Many thanks to those who commented! I learned a ton and look forward to researching your suggestions! Here's what y'all said:
"We've joined a CSA, we buy our cow from a man in the country (grass fed, organic, etc.), but the rest is so hard to work around..."
"There are meat CSAs, but they're a little out of our budget. Groupon and LivingSocial have both had a daily deal in the last couple of months on organic food delivery-which includes meat and they were for 50% off the cost. While the delivery option is generally more than Bill the Butcher, it was cheaper with the groupon deal! Bill the Butcher is less expensive than whole foods though. Not sure what you guys like to eat, but this website: www.101cookbooks.com has been a great resource for us! We're big fans of quinoa and well, we're on a pretty heavy legume diet too (I'm soy sensitive so it's not an option for us as a meat alternative). Our faves on 101 cookbooks are: lemon-scented quinoa, matchstick pasta, ravioli pasta salad, and the almost cheeseless pasta casserole. Oh, and the root connection is a great CSA for veggies! You can pick kale until late in the autumn if you're willing to wear some boots!
Oh and this blog: http://cheaphealthygood.blogspot.com/ is kind of fantastic. Mark Bittman also has a book "How to cook everything vegetarian" that is great!
Here are some links to some of our other favorites:
"We've been looking into some of the plethora of organic/local/free-range food around here a lot. We just joined a CSA and will be getting our first veggie/fruit/herb box soon, but meat has been a trickier thing. I'm hoping I can start buying most of it at one of the fantastic local year-round Farmer's Markets, but I need to do some more research so I'm not just getting the same thing I would in a grocery store but paying more."
"So for us, I shop at Trader Joe's, farmer's market, get eggs from friends, & occasionally Whole Foods. I am couponing a lot of our household items, trying to save money in other ways so I can put it towards the good stuff."
"Have you read Michael Pollen's books? Absolutely eye-opening! I buy most food at Whole Foods, but it is expensive. We've cut out a lot of meat. Did you know Calvin Klein gets an F from the Free2Work.org website?"
"We haven't made huge leaps yet but so far we have started growing a garden. We don't eat a lot of meat to begin with but we are looking for an affordable way to buy organic meat without buying in bulk (we don't have the room to store extra meat). I would think with all the farmers around here we would be able to find an affordable meat source.
It's hard buying organic because the only whole food store here is TINY and VERY expensive. Other than that we have Safeway and Walmart. Since watching Food, Inc. we only buy free range eggs and try to buy organic whatever from the stores mentioned.
It's small, but it's a start."
"We have been gradually "making the switch" over the last couple years. We've done most of the things mentioned, bought a "cow", joined a CSA, grew a garden. But as far as the grocery shopping, I make a point to pick out thick skinned fruits from the non organic section, ( bananas, oranges, melons, etc. ) and then buy a bag of organic apples, or whatever is on sale that week ( at Publix ). I kind of know where to go now for what I want... Costco has my organic oatmeal, my WalMart is now carrying organic milk, Publix has the best produce. We don't have any of the "whole foods" type stores, but stock up on staples when we visit family in the "big city"!! My husband is more dedicated than me, but I do all the shopping and cooking, so it's a tricky balance! Not sure I'm brave enough to watch the movie. Will I ever be able to eat at my beloved Chick fil A again??"
"I offer a small solution for eating real food at a smaller cost and MUCH less work..umm, hello, it takes TIME to make food from scratch?
It's called a meal swap or co-op cooking. Just started doing it here and it is rocking my world!"
"We've been trying different kinds of food habits, beginning with Andrew Weils, Optimum Health. Getting rid of all foods that have artificial food coloring and flavoring and moving to eliminating anything with trans fats... next adding omegas, broccoli and garlic.... we started that about 8 yrs ago. We (not really me, but my hubby) have been lessening the amounts of carbs - b/c of the increase in insulin that the body needs to break down the carbs, we're watching that.
My husband likes the primal diet. I eat what ever he makes..... primal totally supports eat what's in season, and real food.
We did join a CSA and are looking forward to the weekly produce.
We've been a part of a food coop, ordering in bulk, getting decent prices and the coop truck is the same one that delivers to whole foods... I love the discount prices. Just takes a little planning. We've found a US brand of frozen food, Stalhbush, that tastes good. We ran out and purchased birdseye... birdseye tasted like it had a coating of oil on it, uck!
I was really saddened by the actions of the big M company that made the little guy pay them off b/c their seeds blew over into the little guys crops.... sad. Not eating soybeans anymore.
The biggest thing I learned from the film was that I'm voting every time I purchase something at the groc store. And if we look hard enough we can find good food at reasonable prices without compromising."