Knowing WHERE to find good, organic produce and other whole foods is half the battle. Here's where I get my stuff:
Surprisingly, Costco has been a really good resource for me. They carry a wide range of organic food for cheap, which helps keep my budget in check. There are probably quite a few things I haven't discovered yet in that vast warehouse, but here's what I usually get:
- Kirkland Organic Creamy Peanut Butter. Organic and only two ingredients, which was nearly impossible to find at my local grocery store [edit: they no longer carry this PB! So sad. I found a decent alternative at Winco, which just came to Mesa]
- Kirkland Organic Butter. Sometimes organic butter tastes really weird to me and this is one of the best tasting affordable options I've found.
- Shamrock Farms Organic Milk. I actually haven't seen it there but I have two friends who swear it's there and it's cheaper and I'm just blind. [edit: my Costco still doesn't carry milk and my friend still swears hers does. I get my milk at Winco]
- Triscuits. Way cheaper to buy them in bulk than by the individual box at the regular grocery store [edit: my store stopped carrying them. I buy them at Winco]
- Organic Pink Lady Apples. These are my favorite apples and we go through them SO fast. [edit: my store ALSO stopped carrying these. It breaks my heart. I haven't found a good alternative source for organic apples.]
- Quaker Quick Oats. Oatmeal is a whole food no matter how you get it (unless it's the prepackaged flavored versions, obviously), so go ahead and buy whatever kind of oatmeal you like best.
- Cheese (including string cheese). In theory we should be eating organic cheese but that junk is expensive and really hard to find. I just read the label and make sure it has less than five ingredients and don't worry about it too much.
- Maple syrup. As I mentioned in my previous post, organic doesn't matter too much in maple syrup so just make sure you're getting 100% real maple syrup. Costco has a yummy affordable option.
- Hard white wheat. I didn't get mine at Costco BUT it's the same kind at the same price. Lehi Roller Mills hard white wheat. Great for grinding and making your own tortillas, pasta, etc.
- Garofalo organic pasta. For when I don't feel like making my own (Aaron refuses to eat whole wheat pasta so this is the next best option. Organic and only one ingredient)
- Pistachios. WAY cheaper at Costco. As in half the price per pound compared to Sprouts.
- I've also seen organic quinoa, organic soy milk and organic olive oil but haven't tried them. [edit: the organic olive oil has become a staple and we love it!
- [Edited to add] Coconut oil. Organic, virgin, cold pressed! It's still pricey but it's LESS pricey than other places, Wal Mart included.
- [ETA] Organic Antioxidant Fruit Blend. This frozen fruit is my FAVORITE to put in smoothies.
- [ETA] Fage yogurt. It's hard to find yogurt with so few ingredients. Costco carries Fage for cheaper.
Whole Foods. I shop here really sparingly because A. can be a little pricey and B. FAR.
- Organic chicken and grass fed beef. For the most part we just eat the junky hormone laden stuff you can buy at a regular grocery store (sparingly. A single Costco bag lasts us for over two months) but sometimes I'll spring for the good stuff.
- Produce, milk, cheese, butter, etc. They've got it all and it's all organic and usually pretty delicious. Beware the packaged foods though! They may be organic but NOT whole foods.
- Organic steel cut oats. We LOVE steel cut oatmeal in the mornings but it's surprisingly expensive at the grocery store. This kind is cheap and tastes great. PLUS it's eligible for free shipping.
- My wheat grinder. This is a newer thing for us and I love it. Homemade tortillas made with fresh ground wheat = to die for.
- Steel cut oats. We usually get the kind I linked above from Amazon but they're cheap at Sprouts too.
- Organic produce. For when I need something that Backyard Farmer isn't offering.
- Lara Bars. I like to keep one or two in my bag for when I'm out and about and starving and fast food is starting to look good. Also, Stinky thinks they are candy bars, so they work for bribes.
- Bulk craisins/nuts/etc. for granola
- Organic dairy. They've got a few good milk/yogurt/etc. options
J. Crow. $2 vanilla beans with free shipping. I use these when I make my own yogurt and occasionally in baking and whatnot and this is the cheapest I've found. I want to try putting some in my next batch of granola (yum!)
If you're local:
Backyard Farmer. Delicious produce at good prices. Find them here . Create an account then order away! Submit your order by Sunday night and your produce will be delivered on Wednesday or Thursday. They stock local, raw honey, local grass-fed beef, local and seasonal produce, and lots of other amazing things. Backyard Farmer is my secret weapon to eating well.
Save Your Dairy. I haven't tried their raw milk yet but apparently it's amazing. I just haven't persuaded myself to drive 30 minutes to pay $10 a gallon for milk yet. Someday...
Whole Grain Bread Co. Because I am not good at bread baking and they are. Plus they're locally owned. And they give me free samples when I'm in there (they always give Stinky a chunk of cinnamon roll and I had a slice of delicious pumpkin walnut bread last week). We love their honey whole wheat bread and we recently tried their tortillas when I was feeling too lazy to make my own. We love it (even Aaron, who is super picky about his bread)
Ready and Well Raw Honey. I think they're based in Tempe and I've heard their honey is amazing. There are also rumors that Backyard Farmer will be carrying local desert honey at some point in the coming year too, which would be awesome. [Edit: BYF does carry raw honey now...not sure if it's from Ready and Well, but it's good!]
Superstition Ranch Market. When I forget to turn in my Backyard Farmer order form or when, like last week, I just want some produce that isn't yet in season locally I'll go to Superstition. SO cheap. I filled my cart last week and the total was less than $22. They do occasionally have some organic options but sometimes I decide I don't care and go crazy with the cheap conventionally grown strawberries and bell peppers.
Anyone else have some good resources to share?