Thursday, November 09, 2006

Frugal Organic

I frequently hear people complain about the cost of organic foods...but honestly, I've never had trouble buying nearly 100% organic foods on a budget. I wouldn't say it's a super strict budget...but not excessive either. We usually stay right at about $75 a week...sometimes $100. Today I was really happy with myself because I stayed within my budget, bought 100% organic, and I got TONS of stuff.

The key to it to make things from scratch. Don't buy a lot of packaged foods. Bring a list. Make a PLAN! It's that simple. It works. Click here to see notes on each item.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's awesome! I buy those same tortillas. Aren't they yummy! Will you please e-mail or post the recipe for the tortilla chips, curried split pea soup, homemade bread, and the crackers that you make for Bella? Thanks!

7:20 AM, November 10, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So these are your groceries for a week? I assume you're using some stuff already in hand (obviously). We buy stuff from scratch usually, but with produce I have a difficult time keeping to our $80/week budget. I'm looking at your haul and am undecided if we could make it a week on it.

7:47 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger FillingMyQuiver said...

I also think the key is to have this stuff be accessible to you. We live in an area where organics are NOT a priority and I would have to travel at least 45min to the closest Trader Joe's. I canNOT get the kind of stuff you have listed there at my grocery store and the small HFS in my area has insanely inflated prices b/c well, she can. She has NO competition so she can charge what she likes.
We have a budget of $75/ wk for our family of 4 and we cook EVERYTHING form scratch. We cannot do organic right now. Then again, we are also not veg. which is another thing to take into consideration.

10:23 AM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger rebecca said...

i have the same problem as "fillingmyquiver" we have only one small health food store here, but it is more for people who are not well, trying to treat issues with alternative holistic methods....your lay out of groceries looks so yummy sara...and for 55 dollars, that is rockin' girl...


3:57 PM, November 10, 2006  
Blogger Rachel said...

Can you tell us what your meals are for the week? We like to stay around $75-100/wk for groceries, too. I'd love to see a sample weekly menu if you have the time to share! :-)

12:20 PM, November 11, 2006  
Blogger Kristen said...

Where do you get all that delicious looking stuff? I can't find anywhere, where I live that I can buy grains and such loose like that.

3:32 PM, November 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi...i think i read in one of your posts that you make your own bread? Can you share your recipe, please? :D

8:50 AM, November 13, 2006  
Blogger Sara said...

I actually don't have a bread recipe that I have perfected yet...I usually just find one that looks good online and use that one. It changes everytime. Sorry! I have one for honey whole wheat that is tasty...but of course, I've misplaced it in the move.

With regards to my menu...I just try to cook very basic meals with few ingredients. If there are beans, I am now using dried beans instead of canned to save tons of money. Here are some of my more frugal meals:

Honey Lentils
Potato and Corn Chowder
Sweet Potato Chili
Cilantro Lime Soba Noodles
Bean tortillas with the fixings
Homemade pizza
Black Bean Soup
Scrambled Tofu

All of these meals would be accompanied with one of the following:

Whole wheat bread
Brown rice
Homemade chips

Eating a vegetarian diet obviously helps immensely in keeping costs down. It's worth switching for that reason alone! Hope this helps!

1:03 PM, November 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very inspiring. Buying in bulk helps so much. If you can find a co-op or buying club in your area, you get even more savings. Our distributor here in Oklahoma recently closed, but another one will open soon. These distributors are typically the same ones who deliver to the health food stores, so you get a good price break and cut out the middle man.

I'm working on all of this myself. Do you know if you can freeze cooked beans? I'm trying to shun canned beans as much as possible now, but I want cooked beans to be available to me at all times!

Leah at

1:27 PM, November 13, 2006  
Blogger Natalie said...

Thank you for introducing me to Agave nectar! I would have never noticed it on the grocery shelf if I hadn't read about it here! I'm addicted! We've been putting it in tea, and I used it in some cornbread last night. It's awesome!

2:07 PM, November 13, 2006  
Blogger Sara said...

Leah...yes, I freeze my beans. That way, I can make a huge batch of them at once. I've been soaking overnight and then cooking them in the crockpot. You just have to watch so they don't get too mushy :)

2:49 PM, November 13, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've just discovered your blog recently and you've really inspired me! I'd also like to keep my food bill as close to what yours is. Maybe in the future you could post your menu for the week?

5:59 PM, November 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was wondering...what does your daughter eat for breakfast and lunch? I'd like to feed my 17 mo. and 2/1 yr. old healthier and was wondering what your daughter ate. Thanks.

10:02 AM, November 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, you are amazing!!! I am fascinated at your self-discipline. How did you get started with your healthy eating? Did you grow up that way? How did you learn to use those different kinds of spices/oats, etc? Research on the internet? I have been wondering if I have it in me to live like this too, I really admire it. I don't know if I'm disciplined enough. But anyway, I was just curious about your history of simple living, healthy eating, etc. It's just really cool!

2:41 PM, May 21, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am trying so hard to eat organic on a budget. My partner loves crackers and I love Thai Kettle Chips. Any recipes on how to make your own?


4:20 PM, July 28, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are a family of 9. We have tons of food allergies. We don't eat a lot of meat, but we do eat white fish and occasionally some free range chicken. We live in Washington state in the Puget Sound region, and we have some great natural food stores here. Although I have the same weekly budget for groceries ($75 - 100 / week) I am not able to always buy organic. We go through a lot of produce! So I buy what I can in organic. I only have $10 to 15 for produce a week.

We buy our beans in bulk, and they are usually organic. I soak them and freeze them sometimes I boil them then freeze them. I was going to can my own, but I don't have a pressure canner.

I also make almost everything from scratch. Although we don't have a cow or a goat, we do have chickens (although they don't give milk.. LOL). We buy our yogurt, milk and cheeses.

I make pasta, although not well. I make bread (but my kids are allergic to wheat, so I am having to learn a new way to make bread).

I love your site, I like some of your recipes. Thank you!

5:19 PM, August 21, 2007  
Anonymous Kristin said...

Wow - this is great! How many are you feeding on this budget? My dh and I try to stay around $50 per week... I "sneak" organic into the cart whenever I can. I too am in a small town where the nearest whole foods type store is 1 hour either direction :(

9:35 PM, March 31, 2009  
Anonymous Erika said...

Thanks for these tips.
I will try to keep it on my budget.

6:30 PM, March 17, 2010  
Anonymous Alison said...

Will keep this is mind.
Thanks for the info.

6:59 PM, March 17, 2010  
Anonymous access query scheduler said...

This is cool.
I hope my weekly budget fits.

7:02 PM, March 17, 2010  
Anonymous Mens Tank Tops said...

WOW! A whole bunch of organic food!~ Looks really delicious..I hope I have the budget to do this for me and for my family for ..a month?

3:43 AM, March 28, 2010  
Anonymous Mass Loaded Vinyl said...

I hope I get wonderful recipes using these organic products! Thanks.

3:45 AM, March 28, 2010  
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11:32 AM, September 12, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked your article! We live in San Antonio and, while they are making strides in this area, it does not have the availability of organic foods that some of the west coast states have. And there is no way my husband will give up meat...I asked (not a good talk)! I would say that the concern with costs for organic foods is real in most areas of the country due to time constraints, not being able to make everything from scratch, and availability.

8:13 AM, November 22, 2011  
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