Real Food Organic Groceries on a Budget

We’re a family of 3 living on a single income and that’s not always easy when you don’t eat processed or GMO foods and try to buy mostly organic.  But, you know, it can be done.

I do a video each month on my YouTube channel showing what I’ve received in my real food organic grocery order (and yes…the odd pizza might sneak its way in there!).  My grocery order has to accommodate myself (pescatarian and mostly gluten-free), my husband (full on meat eater) and our baby (can’t decide what she likes/doesn’t like from one week to the next!) as well as our dog.

We budget around £45-£75 per week (depending on whether its a ‘big shop’ or not) and I’ll let you know how we do it in 3 easy ways.

1. Meal Planning

This is the most important thing I do to save money and still buy the food I want to buy for my family.  There are many ways to meal plan.  There are meal planning services you can use for only a few dollars/pounds a month and this is great when you’re short on time.  If you can find 15 spare minutes per week though, you don’t need to use a service.  I’ll tell you how I do it.  I have a Pinterest account and keep a folder of favourite family meals that are tried and true.  If I’m short on time, I’ll choose 5 or 6 at random, check the ingredients list and add the required items to my grocery list.

2. Online Shopping

This isn’t an option for everyone, as not all areas offer online shopping, but if you are able to do this, I highly recommend it as it helps in avoiding making any ‘impulse buys’.  I just go online, stick to my list and check out.  A lot of grocery stores have delivery plans which are just a few £££’s a month you can do unlimited grocery orders without additional delivery charges.  I find I’m able to get the best variety of real food products and organic groceries at Ocado and if you’re a new customer, they’ll offer you £20 off your first online grocery shop (if you click here).

3. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Box or Organic Delivery Box

Many rural areas run CSA schemes which support local farmers and are great value.  You will have to meal plan according to what’s in your box – so sort of reverse meal planning.  There are also non CSA style organic delivery boxes here in the UK such as Abel & Cole and Riverford Organics.  I get my organic fruit, veg & salad box with my Ocado order from a company called Wholegood.  Their fruit and veg are really good quality and they’re very generous with the volume of produce in their boxes.  They also let you know what you’ll be receiving in your box a couple of weeks in advance, which is helpful for meal planning.

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9 thoughts on “Real Food Organic Groceries on a Budget

    1. Our Little Organic Life Post author

      Thanks Lottie, I just checked our your link and I love your blog – how much fun to be able to choose a piece of free clothing from a new line! Yes, do look into the delivery boxes…such a time saver and they ‘force’ you to eat your veggies! 🙂

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  1. Erica Price

    Online shopping is good for avoiding impulse buys, but I don’t feel satisfied if I haven’t reached to the back of the shelf for the longest date product, etc. Too fussy to allow someone else to do it I think.

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  2. Jess

    I’m honestly so terrible at meal planning. I like the idea of cooking bulk batches and making things in advance, but it takes such discipline. I think that’s my main downfall!

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    1. Our Little Organic Life Post author

      Jess, I don’t really do bulk cooking either. I don’t have the freezer space for it and agree that takes too much time and discipline which I don’t have with a baby. But the meal planning saves me a lot of time and energy…even if some weeks that means throwing in a Pieminister pie or Waitrose pizza for a couple of ‘easy nights’!

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  3. Joanna @mumbalance

    Interesting to know how other people do it 🙂 We fall in and out of love when it comes to fruit and veg boxes. We stopped in winter, as I was getting a cabbage every week and I just don’t know what to do with it to make it appealing. Not for many weeks in a row! Now that the spring is here (nearly summer!) we will be going back to box delivery, as the content is a bit more exciting
    I like Ocado and Waitrose deliveries, and have used them interchangeably when I was pregnant to save me from carrying heavy loads. I do find that even with a list I end up spending too much. And a lot of fruit and veg comes prepackaged, so there’s unnecessary rubbish, and I can’t buy 2 courgettes, as they come in a packet of 4 (I made this example up, but you know what I mean!)

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    1. Our Little Organic Life Post author

      I like the fruit/veg boxes because it does seem to be the least ‘package-ey’ way to get the organic fruit/veg as the only packaging is the cardboard box itself which is recyclable. However it does mean things like…feeling bad about the 3 turnips which lingered in my fridge for a few months before eventually getting tossed, and there are never enough bananas so I always have to order extra. They’re like, one of the only things my toddler eats and I use them frozen to make banana ‘nice cream’ and smoothies. I also started doing these online orders when I was pregnant and the baby was tiny. But I do enjoy going to an actual shop from time to time too, and farmers markets when I can. 🙂

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  4. Nostalrius

    Amazing post. I read your posts pretty regularly and you always do a good
    job articulating the whatever topic you’re writing about.

    Btw, I shared this on Facebook and my followers loved it.
    Keep up the great work!

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