How We Afford Organic Food

It’s June 2024 and I just learned that my house insurance is going up 40%.

It seems like the cost of everything is going up.

My family feels it. Ooooby feels it.

You’re probably feeling it too.

In this environment, the number one thing on my mind is how can I keep my kids healthy, happy and thriving?

We are what we eat, so I’m not gonna sacrifice my kid’s nutrition just because the economy is in a slump.

Fortunately, a few simple changes to our lifestyle have made a huge difference.

And you know what?

We’re healthier and happier as a family for it.

I’d like to share this with you as well as some tips to save on organics.

Cook more yourself. This is probably the most important tip. The money you save by not having others cook for you can easily cover the cost of quality organic ingredients. Mealtimes become important family events, a time to share food, laughter, and joy. Any recipe you want is available on the phone in your pocket, and you may even find cooking to be relaxing and enjoyable!

Shop weekly. In our house, it’s Mother Hubbard’s cupboards the day before our Ooooby Box arrives. By resisting the urge to jump in the car and pick something up, and making do with what we have, we save money.

Shop fresh. Freshly harvested produce tastes better, provides more nutrition, and lasts longer, reducing food waste and saving money.

Buy in bulk. Big savings are available when buying staples in 2-3 kg bags compared to 500 g bags.

Stop snacking. While I wouldn’t recommend dropping kids’ afternoon snacks, opting for whole foods like veggie sticks, nuts, and hummus over processed options is budget-friendly and healthier. As adults, if we eat proper nutritious meals, we don’t need to stress our wallets or guts with constant snacking.

Reduce alcohol consumption. Adding a couple of bottles of wine to your cart at the supermarket can easily double your bill. We’ve reduced our wine consumption to special occasions or a weekend treat. It also means that when we do open a bottle, we savor and enjoy it much more.

Drink water. Drinks and juices, especially good ones, get pricey really quickly. They are often a hidden source of sugar and food additives. Get a good quality water filter and enjoy the taste of pure water.

Drink less coffee. We have an espresso machine at home, so this was a hard one. But by limiting our coffee intake, we have more budget for real food and have found that we have more natural energy during the day. We also find ourselves going to bed earlier and sleeping better. Win-win-win.

Start a garden. I wrote a whole series on growing your own food, check it out.

Drive less. As of June 1 2024, we now have to pay RUC for driving an EV in New Zealand. Even though we can charge it for free with solar at our off-grid farm, $76 per 1,000 km adds up quickly. It’s time to start planning our car trips better. It soon becomes obvious that having food delivered to your home once a week is actually quite reasonable (or even free).

Financial and digital detox. Look at the clutter and excesses in your life and try living without them for a month to see how it goes. Netflix and music subscriptions, cloud services, unlimited data, the newest gadgets, screen time, entertainment, fashion, and toys. There are always things you think you need but really don’t.

Gratitude. Ever since my wife and I lived in Nepal and volunteered with orphans, we have noticed that the less we have and the more appreciation we give for what we do have, the happier we are. With an attitude of gratitude, cutting back the family budget does not feel like a sacrifice. It is an opportunity to focus on what matters to us the most: health, real food, and real connections.

If you’ve found additional ways to keep healthy whole foods in your diet, let me know in the comments.

6 thoughts on “How We Afford Organic Food”

  1. How best to grow veggies in big pots ?
    Just don’t have ground space .
    I do have some excellent mineral fertiliser

    1. Good question. If you have a balcony, you could hang flower trays in a sunny sheltered spot. For small spaces, the trick is using vertical space well. Realistically, herbs and greens are the easiest and yield the quickest returns. This would be a good topic for a future article. Thank you!

  2. Hi,

    This is so timely and true!

    I wanted to say thank you, I too practice gratitude and live living a simpler life.

    You are an inspiration, please keep up the great work!

  3. Very good article, thank you! We love our Ooooby boxes. Especially like the tip about making do with what’s in the fridge/freezer/pantry—it is a good way to practice creativity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *