small steps backwards

Resources for healthy eating: Ask!

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Some of my best deals on groceries have come by just asking. By becoming curious about merchant practices I’ve been able to find nourishing, affordable foods.

If you are slowly working more whole organic foods into your budget while shopping at a conventional grocery store, one easy thing that you can do is become curious about your store’s policies. Specifically, ask about when they mark down their meat and dairy products (how many days before expiration and what time of day). If you notice something near expiration, ask if they are ready to mark it down. I recently was able to purchase a few organic, free range whole chickens for $1.79/lb (a great deal on these) because they were two days away from the use by/freeze by date and I asked the butcher if he could give me a better price.

Some produce is also marked down as it ripens. I often find organic greens, potatoes, tomatoes or bananas marked down at our supermarket. If I notice some very ripe or bruised bananas I will ask the produce manager to mark them down for me and they are often willing. At my local Fred Meyer, they mark down to .29/lb on bananas and at the Albertsons near us a full bag of overripe bananas is only $0.99! I use these for smoothies and baking.

As you become more knowledgeable about purchasing healthy foods for your family, you may be using coops or other sources that don’t mark down their prices. However, the practice of being curious can continue to serve you well. You can ask around about additional resources, ask about sharing bulk orders, ask about taking turns with your farmer’s other customers to pick up your raw milk. We’ve been able to share bulk orders of organic olive and coconut oil at terrific prices (around $20/gallon each) and we recently found a raw milk source that only charges $5/gallon. Both of these came through asking questions of the people around us who I know eat similarly.

Asking questions, being curious, becoming knowledgeable about resources are great ways to save your family money as you feed them the most nourishing foods.

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