Category: recipes

9 Ways To Buy Organic Food on a Budget

save money on organic groceriesPlease tell me I’m not the only one who skips buying organic avocado just because it’s damn expensive. As much as I love to eat food clean of pesticides and chemicals, I don’t enjoy paying $6 for a pound of Strawberries. Until a few years ago, organic and clean eating were not really a thing. Only recently people started becoming aware of the importance and now almost everyone I know buys organic products. I’m one of those people who started buying organic only in the past few years.

One positive thing is, due to the mass consumption of organic groceries, we are able to find organic products in every single grocery store including Walmart. The more people buy it, the less expensive it becomes. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? At least we don’t have to make special trips to Whole Foods {moment of truth: I spend more time in Whole foods cafe than in the grocery store ūüėČ }.

8 years ago, my grocery budget was much less than my current grocery budget. With growing family and inclusion of organic groceries, our budget went up more than what I would like it to be. As I mentioned here, my grocery budget is $600 a month for 3 adults (including my visiting mom) and 2 kids. Once my mom goes back to India, I’m planning to reduce our budget to $500 a month and see if we can survive. Our budget includes produce, toiletries, household products, diaper etc.

Over the years, our grocery budget includes lot more organic products even though I do buy regular products in our diet. I follow the below ideas to eat organic food within the budget. These are easy-to-follow ideas that I use every single time.

Follow the Clean/Dirty Rule:

Do you know you don’t have to buy all Organic? Have you heard of Clean 15/Dirty 12 rule? I follow it almost to the T. I love that I don’t have to pay $7 and buy an Organic cantaloupe when I get the regular one for just $1.5.

EWG updates this list once a year and I share it on Facebook whenever there is an update.

Buy Frozen:

If we want to buy non-seasonal produce (eg. buying fresh berries in winter), we do need to pay a premium price. Because fresh berries are not available in all regions during winter. Instead, try buying frozen produce. They are much cheaper and equally, if not more, nutritious.

Gobble The Groceries:

Not kidding guys! Let’s use every damn thing we bought at the store. Even though I buy a variety of fruits and veggies at the store, my eating habit was more towards the fruits/veggies I like. The rest would sit in the fridge for days until it’s ready to go to the trash. Now I push myself to eat everything until I buy a new set of fruits and veggies.

My rule is to empty the fridge before I go shopping every single time.

Use Coupons:

You’ll probably find more coupons for junk food. But do you know you can find coupons for Organic products as well? Check grocery store apps, brand websites etc to find coupons for Organic products. If you’re buying something repeatedly, it’s better you find coupon for that product to save money consistently.

If you don’t find coupon for your favorite product, write an email to the brand about how much you love their product and request coupons.

Farmers Market:

Personally, I don’t think Farmers Market is cheap. It’s equally, if not more, expensive than a regular grocery store. However, there is a¬†trick to save when shopping at Farmers Market. Make sure you shop at the end of the hour before they close. Vendors are ready to sell you excessive produce before they leave home. For example, I got a 2 big bunches of Basil for $1 once. She asked me to keep it for free. I didn’t want to take it free, so decided to give her a dollar instead. At the end, both of us were happy. I consider that a good deal.

how to save money on organic products

Mix Your Purchases:

Not all organic products are expensive. For example, you can buy 5 pounds of organic pear for the price of 1 pound of organic Strawberry (check out the picture above). So, don’t just buy one type of expensive organic produce every time. Mix up your purchases to save money.

Buy from Regular Grocery Store:

Stay away from specialty stores such as Whole Foods for organic groceries. Do you know some dollar stores carry organic groceries? My personal favorite is ALDI. If you have one nearby, do check it out. You’ll be surprised to see some wonderful finds in there.

Grow Your Own Food:

Plant your own vegetable garden if you have space to do it. There is nothing more satisfying than knowing where our food comes from. Back when we lived in Austin, I had many more plants than now. I loved going to the backyard to pick up some fresh mint.

Buy Online:

The two websites I use for online grocery purchases are Luckyvitamin and Amazon. For a lot f items Lucky vitamin is much cheaper than Amazon. I wait till they have a sale and coupons before I make my purchases.

Do you guys follow any other ideas besides the above to save money on organic grocery shopping? I’d love to know.

First YouTube Video on Weekly Meal Planning

I’ve been meaning to shoot videos on meal planning for at least a year. As an outgoing introvert (!) I’m¬†always hesitant to throw me out in the world, be it in the blogging world or YouTube world. After so many months I got the courage to do my first video and here I am posting¬†it on meal planning. Guess that deserve a separate post? ūüôā

Healthy Dessert: Frozen Yogurt Bark

Healthy Dessert - Frozen Yogurt BarkI hope i’m not the only one who has sweet tooth and crave something sweet after every meal. It’s definitely an effort not to go overboard on sweets. So I don’t keep any just food at home and I’m always on the hunt for healthy desserts.

Recently I came across this frozen yogurt bark and in the last couple of weeks I made it twice. The first time, I finished almost all of it in one day. The second time, rest of the family joined me. Yup!

Frozen Yogurt Bark with Kiwi Fruit

Ingredients:

  1. Vanilla yogurt (You can even use plain yogurt and mix it with Honey)
  2. Mango
  3. Walnuts
  4. Raisins

Direction:

  • Simple pour the yogurt onto the baking sheet and spread evenly
  • Top it with mango, walnuts, and raisins
  • Freeze overnight
  • Break it into barks and Enjoy!

Side notes:

  • The bark can topped with any your favorite fruits and nuts
  • It required less than 5 minutes of prep time
  • It has enough sweetness from natural sources to satisfy your craving
  • Fat free yogurt works perfectly fine
  • I got box full of bark from just 1 small cup of yogurt. So even if you eat all of it,¬†the total calories will be less
  • You can make the bark as thin/thick as possible. The freezing time varies depends on the thickness

Veggie Pizza Cups

When the clock hits 5 PM and you crave for snack, this pizza cups will save you from becoming HANGRY ūüôā One day when I opened the refrigerators, these¬†wanton wrappers were staring at me. The hungry me decided to try veggie pizza cup recipe¬†that is super simple and hardly takes 20 minutes. I only used 1 tea spoon of oil and 1 cup of cheese for a recipe that satisfies 4 adults and a toddler. So¬†can we¬†consider it as¬†a healthy¬†pizza?

Ingredients:

  1. Wanton wrappers – 10 nos
  2. Frozen bell peppers – 1 cup
  3. Sharp cheddar cheese – 1 cup
  4. Pasta sauce – 1/2 cup
  5. Salt and pepper – to taste
  6. Oil – 1 tea spoon

Directions:

  1. Add a tea tea spoon of oil in a pan and sauté  the vegetables with salt, and pepper until they are half cooked
  2. Cut the wonton wrappers into 4 squares
  3. Place each square in a muffin pan hole
  4. Fill the squares with a teaspoon of pasta sauce first
  5. On top of it, fill up the sautéed veggies and cheese
  6. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes
  7. If you have veggies burgers or chicken pieces, you can add them as well

These pizza cups are a hit in our home. I made them as snack last time. This time, my family asked me to them make as a side for soup dinners. Good idea, right?

 

Tofu Masala Burger Patties

Lately, we have been using tofu as a burger patty when making burger for dinner. I used to buy organic veggie burger patties and they are so expensive (1 patty was more than a $1). Instead, I started making burger patties using organic tofu. I typically marinate tofu with salad dressing and the end result was decent.

For the past couple of weeks, I decided to marinate with indian spices and the result is soooo good. The burger patty came out spicy and tasty that we started eating it as an appetizer.

As I mentioned earlier, not all my recipes come out well (example, my Instagram rambling here)

So, if I’m sharing a recipe here, you can assume that it tastes good. If you love Indian food and want some spicy veggie burger patty, you should give this one a try.

Ingredients:

Direction:

  1. Remove the tofu from the package and press well to drain the water
  2. Place a heavy object on top of the tofu and let it sit for 30 minutes to drain the water completely (I keep my Instantpot on top of tofu covered in cloth)
  3. Once all the water is drained, cut the tofu into 8 pieces
  4. Combine all the other ingredients above in a bowl
  5. Marinate the tofu with the mix and let it sit for 30 minutes
  6. Pan fry the tofu for 5 minutes each side and serve

My burger contains 1 piece of the tofu patty, 1 spinach omlette, and cheese. If I have more time, I serve my burgers with over baked sweet potato french fries.