Food is expensive, but buying organic, Local food can be enormously expensive!
Here are some things ive found help put whole foods on the table.
- Growing your own food
While this can actually be a huge time consuming task, it is by far the most rewarding, fun, way to afford organic local food. It may take time to work up to a full fledged bountiful garden but the learning process is so much fun! Im not going to say it’s free, because you do have to buy seeds and gardening tools ect. But it is an investment that pays off in the end, not only for your wallet but also your health! I started with a couple tomato plants and worked my way up the past couple years to a few corn rows, radishes, lettuce, kale, snap peas, jalepenos, pablano peppers, carrots, beets, strawberries and rasberries. The rasberries never made it.. but now i know what i did wrong and i can try again in the spring!
The little kiddos foraging for strawberries
2. Community/Government Programs
I have been so amazed at the effort my community makes to work together with the government to make locally grown food available and affordable to families receiving SNAP benefits!
Double snap dollars/Double up food bucks:
Every community is different, but if you look, you may find a small local co-op or farmers market offering Double Snap Dollars. It’s super easy! For example, if you spend $10 of your SNAP dollars at a participating farmers market or co-op, they will give you another $10 to buy more locally grown fruits and vegetables. The maximum you can double is 20$ a day.I go twice a week to a local food co-op so all together i get a free 40$ of organic local produce every week. That means i save 160$ a month!
Local Food Banks
Every so often, we’ve simply no money for food. Its a scary feeling, and position to be in… i try to avoid it at all costs! When we’re in this position, i have no choice but to make a trip to the local food bank. Alot of the produce there is grown and donated by local farms and neighbors. Its a simple process, i pack my kids up and drive them first thing in the morning to the food bank, all that is required is an I.D. and filling out a survey. No proof of income or any sort of paperwork like that. Its really inspiring to see the community coming together and volunteering their time to help those in need.
3. Planning Ahead
Maybe this should have been first. There is no way we could afford food, even with government assistance, unless ive planned every single ingredient i am going to buy for the week out. I need to improve my system, but currently i spend a couple hours once a week writing down every meal for the week and each ingredient im going to need for them. It saves money, time at the store, and the stress of not knowing what to make next.