One of the biggest complaints I hear about eating organic is that it’s expensive. Many people have said they would love to switch over but it’s just too much money. It is true, organic food can be expensive. And there’s no real way to get around it except to save money in other areas so that we can afford to buy organic. I have cut out other expenses and am trying to save every way possible so that we can continue to eat organic foods. It’s that important to me. If you do decide to switch over, here are some great posts to help make the big switch:
Money Saving Tips:
1. Composting – I am trying to start a compost right now. We have to figure out where we want to put it, how we want to contain it, and if we want to use worms to help break it down. You could get a smaller garbage can after doing this because you won’t have as much waste as before and that saves money for sure. And recycling of course, but I think everyone is already doing that. Here’s some good information on composting: http://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/which-composting-method-is-best-for-you-infographic-helps-you-decide.html.
2. Dry Clothes Outside – Of course this is dependent on the weather. So do it when you can, especially blankets/sheets. We have a fire going during the winter and dry our clothes in front of it after going out in the snow.
3. Buy Used and Reuse – Buy anything used that you can. This saves you money and helps the environment. There are consignment shops, garage sales, Craigslist, and tons of places to buy used. I get used clothes for my kids and myself from different people whenever it is offered. I save everything, even if it doesn’t fit because it might fit later. I thought I would never lose weight and I did eventually, so I was glad that I saved some of my old clothes. I have totes of clothes for the kids in my garage that don’t fit them yet but will one day (this includes coats and shoes). And the used clothing store that I really like will also give you money for your used stuff so I can bring stuff in there I don’t need anymore and exchange for stuff I do need.
4. Power/Water – Shut off the lights and turn off the water! I am constantly making sure things are off in our house if we aren’t using them. It helps keep our power bill at an affordable rate. I think you can setup your power bill so that you can pay the average amount every month instead of paying so much during the winter, but I haven’t tried it yet. Also use energy saving appliances. And don’t let the water run while you are doing dishes or brushing your teeth. You could even shut off the shower while you are soaping up in the shower.
5. Barter/Trade – If you have something to offer and someone else has something to offer, why not do a trade? I’m thinking about offering my good friend Jeanette some stuff out of our garden in exchange for a haircut. I wonder if she’ll go for it? 😉 This would save us both money and I don’t cut my hair that often anyway. I definitely don’t dye it anymore either so that really saves.
6. Collect Rain Water – We started collecting rain water in rain water barrels recently. We bought the barrels from a guy off Craigslist for pretty cheap and then my husband hooked them up to one of our gutter drains. I am trying to get him to write a post on how he did it because it’s a pretty cool system and goes right to our big garden bed. And yes, we have a filter setup.
7. Gardening – We started a bigger garden this year and are learning as we go. Here’s my post about it: Gardening – The Beginning.
8. Raise Your Own Meat – I found out we can actually have chickens here in our neighborhood. I never would have thought we could, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. We don’t have a fenced yard though so I want to wait until we do so they aren’t caged up all the time. If you can’t have any kind of farm animals, you could go in on it with someone. If they have the animals, you could pay for the eggs and meat. Or go in on a whole or half cow together at a meat market. I know the Farm Fresh Market sells them.
9. Natural Ways to Store Food – I saw these on 100 Days of Real Food, reusable sandwich baggies. Here’s where you can find them: http://neat-os.com/product-category/bundles. They aren’t cheap but after you buy them you can just keep reusing and never have to buy ziploc bags again. And you can use 100 Days of Real Food’s coupon code “100days” for 20% off.
10. Cloth Napkins/Reusable Sponges – There are cloth napkins you can buy on Amazon or 100 Days of Real Food has a great idea of buying plain white cocktail napkins and tie-dye them! I like that idea. And I found reusable ‘sponges’ at Kohl’s, see the picture to the right. They have worked great so far and I have had them for many months now. I just throw them in the washing machine when they need washed.
11. Coupons/Stocking Up – If you shop at Kroger or Fred Meyer, they have a Simple Truth brand. You can go to their website and load coupons onto your card before you go shopping. They also send coupons in the mail. And there’s a website/Facebook page for organic deals & coupons: http://www.organicdeals.com/. Also, stock up on foods that are on sale when you can.
12. Canning – We haven’t tried this yet but we have a lot of tomato plants growing and if we get an abundance of tomatoes we want to can them. We can make salsa, diced tomatoes, and tomato sauce. And if we get a lot of cucumbers that we can’t eat (or juice), we want to make pickles. I just found out my mom has all the canning supplies! She doesn’t think she will use them so this is another barter/trade opportunity. I can give her some of what we make if she lets me use them.
13. Make Your Own Cleaners – After we switched to organic foods, one of the first things I did was make our own cleaners. It is pretty easy and saves money. Here’s my post on Natural Cleaners Made Easy.
14. Vehicle Maintenance – Do your own oil changes and other car maintenance, if you can. I’m lucky that my husband used to work at Les Schwab so he can do our brakes and stuff too. Saves a ton in labor costs! He’s also a computer guy so he can fix our computers or even build us a computer when we need one. He’s definitely a keeper huh? 😉
15. Making Food Last – If there are leftovers in the fridge that I don’t think are going to get eaten, I freeze them. We typically eat leftovers for lunch but there are those occasions where we have too much. Then at a later time, I can pull them out to eat or add to something to make another dinner. i.e. I had too much spaghetti sauce so I froze the rest to make spaghetti another night. Or I bought some strawberries and they started going bad right away, so I cut off the bad parts and froze them for smoothies. And my son didn’t finish his banana so I sliced it up and put it in the freezer.
16. Wear Clothes More Than Once – I actually take the time to check my kids’ clothes to see if they are dirty before washing them. It doesn’t make sense to me to wash something that looks and smells clean and can be worn again. Especially if they only wear it one time! It’s worth it to me to save money and have less laundry to fold. 😉 I wear my clothes more than once too!
17. Reduce Cable Costs – Cancel cable or do a basic plan and get Netflix, Hulu, and/or Amazon Prime. Netflix and Hulu are less than $10/month and Amazon Prime is about $80/year and you get free shipping with your purchases through Amazon, free books to choose from each month, and Amazon Prime instant TV that gives you different TV shows and movies to choose from. We save so much by doing this. I don’t really watch TV now but do like to watch an occasional movie and there are some great food documentaries available through Netflix! I don’t have Hulu though so I don’t know a lot about that one.
18. Use Less – My former boss’ husband worked as an appliance repairman and he says you don’t need to put so much soap in your dishwasher or washer. I put half the recommended amount and everything comes out just as clean. That goes for shampoo and toothpaste too. We don’t need to use so much shampoo to clean our hair and you only need a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
19. Use a Reusable Water Bottle – You will save money by not purchasing bottled water all the time and it helps the environment too. Here’s the one I use. They have different colors available and it’s dishwasher safe.
There are probably many more ways to save money but this is what I have come up with so far and is what I am doing, or plan on doing, to continue to save money so we can have healthy organic foods. Plus, eating healthy saves in medical costs!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same, but Organic Fibro Mommies will earn a small commission (which helps to offset web hosting fees, maintenance, etc.). Your support is greatly appreciated!