Today I'm sharing some easy tips for helping you to feed your family more organic food on a budget.
Like many parents, I would love to feed my children organic food 100% of the time, but let's be completely honest, it's not always realistic or possible. Organic food can be more expensive and historically it hasn't always been so easy to find, although thankfully organic food is much more readily available in the shops than it used to be. Just because it can be a little trickier, it doesn't mean we should just give up on the idea though!
You may have seen some of the buzz this month about Organic September. It's run by the Soil Association and is a month long celebration of all things organic! It's a great time to think about how we can add more organic foods to our family diet, and why it's a good idea.
What is Organic Food?
So what is organic food? Organix have put together this great little infographic that explains it perfectly - organic food is grown with fewer pesticides and no artificial additives or preservatives. Organic animal products are always free range with high standards of animal welfare and no routine use of antibiotics, and there are no GM ingredients in organic foods.
I've found that the key to getting more organic food into our family diet is to focus on a few key foods that I always try to buy organic. We usually have our milk delivered by a milkman, and I made the switch to organic milk a few years ago. Yes, it is more expensive, but I have peace of mind knowing that the animal welfare standards are higher and that antibiotics use is minimal. I try to always buy organic eggs for the same reason, and when I can afford it, I try to make sure that some of the meat that I buy is organic meat too.
When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, I've found that organic foods often taste better. Try a taste test between an organic carrot and cheap supermarket carrot, I bet you'll notice a difference! As with organic meat, I try to buy organic produce whenever I can afford it. Another food that has a noticeable taste difference is organic yogurt and cheese, it is often SO much nicer - creamy and delicious, yum!
One of the easiest organic switches for me has been tins and dried goods like flour, oats and dried fruit. A group of us (organised by my lovely mum) club together to order these kinds of foods wholesale from Infinity Foods a couple of times a year. They have an amazing variety of organic products on offer, including breakfast cereal, peanut butter and our favourite Organix snacks!
It does require an initial outlay of cash, some good planning and somewhere to store it all, but it's great having a good stock of the foods I regularly use in the cupboards and it really does save money over all.
10 Easy Ways to Eat Organic Food on a Budget
So practically speaking, can buying organic food really be affordable? Together with Organix, I have put together these 10 top tips for eating more organic food without breaking the bank:
Check prices - you may be surprised to find that some organic items cost the same or similar to non-organic.
Start small - just add 1 or 2 organic items to your shopping basket and build up from there - it's a more realistic way to get started.
Shop selectively - it's not always possible or affordable to buy only organic food, so try focusing on foods most affected by pesticides, like oranges, lemons, grapes, apples, pre-packed salad, cucumber and spinach.
Use more vegetables and pulses - good quality organic meat and fish usually cost more so introducing a few more vegetarian meals into your family menu can help save you money. Try my hidden veggie pasta sauce, easy macaroni cheese, 5 minute pesto pizza quesadillas, child friendly vegetable curry, carrot & parsnip soup or breaded aubergine slices for easy vegetarian family meals.
Buy seasonal organic produce – seasonal food is cheaper and usually much tastier too!
Have a go at growing your own organic food - it's fun, educational for the kids and a great way to save money (check out these 12 brilliant reasons to grow food with kids if you need more persuading!). If you don't have a garden, try growing your own organic herbs on a window sill, or you could even consider taking on an allotment.
Buy dried, tinned and frozen organic foods as well as fresh – they’re often cheaper, last longer and can be just as good for you.
Look out for special offers – you can often find some real bargains on fresh organic fruit and vegetables which are close to their recommended use-by date. If you can’t use them immediately, buy foods that freeze well – they’ll be perfect for making homemade smoothies and soups.
Buy organic food in bulk – Dry foods like rice, pasta and tinned foods are usually cheaper to buy in larger quantities. If you club together with friends and family you can sometimes buy direct from brands too, which can really help to save money. Look for local or online organic wholesalers for great deals on bulk organic foods (see my recommendation above)
Plan your meals – then write a shopping list and stick to it! You'll save money by only buying what you need for the week which may give you a little more wriggle room in your budget for buying more organic foods.
Do you have any great tips for buying organic food on a budget? I’d love to hear them! Comment below or use the #NoJunkJourney hashtag on social media to share your top tips!
Disclosure: This blog post was commissioned by Organix. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions expressed in this post are my own.
PS When you're buying organic food, look for the soil association logo - it looks something like this!
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