Sunday, July 10, 2011

How to buy local and organic on a budget

As most of my readers have seen by going to the grocery store is that organic is more expensive.
So how do those like myself on a budget shop for organic and local products?

The first step is to shop directly from the farm or ranch. For example a pound of grass fed beef at publix goes for $8.50 but I bought a pound for 6.. but in bulk it goes to $5. By cutting out the middle man you cut out money you would otherwise be wasting and putting into the multi-million dollar businesses. By shopping local not only are you getting healthy high quality fresh meat and produce that hasn't been driven 300 miles to land on your plate but you support local people!

The 2nd step is be a smart consumer! Look in your pantry, or freezer.. pull out the items stuffed way in the back.. how long have those items been there? A while I bet! How often do you find freezer burnt spoiled meat you throw away? That's money being tossed out. Well how do we become a smart consumer? Plan ahead!!
Plan out a weeks worth of meals as best you can.. maybe Monday you eat beef, Tuesday pork, Wednesday chicken, Thursday leftovers.. etc then find out how much meat you need for that weeks meals. ONLY buy that much!!! Same thing with produce.. sliced fruit with cottage cheese for breakfast a apple in a child's lunch for school think what you will need and only buy that amount. Its simple planning and math that can take a budget and make it work.

The 3rd a final step. DO NOT eat fast food. As a typical American I found it easy to grab a dollar hamburger or some chicken nuggets while out shopping or doing errands but you spend a lot of money only stopping once or twice a week! I mean think about it the normal combo meal is $5 maybe $6... but you have 3 or 4 people in your family so now your total for that one meal is around $20 that could buy a pound of grass fed local beef, some potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes the makings of a fantastic home cooked meal.
Just curb your hunger and instead of grabbing fast food head to the grocery store. Not only can you save money this way but your health. That fast food junk is filled with by products, fillers, pesticides, and under paid farmers sweat(not literately I hope)..

Let me tell you a short story about me and fast food.

I was pregnant and working 40 hours. There was fast food and pizza parlors on every corner and I didn't feel like cooking so I ate at one of these "restaurants" and along with me quitting smoking I gained 100 pounds. When Brooke was born I wanted her to eat healthy so after breast milk when she started real(baby) food I made my own from fresh veggies and fruits but I wasn't focused on my own health only hers. The problem with this was I never lost the weight I had gained. Only now as I make drastic changes in the way we are living and eating is the weight slowly coming off and I'm finding more money in my pockets!

I urge everyone even those not on a budget to use these tips to help save yourself some money and be wiser about how you shop!

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