Whether you’re just starting to explore organic options or have been eating organic for decades, you probably want to get the best value for your dollar at the grocery store. While eating organic may have a reputation as being spendier, the truth is you can plan delicious organic meals for you and your family while sticking to your budget. Read on for some useful, practical tips for planning organic meals on a budget.
First, it’s important to know that while organic foods may have a reputation for being expensive, it doesn’t have to be that way.The key is to prioritize cooking fresh foods at home and planning your meals in advance.
Planning organic meals requires you to do many things and can sometimes feel overwhelming. Hopefully, we can help you get started with some simple tips.
Being budget-conscious requires you to first understand what you can spend on food each week. Consider all of your weekly expenses to determine your budget for groceries. This number will be unique to you, based on factors such as your household size and lifestyle.
Understanding your budget will keep you from going overboard. It will also help you create a meal plan by dictating what foods and ingredients fit your budget.
When shopping, try to reach for ingredients that will work with multiple recipes to stretch them further. Organic meat and other ingredients such as brown rice work well for this. For example, a few pounds of chicken is perfect for everything from chicken casserole to stir fry.
Be sure to check out the weekly shopping ads all of your favorite stores for sales and promotions. Practice comparing prices between stores and buying in bulk to get the best bang for your buck.
You know what they say—never go to the grocery store hungry. You should also never go shopping when you’re unsure what to buy. The result is often a mismatch of ingredients that you may end up not using, which may drive up your grocery budget.
Instead, make a list of easy organic meals for the week before you go shopping. Then, make another list of the ingredients you need for those meals only. Take your list with you and do your best to stick to it.
There may be some delicious recipes you can make using ingredients you already have at home. Take a look through your pantry and freezer to see what you can come up with for a recipe. Or, find ingredients that are about to expire and do some online searching for recipes that use those ingredients.
Don’t forget to consider leftovers when planning your meals for the week. If you cook a hefty recipe one evening for dinner, plan to have the leftovers the next day for lunch. Not only does this save you cash, but it helps reduce food waste too.
Meat is expensive, especially organic meat. Once or twice a week, try to incorporate a few veggie-only meals into your plan. There are many ways to do this. For example, try a big salad filled with all your favorite meat-free ingredients. Or, try something new like this Warming Vegetable and Chickpea Curry.
Now that you have some tips to get you started, you’ll need a meal plan to follow. There are plenty of sample meal plans available online and many of them are even organic.
For example, this One-Week Organic Meal Plan features meals such as Baked Salsa Chicken and Thai Chicken Curry. Who said organic meal planning had to be boring?
Another example is this 14-Day Clean-Eating Plan which gives you enough recipe inspiration for two whole weeks.
The meal plans above and the recipes below may not be organic by default. It’s important to select your own Certified Organic ingredients as you shop.
This dish is quick and delicious, and it includes Pacific Foods Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth, which works really well with other meals you prepare in the same week.
It also requires sesame seeds, which keep for a long time under the right conditions.
So, buy a larger amount at the cheaper bulk price if you think you’ll use them often to save some cash.
Read the full recipe: 15-Minute Spicy Red Miso Ramen
This recipe, when made with all organic ingredients, is loaded with protein and offers a pleasing variety of tastes and textures. It’s also made with Pacific Foods Organic Bone Broth. Plus, this recipe only takes eight ounces of the 32-ounce broth so you have plenty for additional recipes in your plan.
Read the full recipe: Paleo Chicken Sausage and Sweet Potato Hash
This recipe is truly one of the creamiest, most satisfying recipes we know of. It’s made with our organic and delicious Pacific Foods Creamy Tomato Basil Soup. Since the recipe requires only half of a container, you’ll have some tomato soup leftover for lunch the next day. Win-win!
Read the full recipe: Vegan Rigatoni Bake
When meal planning, it’s important to prioritize organic ingredients that are easy on your wallet. At Pacific Foods, we offer a wide range of organic broths, stocks, and soups that you can use in any recipe imaginable. You’ll feel good about placing our products in your pantry. Shop today!