If you are one of those people who has experienced sticker shock after picking up whole organic foods then keep reading!
I have 3 things you need to know about buying Whole Organic Foods that will change your mind and get you eating a better quality of foods.
#1- Don't dismiss the discount stores.
We have a store called Aldi, it's known as a discount store. There are no frills and you need to bring you own bags and a quarter to get a grocery cart. Until recently it was a cash only store which kept a lot of people away. But I found it to be a great way to keep from overspending on things I just didn't need! They do accept credit and debit cards now but I still like shopping with cash in there.
The owners of Aldi and Trader Joes are brothers! So that gives them so credibility right off the bat for me.
They have a small organic section of fresh fruits and veggies. Their produce section isn't very big so they get trucks in more often.
I buy most of my meats there, they have grass fed ground chuck for $5.49 lb and organic free range chicken.
They carry a brand called 'Simply Nature' which is mostly better for your body ingredients, at least the ones I've looked at. I don't buy a lot of processed foods so I'm not a great judge for them. What I have bought I've liked. I get a granola cereal on a regular basis.
I've noticed a decent selection of gluten free items. I've tried the 'live G-free' brownie mix, I really couldn't tell the difference and I like the idea of having a wheatless treat.
#2- Buy your fruits and veggies in bulk and freeze them.
My girls used to tease me about using my freezer so much, but now that they have families they are calling asking me what they can and can't freeze!
I can't tell you how much pleasure it is for me to gloat when the ask. ;-)
One of our girls is nursing her 2-month old who has a sensitive digestive system. She is avoiding dairy and sugar as well as eating limited amounts of nuts and nut butter.
For Easter dessert, she asked for fresh strawberries and angel food cake. By the time I made it to the store the berries were well picked over. I knew I had frozen strawberries from the last season that I put in my smoothies and decided to use them.
I thawed them and placed them in the skillet to cook down. I didn't need to add anything to them because when they thaw they release a lot of their juice. I sliced the cake and spooned the compote over it. I did add a tiny sprinkle of raw sugar to give it a bit more sweetness as I served it.
This is one of the many things I freeze when I get them on sale at the store or from a farmers market. Or fresh from my garden.
If you are going to freeze there are a few simple guidelines to follow.
Once I have them in individual bags I will put a few bags in a larger freezer bag. Just to give it a little extra protection. I did invest in a food saver which I love. This has saved me lots of money.
I have a membership to Costco and will buy meats and fish in bulk and repackage it to freeze or share with family or friends.
When you are refreezing meats try to buy them still frozen or before they are completely thawed. Meats and fish can only freeze twice before they go bad and they usually come to the store frozen.
I like sharing with my friends or family. Sometimes I meet my daughter or a friend and we share the items.
It makes shopping more fun when you have someone with you and you can get things you might not otherwise buy by being able to share. Like lettuce, even if I eat a salad every day and I can't eat it all, but if I half the container with someone then we both get good food at savings.
#3- Make Friends With Local Farmers.
I have friended people in my community that raise organic chicken, pigs and beef. I have two other families that raise chickens for their eggs. Again, I use my freezer a lot but it saves me so much money, time and I know the source that my food is coming from.
In the summer months I shop at out Farmers Market to get the fresh produce and baked goods that I don’t fix or have time to fix at home. I know I’m helping support a neighbor and in turn they take really good care of the foods I eat. It’s a win-win!!
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