How to Buy Organic Food without the Middleman
Getting healthy food doesn’t have to be stressful or expensive. If you know where to look, you can buy organic food at the best prices.
Save Money on Organic Food
If you think about all the organic grocery stores and all the products they carry, you know that all that food has to be ordered and shipped from somewhere.
The farmer sells to a supplier and then the supplier sells to the stores. There might even be more people in that supply chain who sell to each other before the food gets to the consumer.
Since food prices have increased so much in the last 10 years, we moms have to be smart about how and where we spend our grocery money.
There seem to be more chemicals in our foods now too, so it’s even more important to buy organic than ever.
When organic food started to become popular, it was very expensive. But now that there is more of a demand for it, farmers and grocery stores have figured out ways to get it to us more economically.
Sure, there are still people out there charging way too much for organic food. But smart consumers are figuring out better ways to buy organic foods for less.
Here’s how to buy organic food on a budget:
- Buy what’s in season – Usually, organic produce that is in season is cheaper than produce that is not in season. For example, I know that buying oranges in the Winter is cheaper than buying oranges in the Summer. So, in the Summer, I buy other fruit that is plentiful and I save money.
- Watch for sales at your local health food store – We don’t have any health food stores local to us, but if we did, I would go in there as often as possible and check their clearance or sale items. All food has an expiration date and sometimes health food stores can’t sell it before the date expires. This is a great time to buy items on sale if you know your family will eat them soon.
- Buy from local organic produce markets or stands – Usually, people who own vegetable stands grow their own or get it directly from the farmer. This cuts out the middleman and gives you a better price. Also, when produce is in season and plentiful, the grower is more motivated to sell at a lower price.
- Grow your own – We have had a garden for many years. Since my husband is a teacher, he has more time in the Summer to work on a garden. He has a green thumb and loves planting and growing things. We work on it together and enjoy seeing the fruits of our labor. If you don’t have much time or much space, even growing a few plants in a small plot or container can yield a good crop.
- Buy organic store brands – Many stores are now carrying their own organic store brands. Since they get the food from their own suppliers in bulk, the prices tend to be lower.
- Plan ahead/Order ahead – Most organic foods, besides produce, have a good shelf life. So planning ahead and buying what your family normally eats, is a good way to save money. If you can buy the items you know you will eat, in bulk, the prices are almost always lower. Check the rest of this post for details on how I order a good portion of our organic food online at a lower cost.
Online Grocery Shopping
Many of us are incredibly busy and don’t have time to run around to different stores and shop the various stores for this type of food. Or we don’t live near many stores and don’t have organic products available to us.
Years ago, food cooperatives used to be popular among health-conscious people. We would order once a month and then all gather when the truck came in and split bulk boxes or bags of natural foods.
Those types of cooperatives are probably still out there, but I’ve found an even easier way to shop without the work. And I still save money.
I have been ordering organic food online from a company called Azure Standard for quite a few years and have found their website easy to navigate. We have a local delivery spot and I just go and pick up my boxes once a month when the truck comes in with our orders.
You can also order and have it shipped to your home if there is not a delivery location close to you.
A group of people from an area order what they need for the month by a certain date. Then Azure Standard processes those orders and puts them in boxes labeled with each of our names. All we have to do is get our labeled boxes off their truck at the set delivery time and our grocery shopping is done.
Organic Grocery Store Online
It’s fun to have one place to order all our organic food. The great thing is, Azure has their own brand of items which are usually much cheaper than the main health food producers. They carry a wide variety of companies and products in every category a family might need.
Here are some of our favorite products to order:
Frozen organic vegetables – These are wonderful to have around for a quick addition to any meal. They take just a few minutes to cook and add health and volume to our meals.
Fresh Produce – Depending on where you live and which product you want, you can get good quality produce from Azure too. They do a good job of keeping food cold in their trucks. So as long as an item can stay well for a few days in the refrigerator, you should be able to order from them. They are very good about refunding items that are not up to standard too.
Spices and food flavoring – These keep for a long time and are cheaper in larger quantities. Plus you can get organic spices from Azure that are great quality. I have found that their spices are more concentrated so I use less.
Snack foods – Every family needs good healthy snack foods. There is a nice selection of organic nuts and snacks that you can get from Azure to stock your pantry.
Organic Food Delivery Service at its Best
With Azure Standard, you get the items you want, the prices you like, and local delivery. When you place your order before your deadline, all money is collected then. So when you pick up, there is no hassle with having to pay a driver.
If you don’t live near a delivery location, you can order the food and have it delivered right to your door. I’m guessing that it will cost more to ship directly, but it’s worth checking into especially if you don’t have this type of food available locally.
Online Organic Food Stores
If you don’t have may organic food choices in your area or have time to shop different stores, then online shopping is for you.
You can check the Azure Standard website and see if they deliver in your area. If they don’t deliver in your area, just get a group of like-minded families together and request to be put on their delivery schedule. Or just order on your own and have it delivered to your door.
If you like to pick up bulk food in your area, another option for fresh meat is Zaycon. Their meat is not organic, but is definitely farm direct and bargain prices.
Generally, I don’t like to buy organic foods that are copies of processed boxed food like macaroni and cheese boxes. Just because it says “organic” doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good for you. So stick with real food like produce, spices, frozen vegetables, nuts, and meat. I do buy some organic granola bars and fruit leathers, but usually, keep that to a minimum if possible.
Most organic foods taste just as good as non-organic foods. In the early days of organic foods, that was not the case. But now that there are more organic consumers, brands are more careful to make their organic food taste good. Some good brands are Braggs, Azure, BioKleen (for cleaning products), Earth Circle Organics, Late July, Organic Valley, and many more. Vegetables and fresh produce usually don’t have a brand name but those are always good to buy organic.
The foods you eat most often are the foods you should focus on getting organic. Therefore, you will want to take a good inventory of your usual grocery list and swap out the items your family eats most. Fresh fruits and vegetables should be a good portion of your diet, so I would focus on those. There are lists on the internet that tell you which fruits and vegetables are most important to buy organic. Usually, those with thin or no skin are best to buy organic like strawberries, peppers, and cucumbers.
Since we live in a very small town, our garden and freezer our greatest source of food near us. For things that we need during the year that we can’t grow or run out of, I buy from Azure or Aldi.
Azure Standard has a locator on their website where people can see if there is a drop off location near them (just click “Find a Drop” at the bottom of their website). Or they can have their food shipped directly to them for even greater convenience.
People that don’t know about Azure or other online grocery options are still asking this question. Now that you have read this article, you are more aware of the discount health food options available to you.
Buying healthy food locally is ideal, but when you don’t have that option, buying online is the next best thing.
Probably the best way to find cheap organic produce is to buy it locally when there is an abundant supply. I doubt that you will find online organic produce cheap unless it is close to its expiration date.
For us, growing food in our garden is the cheapest way for us to get fresh organic produce. We trade some time and energy for money, but it works for us.
When our children were babies, we fed them the healthy food we were eating. We tried to make our own baby food and only used baby food in jars when we were traveling. Azure has lots of organic baby products. And I believe it’s important to use chemical-free personal care and cleaning products around babies. Young Living has a wonderful line of safe and effective baby products that many people love.
When thinking about where to buy best organic food, I hope these tips have helped you on your journey. Basically, you just want to focus on buying organic for the foods you eat most often. Use the local and online resources available to you. But stay away from processed food, both organic and non-organic.
Read labels and eat foods that your grandma would have eaten on the farm. If food isn’t the way God created, we have to think about whether we should eat it.
Get more information about healthy living here:
Part of our organic journey involves using essential oils – You have to check out these oils!