Our family of five tries to stick to a food budget of $600 a month, including raw chicken for our four English Bull Terriers. It’s tough enough without buying everything organic! We stopped buying dairy milk, (here is some information on why) unless its from a local farm that sells raw milk. I prefer to buy our eggs there too, but a seperate trip to a farm for just milk and eggs isnt always in the cards. We drink coconut milk in our house, and besides the kids not liking it with cereal, no one misses the cows milk. Besides, cereal is realky only another junk food, so its a win/win in my opinion. I do buy cage free eggs in the grocery store, but not organic.
I buy all of the fruit and veggies that the kids will be eating, but organic strawberries can be as much as three times the price of regular. If its in the dirty dozen and i cant afford organic, i dont buy it.
I buy sanderson farms all natural chicken by the cartload on the days its marked down at HEB, for 50% to 75% off and spend the same or less than i would on traditional chicken. I even manage to score organic chicken the same way quite often. I have a small deep freezer in the garage that i bought on craigslist for $50 about 3 years ago. It has really helped us eat better and save money since I can stock up when I see deals like these.
The hardest thing for us to change in our house has been the snacks. We were never big on pop tarts, but god, i love me some little debbie! When i buy awful junk like this i usually try to keep it hidden from the kids and eat it after they have gone to bed. I have two ice cream makers so I make our own ice cream with raw milk and whatver fruit or nuts i have on hand.
Here are some home made, real food, alternatives to the over processed junk even I am guilty of buying.
Check out a whole list of Whole Foods recipes here.
In most cases its not the organic part that really matters. You should focus on cutting back as much on processed foods as you can. It does take more time and effort, but as you can see from the statistics below, it is well worth it.