Organic vs. Non-Organic (How to eat organic for the same prices as non-organic food)

by Living Freely Gluten Free

Organic food has a stigma attached to it that it costs more than eating non-organic. In some circumstances that is true but if you price watch, sale shop and do some creative tweaking you can easily switch to an organic or mostly organic without breaking the bank.

Why an organic diet? The benefits of an organic diet are dramatic. If it is certified organic (Link to to maybe answer your questions better) then it is also Non-GMO, it is free of pesticides (which are linked to causing cancer, autism and birth defects). Animal products are free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

I would consider us on a 80/20 diet. 80% organic and 20% non-organic. I am picky about the products that I buy non-organic and there are certain items that I will not budge on as far as organic goes.

The biggest reason for that 20% is because of the things I am unable to find organic such as: pork, steak meat, a lot of spices and rice flour. I have bought organic rice flour before and I totally will when it is in the budget but right now our budget is very tight living on one income so that is a splurge not a necessity at this point.

My non-negotiable items consist of:

Apples and Applesauce
Berries (all types)
Nectarines and Peaches
Potatoes (All types)
Ground Beef
Lettuce, Spinach or any type of leafy greens
Milk or any dairy product (yogurt, cheese…)
Fruit Snacks
Colored Candy (organic candy doesn’t contain food coloring, food coloring is a major NO NO)
Corn Chips (I try to avoid all non-organic corn because they are highly GMO)
Popcorn (Always organic pop corn popped on the stove, never microwaved bagged popcorn)
Tomatoes and Canned Tomatoes
Sugar (Organic or Coconut Sugar is all I use)
Squash and Zucchini

Items that are cheaper organic if you buy from the right store…

This is the perfect example!!! Keep your eye out for things like this!

Applesauce Pouches- At Target the non-organic Market Pantry pouches were 12 for $5.99. At Costco Kirkland organic pouches are 24 for $9.99. $2 cheaper to buy the organic version at Costco.

Chips- Costco’s huge bag of any type of organic chips range for $4-$6 typically and a small bag of non-organic chips runs around $3-4 at the grocery store.

Popcorn- A bag of organic corn kernels at Trader Joes is $1.99 you can make more than 5 huge batches of pop corn with one bag. How much have you paid for a box of non-organic pop corn with 5 or so bags in it? Either the same price or more I am sure. Each batch of stove top popcorn is at least 2 bags of microwaved popcorn.

Ground Beef- At Winco one pound of organic ground beef is $5.99. One pound of ground beef at Target is $5.50. For .50 more you can make an organic choice.

Chicken- I buy it on clearance. I love checking the stores for clearance meat. It is usually a few days from the best buy date but I throw it in the freezer as soon as I get home and it is good-to-go!! Organic chicken breast is usually about $8 a pound and I get a coupon for $3-$4 off and I am getting it for $4-5 a pound and that is either the same as non-organic or cheaper depending on where you buy from.

I got over a pound of organic chicken thighs for $3.43!

Sugar- The organic sugar in the bulk bins at Winco is incredibly reasonable. It is more than regular white granulated sugar but this is something that is worth the extra.

Tea- Tea can be expensive in general but organic is a must as they do not wash the leaves at all. Target has a store brand organic is a lot of flavors that is priced very well. I also bought a huge box of organic black tea at Winco for very cheap.

Spinach and Spring Mix Salad- A huge container of this at Costco is only $3.99. Leafy greens are on my non-negotiable list so I buy these at Costco.

Eggs- Two dozen organic eggs at Costco is $6.99, that’s $3.50 a dozen. I have easily seen non-organic eggs go for $3 a dozen at the grocery store and just cage free brown eggs for $4 a dozen.

Yogurt- A tub of organic yogurt at Trader Joes is $3.20. I have seen non-organic tubs of yogurt go for $3 or more at the grocery store.

Frozen Veggies- You can buy a huge bag of frozen veggies at Costco or you can buy single serve size bags at Trader Joes for prices that are only cents more than the non-organic one. When Target has their organic simply balanced frozen veggies on sale with a cartwheel then the prices are usually very good.

Wine- I do not find it often but when I do I find organic red wine for $7a bottle and the ones I’ve had are really good. I found them at Trader Joes and Costco.

To sum it up the best places I have personally found to find rock bottom organic prices (mind you I live on the West Coast) is Costco, Trader Joes, Target and Winco.

Does your family eat organic? If so, what are you tips for staying on a budget?
I will keep you updated on any great finds I come across…

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