Money Saving Tip #1: Wholesale memberships.
Although I don’t go to Costco frequently, there is a short list of things I stock up on when I do. Of these are: Irish butter, clean artisan cheeses, epsom salts (for the bath), white vinegar (for cleaning), baking soda (for cleaning), organic fruit (if available), organic vegetables (if available), organic sugar, & sparkling water (plain). Sometimes you can also find good deals on grass-fed beef, and whole organic chickens. Aside from buying these staples, I really do think it is hard to find additive free food there! And when you do buy something from Costco that isn’t clean, you often end up having way more of it than you need (meaning money down the drain).
Money Saving Tip #2: Your local farmer’s market or a CSA (meat CSAs exist too)!
This is my favorite place to get fresh fruit, veggies, fish, meat, cheese & flowers! Nothing beats a weekly trip to your local market. If that’s not in your schedule, there is always the option to join a CSA (community supported agriculture) and get a box of fresh goodies delivered to you weekly from a local farm. There are even meat CSA's! Check your area's CSA offerings for more information.
Money Saving Tip #3: Amazon Subscribe & Save.
If you haven't heard of this yet, let me fill you in. Amazon offers a discounted price (up to 15%) for some items if you "subscribe" to receive it in regular intervals (ie. every x months, etc.). This is a great option for items you need on a regular basis, but don't want to think about! I like to think of subscribe and save as a way to automate some of my household shopping (much like an EASY button)!
Money Saving Tip #4: Local farm deliveries or a buyer’s club.
In Seattle there are a few buyers clubs where you can get great deals on lots of high quality real food. Use google to find out if there are any buyers clubs in your area (sometimes these are run in yahoo groups) and can be a great money-saving tool. Local farms also usually have a drop off service for high quality, often raw milk and/or pastured eggs. Look here to find out if your area has a real milk drop off!
Money Saving Tip #5: Meal Planning
A little meal planning for your family can go a long way. Not only does it leave you prepared with nutrient dense food at (almost) all times, but it can help you save money by planning ahead and buying in bulk. I absolutely LOVE these meal plans from Emily of Holistic Squid. She even has a free preview so you can see how her meal plans work 🙂
So that’s my list of money-saving tips to help make real food affordable. What are yours?