Who Can Afford to Eat Organic?- update
It’s that time of year when people are thinking about getting healthy and saving money and asking if those two desires are mutually exclusive. Two years ago I wrote a series of posts about the affordability of organic food. Do you feel like food prices have increased since then? I sure do! I reference the USDA data on the cost of food at home for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children ages 6-11) and here are the numbers from June 2013 (June is considered the reference month).
$633.80 – Thrifty
$829.20 – Low Cost
$1037.70 – Moderate Cost
$1258.50 – Liberal
Two years later (June 2015) here are the numbers:
$852.00 – Low Cost
$1061 – Moderate Cost
$1286.10 – Liberal
You can link to the full report here.
It sure seems like my food costs have gone up more that $13 to $28 per month in the last two years! So, like a lot of folks I am recommitting to get control of the grocery budget without sacrificing the organic options that I truly believe are better for my family’s health. I read a blog post on real food options at Aldi and was inspired to revisit Aldi and report to you on the organic options at our local store. I used to shop at Aldi regularly but when we made the switch to mostly organic groceries and stores like Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, and Sprouts opened in our area I started shopping those stores.
I was really excited to find a ton of organic options at great prices at our local Aldi. I didn’t write down every price but I can say that in general, Aldi prices will be the same or less than comparable products at other stores, sometimes WAY less! For the detailed personalities among you, here is a list of the organic products and produce I found (and I’m sure I missed a few):
Artisan crackers (2 varieties)
Potato chips (2 varieties)
Soups, lentil and chicken noodle (1.99/17 oz)
Juice boxes (2 flavors)
Salsa (hot or mild) (1.89/ 16 oz)
Steel cut oats (2 kinds)
Granola (5 kinds) 2.99-3.49
Peanut butter (3.99/16 oz)
Honey (3.49/12 oz)
Salad dressing (5 varieties) (1.99)
K cup coffee
Milk (I just saw 2% and nonfat) (2.95 ½ gal)
Pancake mix (whole wheat and oatmeal)
Coconut oil (4.99/14 oz)
Chocolate nut snacks
Super fruit squeezes
Microwave popcorn (can that really be organic?)
Kidney beans, garbanzo beans (.79/ 15.5 oz can)
Diced tomatoes (1.49/28 oz can)
Dried gogi berries
Flaxseed veggie chips
Super grain blends (2 kinds)
Grass Fed Beef (6.99 lb)
Fruit smoothie frozen mix (special buy)
100% whole wheat bread (3.29-24 oz loaf)
Frozen strawberries (2.99/10 oz )
Frozen blueberries (2.99/10 oz)
Frozen fruit bars
Boxed Mac and Cheese (2 varieties) (1.39)
Pasta Sauce (2 varieties) (1.89-25 oz)
Grass Fed ground beef ($6.99 lb)
Free Range Chicken broth
Spinach (prewashed 5oz-$2.49)
More reasons to shop Aldi
In addition to all the organic options, there were some non-GMO verified products, gluten free products and many other products in the “Simply Nature” line that weren’t organic but had fewer ingredients and additives. In fact, you can find a list of 125 ingredients that won’t be in the Simply Nature brand here. Check out their “Never Any” brand of meats here to find selections without hormones antibiotics, nitrates, etc.
They have made a commitment to remove MSG, synthetic colors and trans fats from all of their Aldi brand products.
Many of the organic products at Aldi are non-perishable so you can make a trip to stock up as you budget allows.
I still believe that you can save money by shopping store specials. Many organic foods prices are coming down and are close to prices for non-organic. This week organic bananas were .58 lb while conventional bananas were .59 lb at Sprouts. Our local Walmart has started carrying Wild Oats brand products and they are competitively priced.
For example, Hunts brand canned tomatoes were .88 while the Wild Oats canned tomatoes were .98-just .10 more. Yeah, I think I’d pay .10 more for organic (since I didn’t have enough garden tomatoes to can this year). There are many Wild Oats organic products popping up all over the store.
I’m encouraged by these new options and I know they will help me tame the growth of our food budget without sacrificing organic options. Where have you found good deals on organic groceries?