Simplifying by Buying Groceries Online

Did you know that it is possible to do the majority of your grocery shopping online these days?

This has certainly be a huge blessing lately while trying to juggle three kiddos and the various responsibilities I have within our home. I have been investigating different options lately in an effort to use my time most productively. Honestly, it is pretty tiring for me to haul all the kiddos to the store. Buying groceries online saves my energy and is a simple way to protect against unnecessary stress.

Additionally, it’s far to easy to buy items that aren’t necessarily on my grocery list when I get in that environment (oh, wouldn’t the kids love trying this? Ahh…coconut milk yogurt, yum!). Surprisingly enough, shopping online has been saving me money!

It has been two year now since I shared my initial real food budget and what food purchases we make at our home. It has certainly changed and been tweaked over this period. With food prices continuing to rise, we have had to adjust and re-evaluate as necessary. I used to shop primarily at our local Trader Joe’s but have become more and more dissatisfied by the lack of freshness and packaged nature of their produce. I also found I had to make multiple stops to get everything I needed because TJ’s doesn’t have that large of selection.

Currently, our food budget is $500-$525 per month and these are the majority of the purchases we make. 

I am finding myself using the Subscribe & Save feature on Amazon more frequently for finding huge savings on many food items in their Natural & Organic Grocery section. Their selection is growing each time I look. Most of the items are more bulk purchases, but they are non-perishable items, which makes it very possible to spread out their use over a 2-3 month period. With the subscription option, you save an additional 15% and have scheduled deliveries every 1-6 months as you desire. We have prime membership which provides wonderful quick free delivery (even without prime, most items are also available for free shipping if you spend over $25). In this manner, I don’t have to think about it and there is still flexibility to change as you need. You can also cancel at any time. I love food being delivered to my door!

We purchase the following via subscriptions. I have compared them extensively with my other food sources and found Amazon’s prices to be the best: Organic peanut butter, organic raisins, organic coconut milk, vanilla extract, organic coconut oil, maple syrup, gluten-free honey rice cereal (our Sunday morning breakfast), chicken broth (I prefer making my own chicken broth, but I also forget to pull it out of the freezer a lot, so I like having small portions of chicken broth on hand for easy access), toilet paper (yes, you can even save on the basics!), charlie’s laundry soap, mac & cheese (I like having Annie’s on hand for an easy lunch). Amazon also has a growing selection of quality dry goods, including beans and grains.

Safeway Delivery

I am starting to order many random food items (that are not available through my other sources) via Safeway delivery lately. Our budget is $100 per month. The time it saves is worth the slightly increased price. You can save on shipping simply by being flexible as to delivery time or they often offer free shipping if you purchase a certain number of items from their specials list or on orders over $150. I pay no more than $6.95 for delivery in our area. I try to purchase most of my produce organically, and use the Dirty Dozen as my guide. In the summer, I love to use Organics to You for fresh local produce delivered to our door.

Here are the items I purchase through these sources: Organic Milk for making yogurt (1/2 gallon twice a month), lunchmeat, pepperoni, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, fresh organic produce (bananas, oranges, salad mixes, etc), various other food needs not available through other sources.

Azure Standard 

I appreciate Azure Standard and the bulk natural foods that they offer. We spend about $100 per month through Azure. They deliver to drop spots all over the Northwest and moving more into the Midwest of the US. I buy the following: Brown rice pasta, natural soaps and shampoos, organic crackers, mayonnaise, organic produce, tortillas, raw cheddar cheese, sour cream, soy sauce, olive oil, vinegars, raw honey, spices, condiments, sucanat, oats (other bulk grains and beans), canned wild salmon, tomato soup.

In addition to these purchases, I buy local raw milk & eggs  (1 gallon per week, 2 dozen per week – $68 per month), and we also set aside $100 per month for bulk meat and fruit purchases throughout the year to stock the freezer. We buy 1/4 cow, 1 pig, and about 40 lbs of chicken breasts annually. We buy a dozen loaves of sprouted wheat bread from Dave’s Killer Bread/Healthy Bread Store warehouse (they offer a frozen dozen of sprouted bread for $25). We consume this amount of bread in about 2 months. I continue to make my own jam, salsa, kefir, yogurt, and various pastries as we desire. That’s pretty much it…

Other excellent food delivery sources:

Beyond Organic (this online store has recently been launched birthed out of Jordan Rubin’s book)

U.S. Wellness Meats (find quality grass fed products)

Vitacost (this is another growing option that has a great selection of real foods, vitamins, herbs, and more at deep discounts! I found Eden Organics, Nutivia, Bob’s Red Mill and many other quality brands available here. Many of their products are very comparable to Amazon and Azure Standard too. I just made an order because they sell cod liver oil and other good supplements.) Refer a friend and you both get $10. A fun way to save!

Be sure to search google for specific grocery delivery companies in your area!

Found any good natural food deals lately? Please share!

Note: There are affiliate links in this post for Amazon, so we receive a small percentage of any purchases made through these links. Through your support, we are able to sponsor an orphan home in India.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

103 Responses to Simplifying by Buying Groceries Online

  1. Jodi June 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    what brand of cod liver oil do you order from vitacost? i am looking for something less expensive than green pastures. thanks.

    • Lindsay June 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

      My husband and I use Nordic Naturals And the kids take Carlsons for Kids.

  2. Alicia April 27, 2012 at 6:50 pm #

    You can save by making your own vanilla extract!! Organic vodka and whole vanilla beans. It takes 2-3 months but I make a big batch. :o )

  3. Michelle April 24, 2012 at 9:45 am # is my new favorite. Has organic and health-meal options :)

  4. Essie March 21, 2012 at 6:56 am #

    Hi Lindsay! Quick question – I have been subscribing to Amazon for the same peanut butter you use. They no longer carry it so they canceled my subscription. I’m assuming this happened to you too and if so, what PB are you buying now??

  5. Loyda February 17, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Just stumbled upon your blog and love it ! Also the love fact you are also in Oregon(although I live on the complete opposite side of the state)

    I was reading your grocery list and noticed you buy canned salmon? I really would encourage you to purchase whole wild salmon. Out of one half or even whole salmon you can make so many meals out of it ! Not only that the cost for FRESH can be quite a deal for us living in the PNW.

    I have a GF in Seattle that asks the fish monger or butcher to filet it for her and asks to keep all the bones. With the bones she is able to make a great fish broth to make chowder with. They may look at you like your a little crazy but lets face it you are paying for those bones, so why not make something out of them?

    Just a suggestion!!!!

  6. Laura Smith February 9, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Hi Lindsay…. I am working towards learning more Whole Foods cooking – just started this class yesterday:

    My question for you is this: Do you include your meat expenses in the $500-$525? Or is that a separate expense.

    Maybe I should ask what, more specifically, is included in that $500 range.

    Thanks for all of your work, vulnerability and teaching.

  7. Samara February 2, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    Wow. What a conversation. I love you Lindsay! You have been an inspiration to me for many years now. Just sayin’.

  8. Tiffany January 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    Have you tried making vanilla? It’s much cheaper than buying it. Heavenly Homemakers has a good tutorial (although it’s SO easy).

  9. Sarah Schuh January 28, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    Hi Lindsay, quick question about grass-fed beef prices. I’d really like to purchase a quarter cow but am struggling to figure out what is considered a good price. The place I am looking into now I can get a quarter cow for $710-$720 shipped (100 lbs. of beef). Does that sound reasonable to you or do you think i should keep looking?

  10. Alyssa January 23, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    This has been a wonderful idea! I only have one (so far!), but my husband and I share a car. With him gone all day at work, groceries are such a challenge! Thank you for the idea!

    Also, does anyone know of an Azure-type place for the South? We live in Northern Florida and it seems like organics are few and far between! Thanks!

  11. Amanda Shade January 23, 2012 at 8:47 am #

    I really like your post, I would have never thought of amazon for groceries! safeway sadly doesnt deliver in our area, but we do purchase all our organic produce from Bountiful Baskets food coop, an incredible deal for a mixed box of fruit and veggies $25, we buy 6 a month for our family of 6.

  12. Sharla January 21, 2012 at 7:47 pm #

    Thanks for the post I am currently doing the same. I almost blogged about it as well!!!! :)

  13. Wondering January 21, 2012 at 6:27 am #

    I have been thinking about this quite a bit. But one thing that bothers me is that you are promoting websites and probably benefiting from promoting them. Everytime you refer someone from your link I know you get money for it (Like Vitacost pays you $10 for every referral. ) Now I have no problem with that other than the fact that you have not openly stated that you benefit from this. ANd it adds to keeping your budget down. ANd this enables you to buy more online and so the circle continues. But for us who struggle to barely keep our budgets down, this is not a possibility as we are not benefitting from a well read website with sponsors.
    Perhaps a comment like this can bring balance to those of us who shake our heads and say it is impossible to live on a budget like yours. We need to remember the perks you get, and feel less guilty about not getting our budget as low as yours. I mean not to be mean- I am just being a realist and trying to bring balance to those of us moms who hear budgets like yours and feel like failures. Thanks for reading this. Again, I mean no harm… just hoping to shed light.

    • Lindsay January 21, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      I just wanted to add a bit of clarity to this. First off, it was a simple oversight that I did not include a note on this post. I have updated it. Secondly, we do receive a small percentage of income through the Amazon links provided above. We only offer links to those products that we personally use and love. But I wanted to point out that we do not use this income for our groceries. If you visit our ABOUT page, you will read how we are so blessed to be able to use the majority of the income from this blog for missions work. We support an orphan home in India and give to other organizations like PRC, Wycliffe, and such. We are so thankful for the income we receive that we can pass on and bless others with. When you purchase through our links, you are joining with us in this mission! And to clarify, Vitacost pays me $10 when I actually refer a friend who makes a purchase. That friend also gets $10, so it is helping every person who signs up as well. You can in turn use it with your friends. This is the first time I ever have used their reward program. This would be the only money I use towards our food purchases, so it doesn’t affect my overall food budget, because I haven’t used it before. ;) I hope that clarifies things.

    • jessica s. January 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

      I have to disagree with you on this point. I have been using most of the online stores that Lindsey listed in her post long before it was published. I save a lot of money by buying certain items through online stores rather than buying at a local grocery store. To me, it is irrevalent if Lindsey receives perks because whether or not she does the online stores are still cheaper.

    • Gina February 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

      I have a family of 6 and spend about $550 a month that includes 1 in diapers, I think her budget is very realistic for eating more real foods!

  14. Ashley January 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

    Thanks so much for this post! I am a work-at-home Mom of a new little boy and sometimes find it a challenge to take a shower! You always inspire me to simplify and be thankful. Thank you for that.

    I do have one question. I went to Dave’s Killer Bread’s website and looked for the bread you purchase for $2.10. I did not see it so I emailed them and they told me that they do not sell any of their breads for that price. Do you get that from some sort of discount center?

    • Lindsay January 18, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

      Here is the proper link to the Dave’s Killer Bread/Healthy Bread Store address and list of prices. I buy the frozen dozen of sprouted as you will see and they are priced at $2.03 per loaf (I’m pretty sure they are currently $2.10 per loaf, so they may not have updated this site).

      • Bethany January 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

        So the deal on the bread is something you have to get locally right? I am assuming that because I see the option on the link when you pull down but not that option to order online. Bummer. I am with ya, I have five little ones and would much rather spend time hugging them and reading them a book then making bread. I have just been buying Ezekiel at Trader Joes but wish I had a healthy option as cheap as yours.

        Anyhow, I too think your post is refreshing. We all can’t do everything! Something some where has to give. Each family is different, different incomes, different schedules different locations of living, different priorities, different personalities it is nice to see different options and ideas out there. We can’t all do everything that is picture perfect and ideal all the time. We all don’t have to do it the same way and that is okay in fact I think it is wonderful. I just wanted to encourage you. Its okay, in fact it very admirable that you know your limits and when things need to change and give and know When you need to even let things you might hold dear go. Shows wisdom. So hold your head up Momma. Big hugs to you. You keep doing what is best for YOUR family. I’m jealous of your cheap bread. HA HA

  15. Marci January 17, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Thanks so much for this post – it was such a blessing to me today. I am trying to finish up writing my PhD, and lately I’ve been overwhelmed: I’m writing the dissertation, I have a husband and we have a daughter; I am also teaching five courses this term, we are down to one car (my husband is a nurse and works 12 hour shifts at least four days per week in the ER) until February when we can buy another small car….there’s just been so much. All this juggling has meant it’s been ever so hard to even get grocery shopping done. I’m in Canada, but I think I will scope out what options are available over here because just ordering groceries online would take such a weight off my shoulders. I don’t know why, in all this hectic pace, I never thought of it myself…I guess I’ve just been so busy trying to juggle everything. This is so practical and just what I needed right now!!! Thanks again ;)

  16. Cait January 16, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    Thank you SO much for this post! My husband and I just moved back to Washington state from overseas, and I’m looking forward to learning how to budget and shop healthily for us in the US with all the many options. It seems so expensive here (I’m still not quite thinking in dollars again!) but I’m excited to get settled and start ordering from Amazon and Azure and some of these other ideas. Saving the time is definitely worth it in some seasons of life, if not all the time! I know my husband will value the extra time I’ll have with our children (we’re planning a homebirth with our first baby due next month :) and the reduced busy-ness far more than a few dollars saved – especially when these are great ways to get organic products for reasonable costs.
    Thank you Lindsay! I’ve been finding your blog so practically helpful as well as encouraging.

  17. Nicole Bachman January 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    I forgot to add that we have a local Sara Lee bakery outlet in the town 20 miles away where we buy 100% whole wheat bread (no high fructose corn syrup) for $0.75/loaf…. I usually hit that place once/month and stock up our freezer. For all out there who mill their own grain…. you can purchase wheat from your local COOP (you know… the grain elevator….)

    I have in the past ordered from for some toothpaste. They have a wide variety of things and automatically apply any coupons and shipping is free. However, it didn’t really fit into our budget for the most part and it was just as easy to put the Toilet paper in the cart while at Aldi’s since I was there anyway.

    I do order my Charlie’s Soap online… usually direct from southerland products. I haven’t price checked them with Amazon.

  18. Bethany January 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    Hi Lindsey,

    I don’t usually comment on blogs, but I just had to say something about this post. I got riled up seeing the other comments by perhaps well-meaning people criticizing you for all sorts of things: shopping online, not doing things that THEY do (e.g. baking bread, dragging little ones to the grocery, being susceptible to buying extras at the store). I wanted to thank you for being open about how you are making things easier on yourself and your children in this season of life.
    The truth is that none of us does it “all” and it’s so refreshing to see that admitted honestly.

    It would be interesting and helpful to have a post where people weigh in with the best prices on online purchases, as several have done already.


    • Tempe January 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm #

      Where is the “like” button when you need it! I totally agree. I found some of those comments pretty offensive. :(

  19. charis January 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    we buy from azure standard as well and have enjoyed great savings. we also have a group of us that order together from tropical traditions and green pastures and get the discounts they offer. also, we are part of a csa with weekly produce boxes, so the bulk of our food comes through those means and we fill in with stores where we need to. i have to say, i still appreciate going to costco and enjoying their bulk prices and their growing organic selections.

    my recent post: even them? you have got to be kidding me.

  20. tina January 16, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    wished we had a tj’s where i live!!!

  21. Nicole Bachman January 16, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    I’m not one to usually make comments, especially since this is not my blog… however, since reading this post last week, I have been burdened by many things. First of all, I have enjoyed following your blog and I appreciate your love for following Jesus. I am a homeschooling mom of 5 with number 6 on the way. So we are a family of 7 (God willing will soon be 8) and our grocery budget is $300/month and has been so for some time and actually we routinely stay well below this mark. Paper goods, laundry supplies and cleaning items are included in this figure. We do live in Kansas in the country and we own our own business, so cost of living probably is a lot lower, that being said I know that we spend far less on groceries than the average (smaller) Kansas family. We do have a few perks in that we raise our own beef, shoot our own deer and shoot our own turkeys. I put out a large veggie garden in the summer and put up tons of tomatoes that last us until the next season. We also have some fruit trees and when they produce a harvest I do a lot of canning and preserve making. I have a neighbor that I do get a few eggs from in exchange for diaper making… but the rest is bought at the store. We buy hormone free milk at either Braums or Aldi’s. Most of my shopping is done at Aldi’s, Walmart, and occasionally Sam’s club. I understand that you have 3 kids and it is a taxing job lugging them all out (especially when the weather is bad), however, it is feasible and with a well organized list it really doesn’t take that long. I try to make my list in the order of the aisles of the store which saves steps running back and forth. Also, my neighbor and I have taken turns watching each other’s kids as we grocery shop, and it is nice to get in and out even quicker. In my schedule, my husband teaches science on Wed. mornings to the kids. During this time, I teach a class at the local pregnancy center as well as meet with a “poor – spiritually and physically” mom for encouragement and discipleship. I try to get going earlier as to fit in the grocery shopping then. A big time/money saver has been shopping only every 2-3 weeks and I’m hoping to bump it up to once/month soon. Going on a tight grocery budget was a conviction from God for us in order to give more money away. I did have to learn more self control when it came to impulse buys and I shop with a calculator. I spend only cash too. By doing this, I’m able to still give healthy food to my family and still provide food and resources to several World Vision kids that we sponsor, give more money away to other people/organizations and even have created a “blow money” give away category that I use for misc. Christ-serving needs that other people have: for instance, I use this to bring diapers and groceries to the young mom that I mentor.

    Motherhood is a self sacrificing job and it isn’t easy. I would suggest the books Large Family Logistics and Cut Your Grocery Bill in 1/2 both available through Vision Forum for more tips. As someone who has been where you are and survived, I just want to encourage you keep growing in your faith and being so honest. Before mine were school aged (now they are 9, 6, 5, 3, 1) I thought I never had time to do anything. But have found that over the years, the more I add to my schedule, the more time I seem to find to do it… homeschooling sure finds a way to force you in to being more organized and productive… My kids love to grocery shop and even the 3 and 5 year old help me tally up the prices as we are putting things into the cart. It is a good math lesson, even for the “itty-bitties”.

  22. Leesy January 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Really appreciate this post and the info u post! I was considering joining a co-op in my area and it is funny I just started researching online shopping to see if some of the items I was considering purchasing. And it is cheaper for me to to use Amazon then join this co-op…Would love to get my budget to $500/month and eat organic, u do have some local stores and farmers I would love to have, plus with u making lots of homemade stuff, sure helps. My goals this year are to find some local resources for some of the things such as u have listed and to make some things like u do…ty for sharing so freely!

  23. Bridie January 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    Lol well your 2012 approach to your blog is certainly hitting all the right buttons for me Lindsay!! I’ve spent the last week staring at my grocery lists, totally avoiding going to the supermarket coz its sooooo timeconsuming and exhausting, and just over the weekend made the decision to buy it all in bulk again and this time get as much as possible delivered!! I don’t have access to the places you’ve linked to since we’re not in the States but I’ve sourced 90% of what we need in bulk to arrive on our doorstep inc fresh fruit (still working on the best vege price delivered) this morning and am feeling so relieved!! We keep running out of food because a shopping trip requires such an effort, takes up my entire day, leaves the kids tired out, miserable and usually ends up in takeaways for dinner and a late night because it throws out our routine so horribly! Getting back into our bulk shopping is just going to make things so much easier :) Thanks for the inspiration!!

    I also agree with a previous poster – its nice to see where you ‘cut corners’ so to speak and its been a tremendous help to me as I can just remind myself that I don’t actually have to be wonder woman (thank goodness – my waist will never be that tiny again LOL) and I calmly say to anyone who asks why we might not be doing such and such that we use to do, “in this season its not my priority” – no guilt-tripping ;)

  24. Lori January 15, 2012 at 3:53 pm #

    I think it is not cost effective to order all foods online, and I agree with Heather that shopping online hurts the local economy. I buy bulk foods, spices, dried herbs, and most cheeses from a local Mennonite store; most of my herbs and supplements from my local grocery (buy one, get one sale) or local healthfood store, and all my paper goods (toilet paper/paper towels) when on sale and with coupons.
    I can tell you right now that you are paying waaayyy too much for toilet paper! The site I went to showed a package of 4 rolls of Charmin toilet paper, supposedly ’4 double rolls’ for a total of 83.5 square feet per package (how is this a ‘double roll’????), which means for a 10 pack you are paying over $20 for 830.5 square feet! Ouch!
    Just today, I bought Angel soft toilet paper (double-ply), 1200 square feet for $15.99 on sale as it is usually $16.99. Even at $16.99 I am getting a much better deal that you are as I am getting 369.5 square feet more of toilet paper for about $7.08-$11.33 less than what you are paying for Charmin online. How can you justify this cost? Even if you don’t liv ein midwest as I do (I live in Ohio), I am sure you can find reasonably priced toilet paper that is of high quality that is much cheaper than what you are purchasing just to save a bit of time.
    I raised 8 kids, babysat many more, and I often went grocery shopping with 4-11 kids in tow (all under age 11 at the time!), and I would not have traded this crazy time for buying items over-priced online.
    If Charmin is your tp preference, I know you can find it on sale cheaper locally if you watch for sales and use coupons, which is how I’ve always shopped. I stay stocked up so we never have to pay full price for these or other items.
    I understand how hard it can be to take a few tired and cranky kids to the store. I often would go shopping AFTER the kids went to bed for the night if I did not want to deal with them at the store. There are ways around having to haul kids to the store everytime you need to go.
    I also wonder about how your kids will learn how to grocery shop if you only buy online, and how will they learn how to comparison shop and use coupons if they never see you do it? I know, kids learn things quickly, but I see shopping as a life skill my kids needed to learn how to deal with, and also they needed to learn how to budget, so I combined the two for optimal learning.
    I do buy some items online. I buy my Tropical Traditions organic coconut oil online whenever they have a buy one get one free with free shipping, Recently (week of Christmas) I was able to buy 2 pints for a total of $19.99. I cannot find this same high quality or price locally. I often purchase from Tropical Traditions whenever they offer free shipping and I am looking for products I can’t find locally. I was able to buy 33 pounds of organic palm shortening (non-hydrogenated) for under $98, including the shipping! Great deal and will last me all year. Even cheaper than Crisco, which is junk.
    Sorry, but I don’t see how you are saving money, especially on toilet paper!

    • M. January 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      I have to agree with much of what you said, especially that:
      1) Shopping online does not support the local economy.
      2) I looked up several basic items which I usually purchase at Costco, and the Amazon price (even with the subscription savings) was about 30% higher priced!

      • Lindsay January 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm #

        Shopping at my local Safeway delivery sure does! I do a bit of both especially since I buy all my meats, eggs and milk locally. As far as Costco goes, it really depends on your location. You also have to calculate the membership fee.

  25. heather January 14, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Maybe I’m alone in this, but this article totally rubbed me wrong. I get the point, and I *totally* understand where you are all coming from in wanting to save money and time. I compare prices and want the best deal too. But I’m adamantly opposed to shopping online for things that are available to us locally (and that includes packaged products). I can understand mail order shopping for people far from retail stores, but most of us probably live within a few miles of a natural food store, Trader Joe’s, or even a grocery store that carries some natural products. Companies like Amazon are quickly putting small locally-owned stores out of business in every category of products that they carry.

    As a small business owner trying to make enough profit to put food on my table, I am very disturbed by reading articles like this that feed the “cheapest price, easiest way, no matter the cost” attitude. And by “cost” I’m referring to the tremendous damage it does to our local businesses and also the environmental impact of shipping food all over the country (and world) multiple times, even if it’s “free.”

    I realize it might save you a couple hours to order online rather than drive to the store, and it might make your budget a bit more flexible, but please consider the fact that all of these choices come with consequences, whether you feel them or not. Generations of women before us, and women around the world manage to grow, gather and hunt for all of their food. I think we can manage a grocery store run. Just as we go to great lengths to choose the healthiest food for our families, let us also make an effort to acquire it in a sustainable way.

  26. Katie @ imperfect people January 14, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Have u heard of unfi? You have to order everything in bulk but it is a great way to split your order with a friend (or two). Lots of organics and really great prices!

  27. Linda January 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    I might have missed this but…can you go over where/how your buying your meat? Are you ordering it online? Is it organic or pastured?
    I would love to see a copy of your monthly orders. As a weary mother, I would simply follow your guide to a tee!!!

    • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:19 am #

      I buy all my meat through local farms. It is all pastured. Check out my Local Food Sources page for more information. I purchase 1/4 cow annually at $2.50 per pound, and 1/2 pig twice a year at $3.50 per pound here. I spread this out throughout the whole year. It certainly makes it easier to buy my meats in bulk so I don’t have to think about it through the rest of the year. You should be able to find local sources for yourself through

  28. Angela Palmer January 13, 2012 at 8:56 pm #

    Thanks for this post, I’ve been doing mine online for the last 6 weeks and enjoyed not having to line up at the grocery store during the Christmas period.

    What’s interesting to me, is that my children prefer it as well! They like the truck coming to our house and opening each box to see what we’ve gotten. Turns out they don’t like being dragged to the shops each week either :)

    Even though the products are slightly more expensive and there is a delivery fee, I have stayed within budget – unlike when I go to the shops myself.

  29. Tiffany January 13, 2012 at 8:04 pm #

    Lindsay, are you buying fresh produce once per month from Azure? I assume then you go to the grocery store for produce that doesn’t last more than 1-2 weeks?

    • Tiffany January 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      I just reread your post and noticed you mention buying produce at Safeway as well. Thanks!

  30. Becky January 13, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I’m so happy you posted this! Just this week I started wondering if doing a majority of my shopping online was possible and cost effective. I’m 28 weeks pregnant with number 4 and my oldest is only 5… so grocery shopping is quite a chore. Especially since I usually need to stop at 2-3 stores to find everything at a price I am comfortable with. I’m so excited to find that amazon carries some of the products I used to need my coop to find, amazon’s prices are cheaper, and now I won’t need to take all my children to unload the coop truck for 2 hours! :)
    I think I will definitely be transitioning to a bulk of online ordering.

  31. Cara January 13, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Thank you so much for these online places. I was wondering if you or anyone buys gluten free items online and where. Also, how can I locate an organic meats and egg farm to purchace these items. Is Local Harvest the only one or are there other directories for this. Thanks again. I’m excited to try this out ;)

    • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      Check out for local sources for meat and eggs.

  32. Jen January 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm #

    Have you tried We just made our first purchase the other day – seems like a great site! We got a killer deal on organic peanut butter with a coupon!

  33. Katherine January 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm #

    Where do you get the 40 lbs. chicken? Do you like Zaycon foods?

    • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:31 am #

      Yes, this last time I used Zaycon foods. Not ideal as it is not pastured as I understand it, but it is a great alternative for those on tighter budgets.

  34. rachel g January 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Great post! I think the best thing to do is write down how much items cost at each place we shop (online or in store) and then buy at the cheapest place within reason. I love Amazon for my Kashi cereal, Aldi for our organic soymilk, and my local grocery store which has $10 off a $50 purchase almost every Thursday. It takes work, but we are able to afford organic foods and fresh foods with some clever shopping. :) Couponing helps, too. My favorite couponing website is the Krazy Coupon Lady.

  35. Jill January 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

    Thanks for the info! I live in the midwest, so $500 for me may not equate to the same as $500 for you, but it’s very informative for me to see how you spend your grocery money! I constantly struggle with trying to stay within our monthly grocery budget, and always wonder if we just need to somehow budget more, or if I’m mis-spending somewhere. I try to buy the cheapest items, and have had to compromise on many items by not buying the most healthy option. I’ve chosen a few things that I won’t compromise on, but other than that, it’s just whatever is cheapest. But I see that you buy a lot of organic stuff, and can make it work!

    I also buy Nutiva coconut oil, and love it. They have this new thing called Crazy Tuesday or something like that, and they offer great deals on Tuesdays only on one or two particular items. I got a fantastic deal on one gallon of coconut oil that way! They email out the deals each tuesday.

    Could you clarify – the $100 you set aside each month for bulk meat & fruit purchases – is that included in the $500 you have for each month, or is that on top of the $500?

    What do you spend then, on “wal-mart” like stuff like toilet paper, vitamins, supplements, zip loc bags, etc. per month? Do you include that in your $500?

    Once again, thank you so much for your info! We are a family of soon to be 6, and one of my goal this year is to simplify everything, and ordering my non-perishables online might be just the solution for me to simplify grocery shopping. I feel the same way you do about going to the grocery store with my kids – it’s so much effort, and exhausting for me personally, and then after that, I feel like the whole day is lost, as not much else is accomplished!

    • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:29 am #

      Yes, the $100 is a part of the $500 budget. I just set aside this cash each month into a savings envelope. I buy our fresh raspberries, strawberries, etc in the summer when they are fresh and freeze them. This savings covers these costs in addition to my annual purchase of 1/4 cow, 1 pig, and chicken breasts from local farmers. It also includes our basic household products including toilet paper, shampoo, soap, cod liver oil (which is the only supplement we take), and ziplocs (which I try to reuse to extend their use). I keep these very limited so I don’t buy very much. We don’t use alot of body products besides soap and shampoo.

  36. Kelsey January 13, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Very helpful post. Thanks!

  37. Mrs. Corn January 13, 2012 at 9:27 am #

    Why did you stop making your bread, convenience, price of ingredients virsus product, time, ? Do you find the same health benefits with the store bought?
    I have switched my family completely to homemade breads including loaf bread and we see a huge difference in digestion, as well as physical feelngs. i am currently soaking following your guidlines, for which I say “thank you” :) .

    • Lindsay January 13, 2012 at 2:33 pm #

      For multiple reasons, but mainly for the time requirements to make my own. It’s really taxing during this season. And I can get organic sprouted bread for $2.10 a loaf which makes it extremely cheap and worth it. When my girls get older, I will start teaching them to make our own again.

      • Alisha M. January 13, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

        I am so thankful you are honest with your readers. As a busy mommy myself I read blogs like yours where women seem to do-it-all all and wonder if I am lacking in ability of a mom/wife/woman because I cannot not. There are some days I bake bread, some days my house is sparkling clean, some days I make craft projects, some days we get a romantic dinner alone, some days I get a bath, somedays I tend to the yard, but never ever all in the same day! :-)

        As far as bread…..
        Costco has a healthy 100% whole wheat bread. Two packs for $3.99 – so $2 a loaf. Not organic, but 100% whole wheat for those who may not be able to afford organic or have access to a good source. It is delicious too!

  38. M. January 13, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    So did I understand correctly that you use only 1 gal. milk per week? We are also a family of 5 (kids are 4 and under). I buy 3 gal. raw milk each week, plus I generally use up about 1 gal. store-bought milk for cooking, etc. I can’t imagine getting along with less. Maybe my kids just love milk? (I do try to follow the Weston Price dietary guidelines for them.) I’m just curious how/why other families don’t use much milk!

    • Karla January 13, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      We’re a family of four and I usually buy 1/2 gal whole milk, 1/2 gal almond milk, and occasionally one or two cans of coconut milk (I used to get soy milk but don’t feel comfortable with the controvery around soy products).

      We don’t have access to raw milk so I don’t generally use it unless there’s some leftover from using it to make cultured products (yogurt and buttermilk). I use the buttermilk in cooking and baking along with the almond and coconut milks.

      My kids don’t drink plain milk (unless you count yogurt in smoothies during the Summer); they get plenty of calcium from cheese and the cultured products. They usually have diluted fruit juice (I look for vareties without sugar) or water, but I sometimes give them almond milk.

    • Wanderdust January 13, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      I buy at least four gallons a week for our family of four :)

    • Lindsay January 13, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Because raw milk is so expensive here at $10 per gallon, we can’t afford to purchase more. We could easily drink more but we have just had to be intentional. We buy 1 gallon for fresh drinking and then I purchase 1 gallon of store bought on a monthly basis for some drinking but mainly to make yogurt and kefir.

      • Lisa January 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

        woah! here in MO grass fed raw organic milk is $4/gal!!

        • Alisha M. January 13, 2012 at 10:16 pm #

          I’m so envious of all of you out in the midwest – your organic foods (meat, milk, eggs, wheat, etc) is SO cheap. Here on the West coast food is so expensive.

        • Linda January 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

          Where in MO do you get raw milk for $4?

    • Tiffany January 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

      I totally agree! We are a family of six and we go through a gallon a week PER PERSON!! I spend about 50-60 a week on raw organic grassfed milk.

    • Rebekah January 13, 2012 at 5:28 pm #

      Don’t feel bad! There’s just 3 of us – hubby, toddler, and me – and we go through 3 gallons a week!!! It’s one of those non-negotiables as hubby LOVES his milk. It’s also not as expensive here in IL at $4 a gallon.

    • Kim Taylor January 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

      We are a fam of 7 and only use 1 gallon a week of raw milk and 1/2 gallon of almond (for my dairy free son) every 1-2 weeks. THis is all we can afford and I decided a long time ago that we were not going to drink regular milk anymore. So we drink mostly tea and water and use the milk for other things and sometimes drink it.

    • Leesy January 15, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

      I was thinking that myself, I have 2 children 3 & 1/2 and 1& 1/2 and we go thru 4 gallons/week. Growing up with 5 girls we went thru 8 gallons of milk a week…guess we LOVE our milk around here, LOL!!

  39. Janet January 13, 2012 at 9:07 am #

    Azure Standard no longer carries hard white winter wheat.

    Any suggestions for wheat from the readers out there? Azure’s organic HWWW used to only be about $25 for a 50 lb bag. Plus, no freight.

    • Rebekah January 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

      You might want to check around at local grocery stores… our Wal-mart carries big bags of wheat berries for a very competitive price. Not organic, but they are the Montana Wheat brand, or whatever it is… Quite close to organic.

    • Erin January 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

      Check out Amazon.

  40. Brandi January 13, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Lindsay, I noticed that Azure has a cheaper price for organic raisins than Amazon subscribe and save so I am curious…why do you purchase yours through Amazon? And do you still use Mountain Rose Herbs? Thanks!

    • Lindsay January 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

      It seems to change frequently. When I made my purchase through Amazon it was definitely cheaper, so I guess you have to be double checking on an ongoing basis. I am currently not using MRH until the coconut oil goes down in price. They are selling for $60 a gallon right now!

      • Lisa January 13, 2012 at 6:37 pm #

        Also, I noticed the ones this linked to actually weren’t organic.

      • Becky January 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

        I used to buy mine at mt. rose herbs as well and when their prices went up I switched to
        They sell a gallon for $49 and their shipping is much cheaper than mt. rose herbs (at least it was last year when I ordered.)
        I bought a years worth of coconut oil and a years worth of fermented cod liver oil so all the prices dropped further b/c they discount the more you buy. :)

      • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:22 am #

        I just realized I linked to the wrong organic raisins in my post. I have updated it.

  41. Lorilee @ Loving Simple January 13, 2012 at 8:35 am #

    I love Azure Standard. Their produce prices are great!

  42. Karla January 13, 2012 at 8:26 am #

    I’ve taken advantage of both Amazon and Vitacost but have been disappointed that Azure isn’t in my area and none of the local stores deliver to my area (even though the store I go to is nearby and has a delivery program *sigh*). Also, I find that the store brand is often cheaper than the name brands on Amazon even with the subscription discount.

    Whole Foods is the only store I know of that sells many of their foods in bulk, but they’re so expensive for my regular shopping trips. To maximize savings I usually end up driving around to all these places to find the best deals and probably end up spending more in the long run.

    Another place I sometimes shop is I had signed up a while back at but never actually placed an order because I found Amazon to be cheaper, but you may find some items depending on what you’re looking for.

  43. TulipGirl January 13, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Now we live overseas. . . Shopping is a lot of work and I miss my stateside streamlined shopping!

  44. TulipGirl January 13, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    When we lived in the DC area, I started doing almost ALL my grocery shopping online. Amazon, Peapod. . . Saved SO much time and often money (though, had we still lived in Florida, I think I would have saved more with Publix than Peapod.) It was SO worth it to me. I’d supplement with a visit to Trader Joe’s or the little asian market across the street — for both places, I could be in-and-out in 20 minutes. The stress and time savings was worth it to me had it been more expensive. . . but to be honest, I think the financial savings were pretty comparable to my out-all-day in-person shopping.

  45. cria January 13, 2012 at 8:20 am #

    Hi Lindsay,

    i know you posted before about soaking nuts and grains, but i notice here that you purchase peanut butter commercially. Does this brand advertise that they soak their peanuts or are you feeling that soaking is not necessary anymore?


    • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:24 am #

      I honestly have never made homemade peanut butter. I believe that is the only way to get soaked nuts is through making it yourself. I soak my grains as I am able, but not my nuts.

  46. Kristal January 13, 2012 at 8:03 am #

    Whoa, $25 for 12 loaves of DK’s bread! Where is the warehouse located? Portland? I noticed several locations on their website. I don’t live in the area, but my parents live there. At a little over two dollars per loaf, I’m sure willing to make that an extra stop when we come down for visits. Even at Costco, I believe it’s over $3.

    • Julia January 13, 2012 at 9:00 am #

      There is a warehouse just south of Portland that my husband and I visited in November. I believe that the frozen loaves were the cheapest. ~$2.50 each they also had a selection of imperfects and day old stuff.
      Also, it is right across the street from Bob’s red mill which another great place to get bulk grain/flours. (We got a 50 bag of wheat berries and wish we had gotten a huge bag of steal cut oats.)

    • Lindsay January 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

      Yes, it is in Milwaukie. Click through their website. It’s across the street from Bob’s Red Mill. They offer this great prize on a frozen dozen of day old bread.

  47. Andy January 13, 2012 at 7:58 am #

    I’d like to add how easy and how much money it saves to make vanilla extract. I did it last year and I calculated it cost about 1/5th of the vanilla I would regularly buy at Trader Joe’s. It’s really easy, once you get the vanilla in the bottle with the vodka it sits for 6 months and you just need to shake it occasionally.

  48. Beth January 13, 2012 at 7:53 am #

    Do any of you know of a good blog that posts organic online deals? I was following one, but it seemed like everything was packaged foods. We eat a few packaged things but not so many any more. So I stopped subscribing. Thanks for any help.

    • Leesy January 15, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

      I would LOVE to find out as well!!

    • Lindsay January 17, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      The only one I am aware of is

  49. McKella January 13, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    This post is fabulous, thanks so much for the information! I just went back to work full time and even though I love grocery shopping, I feel rushed to do it because of my new schedule. I’ll definitely look into these options.
    I’ve also been looking at and The Vitamin Shoppe, mostly for better prices on the supplements I need, but they have some good-looking deals on food as well.

  50. esti January 13, 2012 at 6:07 am #

    Hi lindsey, i appreciate your blog, learned a lot. i am a mom of 6 kiddos, and am interested to know how you bear labor pains naturally………..i think it is amazing delivering at home as u did …..would like to know a bit more…. if you dont mind……all my deliveries were with some type of pain meds……thanks and God bless

  51. Lacey Wilcox January 13, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    LOVE this list! Thanks so much for taking the time to share. My guess is it was pretty time consuming to write, but I really appreciate it!!

    • Shawna January 13, 2012 at 9:04 am #


  52. Rebecca January 13, 2012 at 5:25 am #

    For readers in IN, OH, KY I recommend Grean B.E.A.N. Delivery – local, organic fruit, veggies, dairy, meat, eggs and also general grocery items.

    • Leesy January 15, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      TY Rebecca, I will check this out, I live in Ohio, so this applies to me….is the price competitive?

  53. Lisa January 13, 2012 at 5:17 am #

    Our grocery budget is just about the same as yours for a family of soon-to-be-six. We eat entirely organic and gluten free. I love, love, love the Amazon Subscribe and Save option…7th Generation toilet paper, GF organic oatmeal, etc. Love not having to think about it.

    Fortunately, our regular grocery store is only 20miles away, and they have a huge organic section. I only shop twice a month, and since it’s one of the only “outings” the kids and I get (we’re pathetic, I know) I don’t mind. The only thing I really mind is driving 110 miles round trip to get our raw organic milk, cheese, and eggs. I only do it twice a month (freeze the milk to last for a couple weeks), but it’s a huge drag. I wish they had delivery!! For your East Coast readers, Frankferd Farms is an AWESOME resource for organic food. They deliver at no cost (with a $350 order…I only order once or twice/year, or you can set up a “drop-off” point with friends and get a delivery every month). They have fantastic prices on dried beans, nuts, sweeteners, etc. They also deliver perishables like organic local dairy, and local produce in season.

    • Tiffany January 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

      I would love to know how you eat like that for a family of 5 and stay within that budget! We are a family of six and spend gobs of money on food. ive looked at my spending and seen 1200 going towards food in one month. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to learn how to stay within a 500 a month budget and eat healthy!

  54. Melissa January 13, 2012 at 5:07 am #

    We do a lot of the same. Don’t know if you have a Costco nearby–or have a friend who has a membership, but the broth you posted is $10 for 6 4 cup containers at Costco all the time. Even if you just went with a friend once or twice a year and stocked up that’s a significant savings.

  55. Leslie January 13, 2012 at 4:38 am #

    If you did not have Azure Standard available where would you likely transfer those items to on your list? I wish we had it but they don’t deliver this far south. I have often found that a trip to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s is necessary and then it costs more :(

    • Lindsay January 13, 2012 at 7:31 am #

      I noticed that Amazon and Vitacost carry many of the items I buy through Azure, so that would be my alternative.

    • Katie January 13, 2012 at 10:29 am #

      Leslie what state do you live in? Azure delivers to Southern CA, Arizona and Texas.

      • Leslie January 13, 2012 at 4:15 pm #

        I live in NC. I think it will be quite some time before Azure delivers this far south but I have yet to find a good option here.

        • Diana January 17, 2012 at 10:18 am #

          Leslie I also live in NC and can’t find a good option either… So if anyone knows of something I would be interested as well…

  56. Michelle R January 13, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    I am so excited about this post!! I’ve really been wanting to learn about how to shop more online. I have a 13 month old little girl with another baby girl due in May, so the idea of taking them both shopping is overwhelming! Thank you for your time in putting this post together! It’s very helpful!

  57. Angela K January 13, 2012 at 4:25 am #

    Another great option that just recently launched is the Green Polka Dot Box. It is like a buying club (think Costco) but with regularly sized products (no bulk). They have mostly organic food at great discount prices and delivery is free on orders over $150. They are still adding new companies and products. They even have fresh produce available on the west coast (I believe it is available now) and are working with farmers to also make this available on the east coast. Below is my referral link and code if interested.
    referral code: 164010

  58. prasti January 13, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    a friend of mine just turned me on to the subscribe & save program a few months back and i can’t believe i never knew about it. i do the same thing as you, and purchase our non-perishable items through there since the purchases made are in bulk. we also have 3 little ones (and 1 more on the way) and it has been a HUGE blessing and stress-reliever to take care of some of our grocery purchases online.

    thanks for sharing the other links. hopefully azure standards will come to the midwest soon :) . we have a local company here that offers a winter CSA program. they were sold out of spots this year, but hopefully we can get in next year.

  59. Lyndall January 13, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    I have been doing grocery shopping online for over a year now and I won’t go back! With two kids, I enjoy the fact I can do my shopping online any time of day or night, set up a quick list of often-purchased items, keep adding things to my order, and shop instantly off a meal plan. You get to see all the specials and deals on offer rather than just those in the store’s catalogue. In Australia, we now have unit pricing so you can easily see what the best price is. We are charged for delivery here but I usually pick the groceries up from the shop’s delivery dock, which is absolutely free!

    I just feel this is a better way to use the hours God has given me!

    I still take my girls to the shop when we need to collect a few items, so we enjoy those outings as they’re less frequent and shorter. I’m usually in a better frame of mind (i.e. patient!) then to use them as learning opportunities than when I’m dreading a huge shopping expedition!

    All the best as you make the most of these opportunities.