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Buying organic vs. saving $$

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    I've been trying to make the switch myself with definite concern about the cost, but so far it's been manageable. Costco has many organic items, including milk. Vons (which I think might be owned by Safeway) has an impressive line of storebrand organic products and Ralphs (which I think might be owned by Kroger) is following suit. I haven't found much in my local Walmart.

    I have noticed coupons are becoming more available, including some for milk in last Sunday's paper. I joined my local CSA (am waiting for my membership to kick in) because it only cost $20 a week for a box of vegetables. I spend more now for what I consider to be inferior quality produce.

    One of the ways I keep the budget balanced in general is to refrain from buy too many prepackaged (i.e., snack food) items. This applies to organics as well. By buying just the basics, the budget hit or organics has not been too bad.


      Its that time of year folks, all those farmers out peddling thier goods. I just bought an organic watermelon for 5 dollars and seedless too. My kids woofed it down!

      right on border of ark/mo, theres a farmer market, lil one with a flea market, and i get all my onions, toms, okra and all there, all thier bundles of whatever you want are 2.50 each plus 3 for watermelon 5 for organic. I got baggies, like u pull at the grocery store full of vegs for 2.50 each, all organic. Watch for those side of the road bargains. If they are organics it will say so. Mine had stickers.


        We eat 95% organic and our monthly grocery bill is about $100 more than before. The trick is to regularly shop at several stores, watch for sales, and buy enough for the whole month.
        Ex: Our primary stores are Trader Joes and Whole Foods. I go to Trader Joes about once a month and purchase 4 packages of wild caught salmon, 4 packages of wild caught white fish, like orange raoughy, or cod, or tilapia. So I buy 8 packages of fish, because we eat fish twice a week, one day salmon, another day one of the white fish. I also buy frozen chicken breasts, organic flour, sugar, maple syrup, oatmeal & cerials, all natural chicken nuggets, all natural oreo cookies, organic choc. syrup, etc. I buy everything that we'll need for the month.
        Than I go to Whole foods, and buy byson meat ( great for burgets, meatloaves, meat pasta sauces ) pork meats, beef meats, etc., and I watch the sales. So again, I buy enough to have for the whole month. It's easy to cook at home whan you already have it in the freezer.
        At Target I find the cheapest organic dairy products, buying enough for couple of weeks, as well as our all natural bread, enough for the whole month, which I freeze.
        Organic fruits and vegetables are cheepest at a fruit market around the corner from us. We go there about 7-10 days.
        You have to be organized and to keep a list of product prices from diferent stores, thats how you'll know if its a good deal.
        Last edited by flavor; 02-27-2008, 07:35 PM.


          I started buying organic food after having children. I started reading and doing research on this choice. Money is always an issue when it comes to food in our home. After much disscusion with my husband we made the decision that our family will drink organic milk and use organic dairy products as much as possible. I honestly can say that the dairy products taste better than any I have ever had. I grew up on generic products so this has been a real treat. I say follow your convictions on this matter but I have decided that eating healthier is worth more to me than a new outfit or anything else I could spend my money on.


            We made the decision as a family to switch to organic dairy products after researching this matter. I have deep convictions regarding what my kids eat. I grew up on generic and seemed sick most of my life. I can say that I have seen a change in our family since the switch. I still by 50/50 produce it all depends on the price. I have just come to face the fact that to eat in this country I will have to pay the price.


              food in general is expensive, organic is really expensive unfortunatly


                I'm a strict vegetarian and I buy mainly organic foods. The costs are not really drastically different. It could get out of hand, but my suggestions are just to be practical with your choices. Get fruits and vegetables that are more in season. Be sure to get only what you need (i.e., do you really think you are going to eat all 8 apples that you buy this week? If not, then only get the 4 that you know you will). I leave the grocery store with a smile when I know I am buying higher quality ingredients.

                My other suggestion on saving money grocery shopping is this, make a menu for the week. I am not saying you have to follow it at all, but it helps you figure out how many meals you have for the week. For example, lets say you are buying food for one week at a time, from Sunday-Saturday. This means that there will be 14 meals besides your cereal (an assumption, this is what I eat in the morning) in the morning plus snacks.

                Tofu and Snow Peas Fried Rice (5 meals)
                Avocado Tacos with field green salad (4 meals)
                Spaghetti with field green salad (3 meals)
                Cans of Soup (2 meals)

                So in this example, you would go to the store and only buy the ingredients in the above meals, a box of cereal (or whatever else you eat for breakfast) and maybe 2 snacks, one salty, one sweet. Perhaps pretzels and granola bars. Oh and don't forget fruit! I like to get 3 kinds per week. You get the idea. Just don't walk down the aisles of the store and pick things that look good at that momement. Trust me, this planning saves me approx. $10/week!

                I would say I disagree about shopping for the entire month as I care too much about having very fresh produce. I go once every 7-10 days or so.

                Happy shopping to all!
                Last edited by anonymous_saver; 02-26-2008, 08:00 AM. Reason: additional comments


                  If you don't want to spend more by buying ALL organic, you can purchase the Dirty Dozen organic and get the conventional ones for the Clean Fifteen (where the residual pesticides, etc. is low enough that they say it doesn't make a huge diff btwn organic and regular). Helps save a few bucks here and there by putting your money towards getting organic where it will matter the most/have the most impact.


                    At a minimum I shop the dirty dozen organic, then anything I intend to feed my DD. Outside of that, I go for cheap. One day I would love to grow my own produce so I know where it came from, but for now, this will have to do.