Filling your cabinets with yummy organic, all natural goods can be daunting if you don’t know where to look and how to budget. Once you’ve done the research and are ready to take action, be sure to map out your options so you reduce costs as much as possible. Think stores online and offline and shop with intention. If you don’t have a list or a clear focus, you run the risk of walking out with a lot more stuff than you need or can afford.
1. Get Organized – Your shopping list is your game plan and it will save you plenty of money in the long-run. Be sure to use it when you’re shopping online too. Get your list soldified but don’t trash it once you’ve checked off your items; keep it handy so you can use it as a template for your weekly shopping. You can also make online shopping lists and monitor your supplies so you know when to replenish. Keeping inventory makes all the difference so you can shop in bulk when you’re out and get free shipping!
2. Compare Prices – Use Google to search for the non-produce items you want and try to shop in bulk online to avoid costly shipping charges. For instance, when I need my supplements and other baking goods or snacks, I go to sites like Vitacost.com and compare across brands of whatever product I’m looking for. I especially love that the site has their own private label that rivals big brand names’ prices but is comparable in quality. Customers leave reviews which can make all the difference when deciding on new products to purchase. If I’m on the fence about about something I want online, I try to find it in a health food store or Whole Foods so I can see it firsthand and ask someone about it. If the price is higher in-store, I’ll go ahead and order it online. The other thing I love about Vitacost is that it ships within 2 days so you don’t have to wait too long. Your saved inventory list will allow you to plan out your reorder in time before you run out.
3. Join A Local Co-Op – Joining a community garden or produce share is a fantastic way to connect to your neighbors and receive regularly scheduled local produce deliveries. Co-Ops provide the chance to support local farmers and keep the variety flowing. Every week brings different fresh items fo r nearly wholesale prices. Plus, everything is in-season which makes it even tastier.
4. Shop In-Season – If you’re not able to join a co-op, be sure to shop for veggies and fruits that are in-season and/or locally grown. You can avoid costly impot fees and savor the taste of yummy seasonal food! I only allow myself to splurge on berries as they are currently not in-season, but I feel they’re worth the cost.
5. Buy Frozen Organic Produce – Frozen veggies and fruit can be just as tasty as their fresh counterparts but without the high cost. I particularly love to shop forzen for my smoothies.
* One caveat I want to mention is to avoid the luxury items that tempt you in the aisles. Items such as beauty products, trendy foods, fancy condiments, and novelties can really add up. I usually reserve splurging for this online as I can stick to a list and budget without the impulse shopping. Make sure you stick to your game plan!