Buying Organic – Where to Save and Where to Splurge

UPDATE: I had to share this resource from Kitchen Stewardship from her Eat Well, Spend Less series. This post has great ideas on where you can save when it comes to groceries by making your own yogurt, cooking with dried beans, freezing fruit, etc.

Oh, Rachael Ray … I can’t bear to watch your show, but your magazine. That’s another thing. I heart it. Especially when you share great tips on eating healthy.

I’ve been trying my darndest to migrate our diets to a more clean and organic focus. It hasn’t happened overnight and we’re still far from where we should be, but any progress is a step in the right direction, right?

So, here’s the deal …


If you can peel it, buy conventional. This is a great way to save, check out this list of the dirty dozen and clean fifteen and give it a try when purchasing produce. Better yet, start your own garden and just be sure to buy quality seeds or starts.

Skip bagged organics. You pay for the convenience of pre-chopped/washed produce. Take the extra 5 minutes and chop your own lettuce :)

Buy conventional rice, bread and pasta. Make the focus of grains, whole grains, like brown rice and whole grain pasta, not necessarily organic.

Buy store-brand dairy. Many store brands have started buying from farms who pledge to not use artificial growth hormones. Store brand versions are typically half the price of their organic counterparts. Or, check out cow milk alternatives – there are so many options!


Buy organic eggs. Eggs label organic are lower in saturated fat and higher in omega-3 and beta-carotene. Better yet, buy your eggs local from a farm near you, there is nothing better than seeing where your eggs come from to insure they are a legit product.

Buy grass-fed meat. Grass-fed meat are higher in omega-3 and other healthy fats. Although twice the price of conventional meat you can lower the cost by getting creative with budget cuts like chuck, flank, or skirt steak. If you have a deep freezer, consider purchasing a 1/4 or 1/2 cow with a close friend or family member. A bulk meat purchase cuts down the price/pound while supporting local farmers.

Buy organic chicken in bulk. Healthier much like grass-fed beef, but a much cheaper protein option. Again, buy in bulk and consider purchasing the whole bird instead of just breasts or thighs.

Alrighty, now you jump in … how do you save at the grocery store while still focusing on healthy choices?
Save/Splurge adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine, October 2011 edition
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  1. Bianca Tarleton says

    This goal is on brief hiatus, but once I establish a routine with Penelope I made the commitment to baking all of our bread products at home. I don't use a bread maker, and even so have discovered lots of yummy recipes for family goes crazy over my homemade soft pretzels! I just need to perfect my sandwich bread recipe and I'm good to go on most breads we eat! it saves money and I can control what goes into it.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing! I am trying to get more organic meats. Man, that stuff is HIGH!

  3. Amy @ Anktangle says

    This is very helpful, thank you! Sharing in my Sunday Surf. =)

  4. ThatMamaGretchen says

    It is! I would recommend buying a whole cow/pig and splitting it amongst a few families. We get an local, healthy cow for approx $3/pound.

  5. ThatMamaGretchen says

    Oooo – you'll have to share your bread recipes!