How to Afford Organic Groceries on Food Stamps

Organic food can seem like an impossible and costly endeavor when participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

However, while difficult, it is very possible to eat fresh local grown or even organic groceries while on a tight budget.

You may be able to obtain free groceries from your local food bank as many food banks across the country now receive organic items from local organic grocers. Visiting your food bank or a regular basis can aid in the amount of groceries that you may need to purchase with your food stamps. Free food coupons can reduce the costs associated with those purchases in addition to any local deals that you may find.

In addition to searching for free coupons, you can reduce the cost of organic goods by making purchases in bulk, when available, and by choosing to cook food rather than purchasing expensive pre-made foods with your EBT card. If your county has a farmer’s market, contact your local office and ask whether or not food stamps are accepted at the farmer’s market.

Take Advantage of Free Food Coupons to Reduce Costs

Free coupons can aid you in saving money on organic grocery purchase. While coupons generally only take a dollar or two off of the purchase price of an item, these amounts can quickly add up when done properly. However, when using free food coupons, it is crucial that you only collect and use coupons for items that you need. Create a shopping list and stick with it in order to prevent the purchase of unnecessary items that you are only interested in purchasing due to a coupon. Make exceptions only for items that you regularly buy anyway that are non-perishable or freezable.

Organic food coupons can be found in a number of different places, including, but not limited to:

  • Online coupon sites and manufacturer websites.
  • Sunday newspapers.
  • On products at your local store.
  • In magazines, particularly ones that are related to food.
  • Coupon apps that can be downloaded onto your smartphone.

Find if your local organic foods grocer offers in store, online or by-mail weekly, biweekly or monthly grocery ads. These ads can typically only be used in the store that they originate from, but can significantly reduce the cost of organic groceries.

Purchase Organic Food at a Farmer’s Market

Organic food can often be found at your local farmer’s market. In recent years, farmer’s markets across the country have begun to accept EBT as a form of payment in addition to the reduced costs or BOGO deals that can often be found at the market. If there is a farmer’s market in your area, contact your county to determine whether or not you will be eligible to use your food stamps on a purchase.

Purchase Organic Food in Bulk, When Possible

You can purchase organic food in bulk at bulk grocers in order to reduce the cost of each item that you need to purchase. While bulk grocers often require the payment of a monthly or annual membership, the savings that you can obtain on the cost of food will often outweigh the membership fee.  However, it is important to only purchase a bulk amount of items that you can use prior to expiration, bulk foods that are non-perishable or foods that can be frozen to prevent expiration.

You may find free food coupons through advertisements for your local bulk grocer, thus raising your potential savings.  In some cases, these grocers may even offer free groceries delivery with a minimum purchase amount or as part of an advertisement. However, you should always check with your local store to determine whether or not you can submit payment in the form of EBT when taking advantage of delivery services.

Receive Free Groceries at a Local Food Bank

You can obtain free groceries at your local foodbank to offset some of the costs that you can expect to pay with your food stamps. In recent years, a number of food banks have begun to offer organic groceries after receiving donations from organic grocery stores. While most foodbanks have eligibility requirements that must be met to receive food, most EBT participants will meet those requirements. Foodbanks may operate weekly, biweekly or monthly, based upon the foodbank.

Stretch Your Food Stamp Budget and Learn to Cook

If you want to buy organic food with food stamps, then it is imperative that you learn to cook and strive to make inexpensive recipes. Additionally, try to utilize inexpensive sources of protein, such as tofu, and use meat as side or ingredient in a larger recipe rather than having it be the main focus of a meal. Premade organic meals and drinks are some of the most expensive types of organic groceries out there. By avoiding these products, you can significantly reduce the cost of groceries.

Get Organized and Plan Your Food Stamps Budget

When purchasing organic food, organization can have a significant effect on your budget. If there is more than one organic grocery store in your area, determine which store has the lowest cost and for what food. Make trips to each of these stores, as needed. While it may be more time consuming to visit more than one grocery store, doing so can save you more money, especially if both stores offer competitive ads and coupons.

If free groceries are available to you at your local food bank, consider visiting the food bank first in order to reduce the amount of food that you need to purchase at the store. When possible, plan meals and recipes around the foo that you receive from your local food bank in order to ensure savings and avoid the expiration of any unused food items.

Plan an organic food budget and stick with it. Create shopping lists before each visit to the store and never visit a store hungry in order to reduce spur of the moment purchases. Consider the amount of food stamps that you receive each month and when in order to best determine when to visit your local grocer and the amount that you have to spend each week.