he has heirloom melons in the fall, with seeds in them and organically grown!! I was so thrilled to find him!

Buy in Season (Shop Sales):

The absolute best time to buy an organic fruit or vegetable is at the peak of its growing season. And that’s the best time to buy big. Load up on all your favorite organic fruits and veggies at cheap prices. You can always freeze those organic strawberries yourself!

If this is the first you’ve thought about buying healthier foods then you might be sticker shocked at first but when it comes down to it you have to make a choice between certain things. When I see people with carts full of soda I think of all of the produce they could be buying with that money. Maybe you aren’t buying soda but there is some tweaking in your budget somewhere where you can make the changes if you want to. I get sticker shock when I go fill my Mother in law’s prescriptions. I actually have a really hard time with it because of my opposition for big pharma and there I stand in line ready to drop $100 on pills. You have to be creative and savvy with this stuff to make it work. I hope that in my lifetime it will finally become common knowledge that disease is caused by one or a combination of both a lack of nutrition and toxic overload. So until then lets just do our best to keep the toxins out and massive amounts of nutrition in.

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” ~Hippocrates

6 Comments

  1. Comment by julie morris:

    Wow….you sure covered all of the bases! I was soooo excited a couple of weeks ago to find that Costco had organic blackberries again! I bet living near farmer’s markets was amazing….

  2. Comment by Vicky:

    Great info, April. Thanks so much. Seems there are a lot of co-ops out west. Not so much around us in Ohio, but I’m going to do more searching. We have a few farmers’ markets in the Summer here, but they don’t offer organic. We have Sam’s Club here, not Costco. I’ll have to call them to see if they have organic produce as I don’t have a membership with them anymore. We waste a lot of money buying produce from our local supermarkets. They are bad when you get them home or go bad within a day.

  3. Comment by LAURA:

    LOVE THE SITE APRIL! YOUR INFO AND INSIGHT ARE SO INSPIRING! LOTS OF LOVE AND MUCH APPRECIATION. YOUR FRIENDS, LAURA ASHLYNN AND AUTUMN

  4. Comment by Michelle Abernathy:

    So what foods to you recommend buying bulk? I saw that you get bulk coconut. What else? Grains? Beans?

  5. Comment by aprilsheets:

    Macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, (nuts ;) dried fruits like raisins and cherries, quinoa, lentils, split peas, gluten free flours, fruits and veggies, frozen berries, powders like cacao and carob, vanilla beans…and so on. :)

  6. Comment by Sheena:

    I”M a bit jealous and amazed by how neatly you summerized yourself in your ‘about me’ description. Also, My eyes got all dewy and my mouth started watering when you mentioned the local farm and the honey. I’m local vegas too, is there any chance you would share this farm’s location?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*