Earlier last month I talked about how we feed our family of six on $400-$450 a month, yet we still manage to eat organic food for much of our diets. Regardless of what the critics and naysayers tell us, healthy food does not need to be expensive. In fact, if you know a few hidden secrets you can feed yourself and your whole family with healthy products and still keep your food budget low. I talked last week about the benefits of organic foods, and how we eat organic foods for a decent part of our diet, and manage to do so inexpensively compared to what most people spend on their grocery budget without buying organic. Today, in order to give you more insight on how to feed your family a healthy diet I’m sharing five great places where you can get healthy food for yourself and/or your family without going over the grocery budget.
5 Ways to Get Healthy Foods for Less
Although some people say that shopping in farmers’ markets is expensive – that’s simply not true if you shop smart. Local markets are always full of the freshest vegetables, fruits, and meat. So you as a frugal shopper need to know one basic thing – buying in bulk there is essential. Don’t buy just a small bag of potatoes – buy one huge bag and stock it somewhere safe and sound, such as in your unfinished basement or your home-dug root cellar. Don’t buy chicken breast – buy the whole chicken and save big time. This way you will be able to eat healthy for long, cook many different meals and save huge amounts of money. Also, remember that bargaining is definitely open to farmers’ market vendors, especially if you hit them up at the end of the day.
Clearly one of the places where you can get healthy food is specialty stores in your city such as Trader Joe’s. Often times stores like these offer great healthy foods – including snack foods – at great prices. And to add to your healthy food savings even further, you can use sites such as ChameleonJohn.com , a website that is full of discount codes and coupons for frugal shoppers like me and you. Check their food category and find many specialized healthy food stores offering great deals both online and off!
Online grocery shopping is also an option worth mentioning. To be fair, e-stores sometimes are even better than regular stores, and there are at least two reasons. First of all, you will be able to shop for the healthiest and greenest ingredients there are because of the huge variety of ecological e-stores. Secondly, buying in bulk is available too and is a huge money-saver. Bonus in that you can get the products delivered to your door and save on gas too. For those of us living in the boonies, this is HUGE.
In Your Store’s Frozen Section
You can also find a lot of cheap and healthy products just in your local store’s frozen section. Frozen vegetables or fruits have the same food value as fresh ones (and often better), and they cost a lot less as well. Moreover, buying frozen in bulk also pays off a lot if you have a zero-temp freezer at your household where you can stock them all. At our local warehouse club, we get a 4 pound bag of frozen organic green beans for $6.69. That’s a ridiculously low price for high quality food. This is why I often suggest investing some money into a deep freezer in order to make your store bought and home grown organic veggies and fruits last longer.
In Your Garden
As you know, our Frugal Farmer garden is a big part of how we feed our family organic food for cheap. You don’t have to own a farm to have an abundant garden. Check out this post on gardening in small spaces to see how you can put a garden in your home no matter where you live. The key to gardening successfully in small and in big places is to choose to grow fruits, veggies and herbs that are the most commonly used in your home. If you love tomatoes, put a tomato plant or two on the deck. If you buy lots of cilantro, grow a cilantro plant on your sunlight-filled window sill. Whatever you grow that you aren’t going to use, give it away, sell it or freeze or can it for later use.
Eating well and eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a lot. It’s all about making smart choices and foregoing the junk food (most of the time, at least) and instead spending your money on higher quality organic finds. Soon after you implement a healthier eating lifestyle, you’ll find that those bright red chips and carbonated sodas aren’t quite as appealing as they used to be. And as a bonus, you’ll feel great.