Many people complain to me about the high cost of eating healthy. And while it does cost me a little more to feed my family organic foods, I find if I work a bit at it, I can find some great deals. When I start quizzing my friends who complain about the high cost of eating healthy, I find that they aren’t looking for deals, in many cases because they don't expect to find them. And if you aren’t looking for something, you probably won’t find it. Here are a few of my tips for saving money on healthy food.
Always check the manager’s markdowns. Many people think that organic food is expensive so they don’t even look in that area of the store, but I often find great markdowns. This week I found free-range meat with a 50 % off sticker, a pound of organic spinach for $2.00, and 1 pound bags of organic beans marked down to .50 cents.
Take the time to compare prices between organic and regular produce. Most of the time organic produce is more expensive, but not always. Last week at Raley’s, Organic Acorn Squash was $1.19 a pound, which was .30 cents less than the regular acorn squash. In my local stores, organic kiwis are often less than regular kiwis. This week Save Mart is selling Organic Strawberries for $2.99 a pound, which is a competitive price in my area.
Visit the websites of your favorite brands. You can often sign up to receive coupons via email. They might also share coupons on their Facebook page, so like them if you like their products.
Sign up to receive coupons from Mambo Sprouts, which provides organic coupons each month. This month they have a $1.00 off Knudsen’s organic juice, which happens to be on sale at Safeway for $2.99. They also have a $1.00 off coupon for Stonyfield Farm Yogurt, which I will pair with the normally low price for Yo-Baby Organic Yogurt at Wal-Mart. Which brings me to my next point…
Look everywhere for healthy bargains. Every store in my area has an organic section. Some are much smaller than others, but there are bargains hiding in even the smallest organic section. If there is a packaged item that you use a lot of, you might be able to save quite a bit by searching Amazon.com for organic food. You can also see if an item you buy regularly is available in bulk from Costco.
Look at regular coupons for some that might be able to be applied to organic foods. S&W and Del Monte both produce organic canned vegetables as well as regular canned goods. I have found coupons that say $1.00 off ANY product, which means I am free to apply that coupon to an organic item from the company.
You don’t have to purchase organic produce exclusively. There are a few fruits that I don’t worry about buying organic. They are the fruits that have thick skin that we peel before eating and are usually not exposed to many chemicals in the growing process. I save money by buying non-organic oranges, bananas, pineapples, pomegranates, and mangoes, which makes more room in my budget to buy organic apples, grapes, and other thin skinned fruit. Here is a list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to help you prioritize which items you buy organic.
I have said it before, but it is worth saying again: It is much more frugal to cook from scratch than it is to buy packaged goods, especially organic packaged food. So next time you are getting ready to go through the check out line, look at your grocery cart and ask yourself, “Can I make this from scratch?”
How do you save money on healthy food?
This post is linked to Frugal Friday, where you will find some great tips for living frugally.