I've been doing a little experiment ...My family is making changes to eat more whole foods. We've also decided to purchase some of our foods organic. We also have a grocery budget to work with - and stick to. So, that meant determining where I'd get the biggest bang for my buck when purchasing organic foods. For me, that means buying meat without hormones or antibiotics (grass-fed), buying dairy products and eggs organically (no hormones, antibiotics, or pesticides), and buying produce on the EWA's "dirty dozen" list organically. All canned, frozen foods, and fresh produce not on the EWA's "dirty dozen" list will be purchased conventionally. We will also be purchasing as little convenience foods as possible.
We all know buying organic usually means paying more. So, I've been shopping around trying to determine which stores have the best prices. I've been taking notes and keeping a price book. If you missed I've compared prices between three local (Chattanooga, TN) whole foods stores: Fresh Market, EarthFare, and Green Life Grocery. You can see it HERE. I know that there are lots of other whole foods stores like Trader Joes, Sprouts, and Whole Foods, but sadly none of them are in my area.
I've also visited all the local conventional markets in the area: Kroger, Publix, Ingles, Food Lion, and Bi-Lo. I have to admit that what I found suprised me. I thought I had a good idea of who had the lowest prices, but what I found was quite different than what I expected. You can see my comparisons HERE. Of all the conventional markets Bi-Lo and Food Lion have the LEAST amount of organic products and Ingles, Publix, and Kroger have the MOST. Ingles is the closest to my home and actually they have the most competive prices! So, I've been shopping there a lot more.
What I've found is Ingles offers at least a handful of organic products on sale each week in their flyer. I've been taking this time to stock up on things that are already the lowest prices as compared to the other stores I've visited. Last week they had gallons of organic Apple Juice for just over $5. I bought two. They also had organic vegetables, Muir Glen soup, and pasta sauce on sale, as well as grass fed beef chuck roasts. I used all of my grocery budget last week.
This week I am planning a trip to Earth Fare to score some fresh organic produce and some organic dairy products. I'll let you know what I find!
In the meantime, I've been researching how to buy my beef cheaper than I can get it at the store. I've looked into several farms and talked to friends and we're still trying to make a decision. We are definitely going to purchase it straight from a farmer and we have several families that are interested in going in on a whole cow - making the price per pound even cheaper!
In addition, were still looking for a good deal on organic chickens - but so far we haven't turned up any good leads on where to get them.
To read past "Organic on a Budget" posts go HERE.