Save Money on Food while Going Green (The Cost of Going Green, Part 2)

Visiting the local farm from which we buy much of our organic produce.

In many cases, going green is totally compatible with being frugal.  Our consumerist culture has gotten us into a lot of trouble with chemicals and climate, and you can take a large step in a greener direction simply by buying less.  In part 1 of the series "The Cost of Going Green" I described a number of ways to save money while going green.

But sometimes being green does cost more money.  For example, organic and natural food usually cost more money than conventional food.   Below are some ideas to make greening your food more affordable (I wish I did all of these, but I don't.  I'm working on it):

10 Ways to Save Money on Food while Going Green
  1. Cook more at home.
  2. Make more from scratch.
  3. Feed your baby regular food.
  4. Buy fewer processed and packaged foods.
  5. Buy in bulk when practical (whole grains, beans, pasta, etc.).
  6. Prioritize.  If you can only afford to buy some produce organic, start with The Dirty Dozen to reduce your family's exposure to pesticides.  Also keep in mind that while organic produce is better for your family and the earth than conventional produce, conventional produce is better for your family than no produce.
  7. Plant a garden.
  8. Drink water.  You will save lots of money by only occasionally drinking all other beverages (juice, milk, tea, coffee, soda, alcohol, etc.).
  9. Become a less-meat-atarian.  Eat more legumes and tofu, less meat.  Then you can afford the good stuff (grass-fed beef, organic chicken, etc.). 
  10. And my least favorite: Eat less (total).  Americans eat 300 more calories per day than folks a couple of decades ago.  And not because we are expending any more calories.  So those extra calories are just making us fat. 

Here are some additional ideas from a farmer.

1 March 2011 Update:  Check out this post for information about healthy bargain foods.  These foods are healthy and affordable sources of  antioxidants, calcium, fiber, omega-3s, and protein.

The Complete Series: The Cost of Going Green 
Save Money while Going Green
Save Money on Food while Going Green
Some Thoughts on the Cost of Going Green

What are your money-saving ideas for going green with your food?

This post is part of  


  1. These are right on! I am trying to consume less meat, especially at lunch time when my meat-loving spouse is at work.

    Also, I recently read and highly recommend the book What the World Eats. It really opened my eyes, even after living abroad, to how processed and high-calorie the Western diet has become.

  2. My favorite on your list is drinking water. I love what I am doing for my kids (and my own) health by only rarely having soda or juice. Such an easy way to be greener and healthier.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! We do a lot of these, but the only thing I can't get my family to eat is beans and tofu.

  4. These are great tips! I just posted on my family doing the "food stamp challenge" and we totally did it by subscribing to your methods.


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