I really want to feed my family the best but my budget is tight. I don’t have the money to afford fresh, clean, whole foods. Sound familiar? If so you are part of a large section of the population. We want what is best for our kids but we live in a time when a burger costs less than a salad. It is a darn shame if you ask me. We should have the freedom to feed our families happy but the economy holds us back. Here are some times to save money and feed your family Whole Foods on a budget.
Feed your family whole foods on a budget
Start a garden big or small. If you find yourself without room to garden grow food in pots outside your door or even grow plants inside your home. For those lucky enough you can start a garden large enough to provide produce for your family for the majority of the year. If you find yourself with more than you need trade with friends and family for a larger verity or can for the winter.
Eating produce in season gets you the best deals. Look for fresh local grown in-season produce for the best prices. Our local Aldi carries all of the locally grown produce at amazing prices through the warm weather months. Preserve foods as they are in season to enjoy year-round allowing you to truly take advantage of seasonal prices.
Visit your local farmers’ market. Your local farmers market will often have the best prices on the freshest produce. Visiting close to closing time will get you extra discounts as vendors work to clear out stock so they do not have to pack it up. You will find what is in season and if you go later in the day you may even find better deals as farmers race to avoid packing everything up to go home.
Look for deals to feed your family for less.
Look for a CSA or co-op in your local area for great deals on produce, milk, eggs, and even pasture fed meats. Most of these require advanced sign up during the winter to allow the farmers to grow enough for everyone. Sometimes mid-season CSAs will open up shares from canceled members and you can get a spot so keep checking.
You pick is a great way to save a lot of money. You pick your own food and pay less for it. The kids learn where food comes from. All in all, it is well worth the time investment. Our children love to go pick berries, apples, oranges, and even green beans and tomatoes at local farms. We come home to can or freeze as much of the delicious fresh food as we can so we have it when they are no longer in season. One time we scored 5-gallon buckets of tomatoes for only $2 each at a local you-pick farm.
Shop the bulk bins for things like grains, nuts, and seeds at a steep discount. Every time we go into the health food store I check the bulk bins for clearance sales. These bins often have sales as well so you can rotate a stock up. These items last longer when stored in airtight containers or frozen so don’t be afraid to buy large amounts of a really great deal that you know you will use.
Keep an eye out for manager specials on produce, meats, and dairy. I love snatching these up or taking advantage of our local grocery stores buy one get one free sale for half price meats. These meats usually need to be frozen or used right away. When putting your groceries away place all of your clearance finds in one spot and deal with them that night so you are unlikely to forget them. As long as these meats get used for frozen the same day you won’t lose a dime and in the end, you will save more than you could have hoped for. A vacuum sealer goes a long way for this. I have more tips to save on meats.
Learn to can, dehydrate, and otherwise, preserve your foods. While learning these skills takes time you can really save your family money when you can store your food taking up less space and letting less go to waste. The end goal should be to never throw away unused food that has gone bad. As fresh produce becomes less fresh chop and freeze it for use in soups. When buying preserve and store your food so it will not go bad or fall prey to pests.