Monday, April 12, 2010

A Healthy *BANG* for Your Buck

Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody could afford to buy the very best foods for their family everyday? Changing your diet to include more healthful ingredients like organic produce, pastured meats, unrefined oils, natural sweeteners and raw dairy is a big slam on your grocery bill. This obstacle can deter the frugal minded and stand in the way of those whose budget has little play.

Here are some things I have learned that can help you out;

1. Know Your Organics

Some varieties of conventional produce receive/absorb more pesticides than others. When shopping for organic fruits and vegetables it is good to have a list of the “dirty dozen” with you. These have been tested and show the greatest amounts of toxic residue:

Sweet bell peppers
Imported Grapes

On the flip side there is also a list of the lowest levels of contamination;


While all the toxins from pesticides cannot be washed off because they have leached into the produce, washing conventional produce thoroughly is always a smart choice. Most pesticides are not water soluble, so when washing conventional produce, use a vinegar soak (equal parts water and vinegar) to remove chemicals from the surface.

2. Stick To What Is In Season

You are going to pay much more for a much lesser quality product when you buy in the off season. Don’t demand strawberries year round when they are a spring/summer crop. Instead of going with a list, go with some ideas and be flexible depending on what is looking at it’s peak, which is often the produce with the biggest bins and on sale.

3. Buy Less Meat

Good quality pastured meats are costly. It is not necessary, or even healthful to have large portions of meat at every meal. Learn to make a little go a long way and make the most of it by using the bones for stock.

4. Get Friendly With Grains and Beans

These are super nutritious, filling and have a great shelf life naturally, no harmful processing required. Items that are able to be stored for months at a time allow you to cost-effectively buy in bulk while on sale.

5. Stay Out Of Grocery Stores

This sounds absurd to many people, but it is amazing the deals you can finds through co-ops, farmer’s markets, friends/neighbors, online and special buying programs. Grocery stores tempt customers to buy processed foods with deceptive ads, prices and attractive displays. These processed foods are the opposite of a good deal; paying even a small price for something that is devoid in nutrition and increase health risks is a joke on us.

Health food/organics in grocery stores are usually quite pricey. Seek out what is available in your area, talk to others of like mind, buy in bulk and split between a few families.
links; Works for Me Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday


  1. FYI, I just bought some organic red peppers at Trader Jo's for about $1.30 each. Great deal! They also had a great deal on zucchini. It was only pennies about the non organic stuff. Also, those cute baby cucumbers at Costco don't say organic but certified pesticide free (same thing) and.....they are grown here in Wilcox. Yipee for local! There are great buys out there, you just have to look. I love the Farmers market on Center on Fridays, the freshest stuff around. All organic and local except the celery. Thanks for the post.

  2. Ohh, I didn't know about the cucumbers at Costco. Can't wait for my garden to start making peppers, the way we eat them around here, 1.30 each gets pretty spendy. I love that farmer's market. The celery isn't local? I have been getting local produce delivered (email they have celery. We live in such a great area where there is so much available. As always, thanks for sharing.

  3. I will look into them. I have heard of them but never checked it out. Thanks for the tip. Also, have you found the raw milk anywhere but out on Ocotillo?

  4. They have the most awesome stuff, fresh picked same day!

    I still get mine from Save Your Dairy, but pick it up at a drop point close to my house. They have drop points all over the valley.

  5. Wow, I love this post. We started sticking to a budget/couponing last fall, about the same time we joined an organic buying club. After doing all for a few months I've learned a lot and am starting to realize how much I dislike the grocery store and find myself looking online more and more to find deals on bulk grains and nuts and the like. The only hard thing is that the closest natural food stores are in Miami (3 hours away), but we're finding other things to get us by in the mean time. Love your blog!

  6. I find myself going to the health food stores less and less too. Farmer's Markets and buying clubs have the best of the best!

  7. I can't wait for the local farmers market to open in May. I'm also part of 2 local buying clubs, one just for meat and the other offering almost everything.

    Another tip would be to have your own garden, whatever size works for you. We are able to have a huge garden that provides tons of veggies for our family of 7 along with a number of fruit trees, bushes, and fruiting vines.

  8. Thanks for the vinegar soak tip! It's very hard to find organic produce in my town--vinegar will help get some of the chemicals off the outside at least!


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