You want your family to eat healthily, but your monthly food budget isn’t growing as fast as your children are. Food is usually the main expense for a family, and let’s face it, it’s so much easier to afford junk food than healthy choices. Or is it?
The truth is, if you take the time to shop consciously and pick your battles, you can have it all. You don’t have to spend a fortune to see your family eating healthy, organic foods. Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals without breaking the bank.
Eat Healthy and Organic Without Spending a Fortune
First of all, consider growing your own fruits and vegetables in a home garden. It doesn’t take a whole lot of space or tons of hours in the dirt to create a veritable greengrocer in your backyard, and if you live in a warm weather climate, you can grow year round. You get to control exactly what goes into the food you eat and pick and choose your family’s favorites for the year’s plantings. Most gardening stores have separate sections filled with organic herbs, vegetables, and fruits, and they don’t cost very much more than the standard options. And for the money, you won’t get more output anywhere else.
Next, head to the grocery store and check out what sort of organic options they have on hand. It used to be you’d have to hunt around for anything organic, but these days nearly every large grocery store has an organic section. They can be high priced, so scour the shelves for any generic organic brands available. Most supermarkets feature a generic brand, usually with many organic choices. You’ll save money going generic, but you’ll still receive the same healthy, organic quality. Also, pick and choose what organics you buy. With some fruits and vegetables, buying organic is much more important than others. Anything you eat with the skin on should be organic, while anything you peel, like bananas, oranges, or carrots, won’t affect your family as much by foregoing the organic choices. In the end, serving your family a balanced menu that leans heavily on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will always be healthier for them, even if you can’t afford to buy every single item organic.
That grocery store trip will be extra important, because if you want your family to eat healthy, organic foods, you’re going to have to cook as much as possible. You’ll find a wide range of healthy, farm-to-table restaurants these days, with many organic or vegetarian choices. But it will always cost more to eat out. So stock the fridge, and you’ll certainly trim down your monthly food budget. If you can’t find everything you want to try at the supermarket or don’t feel like you’re getting the best deals, try hitting up the local green stand or farmer’s market. You’ll often find organic produce there well under what it would cost in a large, chain supermarket.
Finally, bring another level of planning for your family’s food consumption. If you can, plan out your menus for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time two weeks in advance. That means less food waste and more targeted spending at the supermarket. Since organic food does cost a bit more, it’s that much more important that you don’t throw out anything because it goes bad before you have a chance to eat it. The other benefit of planning out your menu is to use coupons. You’ll find coupons for organic foods in the market’s weekly circular or printable coupons on their websites. Take the extra time necessary to find those coupons and bring them with you, and you’ll save a bundle.