Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My Take Tuesday: Organic Shopping on a Budget

I get a lot of comments saying that buying organic is way too expensive and unreasonable.
 I will tell you I used to feel the same way, that is, until I went shopping!
In our last city we had a Whole Foods and I was completely shocked the first time I shopped there
 I was WAY under budget, mainly because I was not buying all the junk I used to at the grocery.

When we moved we lost our Whole Foods and just had regular stores with a limited organic selection,
so we had to get creative and search to find ways to make it work.

My husband found the website; Eat Wild, where you can find local farmers who sell organic meat.
We found a farmer 30 minutes away that raised grassfed beef, and
 organic free range chickens, turkey and pigs!
We visited the farm and quickly switched to buying all our meat from him.
Watch Food Inc and you will never want to buy grocery brand meat ever again.
The price difference was pretty significant, so we figured we would have to reshape our grocery budget.
The first thing we got rid of was the stuff we didn't really need, cookies and snacks
(I loved those little EL Fudge men, and Cheez-its)
We just went to the bare necessities and bought all organic produce, eggs, milk and meat.

We also found our budget free up money in other areas
Such as eating out...as much as I love eating out I have realized that the food we would eat, even at high end resturuants was not good quality so why waste our money when we could buy grassfed beef and eat at home.
I mean seriously...why would I pay 30 bucks for a corn-fed steak?!?! NO THANKS!
As much fun as it is to go out, I have become so anal about the food quality that I don't bother....
plus with kids its easier to just stay home!:)
 So we took all the money we saved from not eating out and threw that into our grocery budget!

The thing with eating organically is that in our case, there is not always the best selection
 sometimes I really want strawberries, but when they are 5 dollars for a container I buy the 1.99 apples instead. I just mix and match as best as I can and make due with whats in season and available.

So I devised a plan to make a list for you guys that is UNDER $100 for a week full of groceries, it may not be exact for your families needs but this would feed my family of 4, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Here is the grocery break down, a lot of weeks they have sales on lots of these items but I will go with the usual price. (I rounded UP to the nearest dollar)

HERE WE GO....THE LIST
Breakfast Foods:
Cage Free Organic Eggs- 4
Box of Organic Waffles-3
Box of Organic Cereal, we like Cascadian Farms-3
Organic Milk- 1/2 gallon- 3 dollars or Full Gallon -6
Bunch of Organic Bananas-2
Total 18.00

Lunches:
3 lb bag of Organic Apples- 5 (this week they were 3.50!!)
Organic Peanut Butter-3
Annies Natural Mac & Cheese (2 boxes)- 2 (last week you could get them for .50 each)
Bag of Organic Carrots-2
Organic Hotdogs (All Beef-Nitrate Free) 6
Total- 18.00

Dinners: 
Most of these meals make MORE than enough to
 have left overs for the next day lunch or to combine for an extra night of dinners.

On the menu would be:
Taco Salad
Chili
Burgers and Fresh Cut Fries
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

You would need:
4 lbs grassfed beef- 22 (we are buying half a cow this spring so it breaks down to less than $3/lb but for now I will go with what we pay @ $5.50/lb)
3 cans of Organic Diced tomatoes-6
1 Organic Green Pepper-2
1 Organic Onion-2
Organic Head of Lettuce-2
Block of Cheddar Cheese, I usually buy a 16 oz one- 4 (I shred just as much as I will use for meal)
Bag of Organic Potatoes-4
Nacho Cheese Tia Chips-3
Organic Spaghetti Sauce-3
Organic Spaghetti Noodles-3
Total- $51.00

Total for all of the meals is 87.00! Like I said I round up a lot! You will have 13 bucks left to spend on whatever else you want to add to the lists above. 

To Make the Chili- I use my No Bean Chili Recipe (minus the red pepper)
You will need
2 Cans of Tomatoes
1 lb ground beef
1 green pepper
1 onion
Block of Cheese

Cook the meat, simmer all together, shread the cheese and apply if you like.

To Make the Taco Salad

You will need
Head of Lettuce
Can of Tomatoes
1 lb ground beef
Cheddar Tortilla Chips
Shred Cheese

Cook your beef, drain the fat. Shred the lettuce. Layer in a bowl starting with chips, topping with lettuce, beef, tomatoes and cheese.

To Make the Spaghetti
1 lb ground beef
Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
Spaghetti Noodles

Cook the beef, drain the fat off, add sauce. Serve over noodles.

To Make burgers:
1 lb ground beef
Bag of Organic Potatoes

Make burgers to your liking. You can slice cheese from the block of cheese. Sometimes I like to put the cheese inside the burgers (& smother with BBQ sauce)!

Take a few potatoes, they go a LONG way! Slice in small strips, fry up in a pan of vegetable oil! They are amazing!

It is a pretty basic but VERY easy list! 
With sales you will find a lot of lead way to pick up some snacks!
Take this week for instance...our store had select cereals and granola bars 4/$10 (which is great in itself) but you ALSO get a free gallon of milk (organic included-$6 value) 
So I got all of that below for 10 bucks....that will last a few weeks!
A lot of the organic snacks are overpriced in the store, I buy a lot in bulk at Costco or on Amazon. 
I will post the best buys for snacks next week!
Also like I said we freed up a lot of space by not eating out during the month 
and we put that toward MEAT! 
I love me some bacon and steaks!! 

Also I referred to buying meat in bulk, a lot of farmers will sell 1/4 cows, 1/2 cows and also pigs!
We just ordered a full pig, who is actually being butchered now (sorry Wilbur) 
we should get it in a few weeks and we placed an order for a 1/2 cow next spring. 
Sure it is a LOT of meat at once, but we are buying a TON right now 
and paying $12/lb for steak gets a tad pricey 
but when we buy in bulk it is 3/lb and we will get every cut of the cow and the pig! 
So there are LOTS of ways to save! 
Check out Eat Wild and see if there are any farmers in your area. 
The prices at first are a tad shocking but once you clean up your shopping list you can make room for it!

*If your stores sell it, or if you can find it, we love to buy grassfed milk and butter. It is along the same lines of grass fed beef. Cows are supposed to eat grass, therefore it is better for them and better for us. The boosts of Omega 3's is major...and Omega 3's are proven to be a mood booster, I have noticed a difference in myself

*ALSO as far a milk goes, try to buy only Whole Milk...it has more of the vitamins and minerals! 

Last but not least, do your research. 
2 years ago, I was only out to get a good deal on groceries and 
NOW that I know all that I do, I am downright ashamed at what I was feeding us, just to save a buck! 
There is a reason why things are cheap, I have learned that!
 But I am grateful that I have realized what is best to eat, so that my children will eat healthier than I did. 
I am glad that I now know the farmer who is raising my meat, 
I think it is important to know where your food is coming from!
 It is also really sweet that my kids get to visit the farm and see the animals, such an added bonus. 

The boys and I with our Thanksgiving Turkeys...see you next week guys!:) 

Vincent watering down the pigs

Meet Lindsay, our favorite farmer!

If you have not seen it yet, watch Food INC...it will change the way you eat!!
You will see why I will not allow the boys to eat fast food...get ready for some tears!


*If you do not believe me, ask my brother who could usually care less 
about organics, but after he saw that movie he wanted to 
eat better and support local farmers, like our man Lindsay!*

Hopefully this gave you some options on things to eat, and if not I am sorry, I tried!:)

Disclaimer: I am not perfect, nor do I claim to eat perfect but small steps to help my family be healthier are worth it. I still like my sweets and treats but I try to find little ways to make them healthier....as if that is really possible! haha Like I said, 2 years ago I would have never thought this way

xoxo

14 comments:

  1. But we all know you make your own sweets...so at least they are not from a mix or a box, and made with honest (sweet) ingredients! You're doing all the right things, and I love that you are breaking the myth that eating healthy is not affordable.

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  2. I'm really excited because the town we are moving to has an all grass fed beef, free range farm that you can buy meats from. They also have eggs and other products. And there are a ton of Amish around where we will be living, with good quality stuff!

    I simply cannot wait to be out on our own again, buying our own groceries! I have the same convictions that you do about feeding my family GOOD, REAL food. Brice and I watched Food Inc last year and we immediately started buying only organic meats and will never go back. The taste quality is enough to make you realize the other stuff isn't even real! Compare an organic chicken breast to a steroid pumped one and you can see with your own eyes the difference in size. Even this year when we bought our apples from an orchard, you can see the size God intended an apple to be!

    Thanks for posting this Allie!! It is great for someone like me who is just starting out an all new budget for my family in about a week.

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  3. Thanks for posting! Definitely appreciate the personal insight to healthier eating :)

    I am THE gal who shops to save money, but I also want to be healthy for myself and my future family :)

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing! I'm going to take a trip to our local whole foods this weekend!

    Also, as someone raised in Nebraska, where cornfed beef is King, I never realized it was so bad.

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  5. Can you please post more Primal/Paleo recipes? My husband eats Paleo and sometimes I get in a rut with cooking the same stuff. Thanks!

    -Mary

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  6. I can't really comment on this with much knowledge to back it up, because I simply have never cooked organically. I will check out "Food Inc" though, as I am intrigued. I think your tip on buying 1/2 cow or a whole pig is a great one. We can do that in our area too. I really need to invest in a deep freezer. Going to Eat Wild now.

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  7. I was literally just wishing there was a site like this last week! I didn't count on many options near me since I live in L.A/Orange county but one good rancher is really all you need :)

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  8. This is awesome! You've made it so easy for us to eat organic. I think I might follow this menu after Thanksgiving, of course. Awesome, thanks for this!

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  9. boy do i LOVE you and your ways!!! i so wish that we lived like right next door so that you could rub off on me. that and so we could have cocktails (when we both weren't pregnant!)

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  10. Thank you for acknowledging the fact that you can buy organic foods without breaking the bank (speaking of bank, if you sign up with recyclebank you can earn coupons for recycling, I just printed $2 Off one Kashi product). I also become so discouraged when people say it is too expensive to buy organic. I often purchase our eggs at Costco and produce at the Farmers Market (work with what is in season and your meals will taste phenomenal, by the time the out of season produce gets to the grocery store it is often lacking nutrition) but the rest can be purchased at your local grocery store. Also, if you look for coupons they do exist. I had to laugh when I saw Annies, I bought 15 boxes, amazing deal! We also bought Moms Best oatmeal which was 2 for $3. Suggestion for future topic- Monsanto

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  11. Love this!! I spend less than $200 a month on groceries a month and it's all organic! During the summer when we can eat our own produce it is less than $100. We buy a cow like you so I don't add that into our budget since we only have to pay for it yearly. Plus we eat whatever my husband shoots or catches.

    If anyone hasn't seen FOOD INC do it!!

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  12. I was just talking to my friend about shopping for real food on a budget and sent her the link to your post! Awesome!! I have never been to Whole Foods but we do have a local Coop I can shop at. Also, when you prepare stuff from scratch and don't buy organic snack stuff, you are not spending NEARLY as much money so I do the same as you and skip the munchies!! I did want to share one blogpost that you might want to read about the organic milk. You might just go for regular milk instead because of the ultrapasteurization and save the money or spend it on something else?? Just thought I'd share :) http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2010/05/organic-milk-healthfood-trojan-horse/

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  13. I love this post!! i am always trying to add more organic options to my families diet all the time! It is expensive but as you said if you take out the junk then that leaves extra money for REAL healthy food.... and I need to work on getting the junk out!

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  14. Thanks for sharing this:) It's so inspiring to hear that more and more people want to eat what God intended us to eat.

    Food Inc. and Skinny B*tch had me realizing that American's eat complete crap (for the most part). Yes we aren't dying from bacterial infections any longer (thank you medicine) but we gone to being people like Wall-E.

    Please do share more about eating organic on a budget.

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Thanks for your comments, If I do not respond to you, feel free to yell at me! I really love you all~!