If you have a tight grocery budget, food shopping is a challenge, to say the least. You want to feed your family the most healthful meals that you can, but it seems like the healthier a food is, the more it costs. There are a few ways that you can get fresh, healthy food for your family without breaking the bank. Try the following tips and see whether they can work for your family.
If you live somewhere with room for a garden, or even a balcony with room for some potted plants, you may want to try your hand at growing some of your own vegetables. Skip chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and enjoy fresh, organic produce all summer long. If your garden bursts forth with more abundance than you can eat, can or freeze some for use during the colder months. Certain vegetables such as tomatoes are pricey even when they are in season, so even if you have a couple of potted tomato plants and some herbs you will spend less at the market.
Look around your local community to see whether there are any CSA programs that you could join. A CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture program, is a great way to get fresh vegetables all summer long while paying less than you would if you bought them at the store. Each person that joins a CSA pledges a certain amount of money to pay for their entire season’s worth of vegetables. The money is usually paid in advance so that the farm can cover its operating costs as they go about planting and growing the produce.
Farmers’ markets are another way that you can save money on fresh produce. You can also often find organic fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets, and the prices are lower than at the grocery store because you are buying directly from the farmers. Since fresh fruits and vegetables are not always in season, you will have to buy your produce from the grocery store at least part of the time. You can help your food dollars go further by prioritizing your produce selections and buying some organic produce and some that is conventionally grown. There are some foods where buying organic makes a huge difference as far as your exposure to pesticides. For example, it is important to buy organic apples, strawberries, and potatoes but it is less important to buy organic bananas and pineapples.
How does your family save money on fresh, healthful foods?