Crunchy on the Cheap

I would love to eat fresh, organic food everyday. However, it is difficult to do that and still pay the bills!

I have learned some secrets, from shopping around, that have helped me to find healthy, natural food with out breaking the bank.

–Discount grocery stores, such as Save a Lot, get a variety of items that are overstock from other stores. This month, Save a Lot had nitrate free hot dogs, lunch meat, brats, and bacon from Trader Joe’s. The lunch meat sold for 99 cents a pack! They also often have whole grain pasta, bread, and pita bread very inexpensively. Their butter has the same plant number on it as Country Fresh, which is rBST-free.

–It’s so easy to spend a whole paycheck at a food co-op or organic market! But they are really great for bulk items, especially spices. Sometimes the organic, whole wheat flour at our food co-op sells for 99 cents a pound.

–We all know about farmers’ markets in the summer. But permanent fruit markets can be great too. We found one that sells antibiotic-free, free-range eggs inexpensively.

–Small lot, overstock stores can be good sources of prepackaged natural food. We have one here, called Merchandise Outlet, that carries organic milk boxes, Fruitabu, and organic coffees and teas.

Coffee Bean Direct sells green (you need to roast them yourself), organic, fair trade coffee beans for $5 a pound or less. They have free shipping if you buy 25 pounds or more.

–Discount Food Stores can be an absolute treasure trove! We have a store in town that sells organic canned vegetables and sauces for 50 cents a can. Annie’s Mac and Cheese is 69 cents a box. I’ve even gotten herbal supplements, homeopathic remedies, and natural beauty products.

–If you live near an Amish community and you’re not shopping there, you’re missing out! In the summer, we’ve gotten delicious produce very inexpensively. Our Amish run two stores. One is a discount food store, with pre-packaged items, and the other store sells cage-free, antibiotic-free eggs for $1.50 a carton. They sell organic cheese, bulk flour, herbal supplements, fruits and vegetables (in season), and so on. Remember to bring cash or a checkbook!

I’ve found that I save money if I make a menu plan (this website has some good ones!) and make as much as I can from scratch. These two snow days have given me lots of time to get ahead on my cooking!

old stove

One thought on “Crunchy on the Cheap

  1. Great ideas! Our Amish here have a bent and dent store where you can find the best bargains. And all the local Amish farmers do have really nice produce in the summer, very reasonably priced. You’ve got to save where you can.

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