Easy Tips for Eating Real Food on a Frugal Budget

I gave you guys a few ways that my family saves money in order to eat real foods.
I have found some other fantastic ways to cut costs and enable us to eat foods that are good for our bodies.
Some of these I have tried and some of these I am in the process of implementing. 

1. Inquire about paying less for older produce at the store.

So many stores just pitch the old {but still edible} produce because consumers won't buy it.
We search until we find the perfect onion or batch of strawberries {why not?  i search, too, with prices the way they are!}.  I have contacted my local Hy-Vee about this.  I am hoping they will allow me to either take the outdated produce, or charge me a lesser fee.  We shall see!

Check out this great post for more information!

2.  Meal plan, Meal plan, Meal plan!

I don't live by a big grocery store, but we have a wonderful local store that supplies us with everything we need... except organic.  I make one big trip every two weeks to grab items that I cannot get at the local grocery store.  I ALWAYS have a list with me.  I organize my list according to what part of the store the items are in: Dairy, Meat, Produce, Toiletries, etc.

grocery list
With my list in hand {and usually my three kids} I hit the store and buy only what is on my list.  This keeps the impulse buys at bay.  It saves a lot of money in the long run!

3. Know what needs to be organic, and what will still be acceptable non-organic.

I would love to be able to eat organic 100% of the time.  But, we can't afford to do so.  I feel like in order to be good stewards of our money, we need to make the best choices as to what to do with it.  There are some items that I will only buy organic.  There are some items that I will let the "organic" label slide and just buy the regular item.  
fresh fruit and veggies
Items I try to buy organic 100% of the time:
*frozen/canned corn
*apples {anything containing apples- apple sauce, dried apple chips, etc}
*eggs {I buy cage-free... usually from Azure}
*milk {I usually buy organic for the kids and Mark and I drink regular milk with no added hormones}

I don't waste my money buying organic...
*pasta and other starches
*cheese {unless, I buy through Azure.  Then it is organic as well}

Do some research and find what items are important for your family to buy organic and which ones you can skimp on.

4. Garden... fresh produce!

We are tending to our second annual garden this year.  I am so excited to see what produces.  We only have tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, and watermelon.  I hope to gradually grow more yummy produce each year, but this is what I felt like I could handle this year.  

With just those few items, we get to have salsa, pickles, zucchini breads, salads, etc. at just a fraction of the cost... and organic!  We are picking strawberries this year, too.  I plan to make freezer jam and strawberry toppings for pancakes and waffles {goodbye maple syrup!}.

I hope those little tips help you to keep within your budget and still eat well!


1 comment:

  1. These are all great tips, Liz! I need to get better about buying organic produce from the top of the dirty dozen list. Right now our budget doesn't allow for that (plus we live in a small community that doesn't sell much organic produce), but hopefully in the future we can start doing that!