This post is written by Katy Smith who is a contributor to the blog.

For many years, I never read a food label.  I didn’t really care what I was eating, as long as it tasted good.  When I started MamaTone nearly a year ago, I started Weight Watchers and began reading the nutritional information (mainly to discover how many points each item was.)  Then I attended Tracie Hittman’s nutrition talk offered to Dustin’s clients.  That changed EVERYTHING!  I now look at the ingredients in every item before placing it in my cart.  If it has an ingredient I don’t recognize, or if the word “artificial” appears, I don’t buy it.  This is mainly what led me to shop organic.  It wasn’t really my intention, but most items with the least ingredients are organic.  Go figure!

I have a family of 5 to feed, and shopping organic can be a little pricey.  I knew if I wanted to make this lifestyle change I would have to find a way to make it fit our one-income budget.  I started with some basic research, and decided when it came to fresh fruits and vegetables, I would follow the dirty dozen list (see picture).  I also discovered that many popular organic companies offer coupons on their website.  Stonyfield has excellent coupons that I print out before my weekly grocery trip.  Many other companies offer coupons on their website, or you can sign up to receive them in the mail.  Chobani, Organic Valley, Horizon and Cascadian Farms are just a few I’ve found.

Another resource is buying in bulk.  Amazon.com has an amazing organic foods section!  I usually purchase all of my kids “on the go” snacks in bulk.  They are really fond of the Envirokidz Bars, and you can usually get 6 boxes for a decent price.   

Finally, if you don’t shop at Costco, get a membership!  Their house brand, Kirkland, offers a lot of organic foods at a cheaper price then the name brands.  They also have an wonderful produce section with a large container of Organic Spring Greens for under $5.

Do you have any cost-saving tips for the health conscious buyer? 

Please share them below!