January 7, 2012

Sticker shock

 I'm cheap. Hey, there's a shocker! How many ladies get told by their husbands to stop shopping clearance racks and start buying nicer clothes and shoes? Better quality, stuff that will...ahem...last? My husband does. How very, very sad.

I'm guilty of this in all aspects of life. I don't get haircuts from nice places or as often as I should. I'm guilty of even wielding the scissors myself. That's just scary. And when it comes to food and recipes, I can stretch a buck, folks. And its a good thing, because we don't have many bucks to stretch!

Herein lies the dilemma: how do you eat cheap and stay in budget when your resolution is to eat better and more organic, wholesome products? Well....its hard. Really hard. Especially to a newbie like myself.

I had to face it: I couldn't buy everything that I wanted organic. Nor did I want to! So I did a little research and chose just a few items that I will consistently buy organic. My criteria was based on these questions: how often to we eat the item? How beneficial is it to eat this item organic? And most importantly, will it break the bank? Here's the list I came up with:

APPLES: they absorb a lot of pesticides and chemicals, the most of all fruit. We eat a lot of apples. This was an easy choice.

BELL PEPPERS: these go in almost everything I cook. They are expensive, but I grow them in the summer so throughtout the rest of the year its not that much of an added expense.

MILK: oatmeal, pasta sauces, gravy, Smoothies, coffee, tea, with cookies :) milk goes in a lot of my cooking. The cost of a gallon jug of regular milk? 3.50. Organic? 5.98. Ouch. The price bothered me a little bit. Okay, a lotta bit. But then I remembered living in Hilo and paying 7 bucks for regular milk, and thought okay, I can do this. Maybe.

COCONUT OIL: expellar pressed organic. I've read a lot of literature about how darn good it is for you (I ain't afraid of no ghost saturated fats!). And if I'm gonna buy it, I'm going to buy the best product possible (it goes in baked goods of all kinds).

EGGS: have you ever tasted a farm fresh egg? They're just...so....good. Happy chickens make happy nutrient rich eggs. I try to buy as close to the farm as I can get (usually from our neighbor or at the farmers market)

As you can see, my list is small. So, very, small.  Mostly because our budget is small, and boy, that organic junk is expensive. While grocery shopping today I bought the following things organic:
-green tea
-Washington apples
-milk and Greek yogurt
-coconut oil
-chicken breasts
Buying these things were so difficult for me. I knew that just one shelf down I could find the regular version for ALOT cheaper. Sad that I think chemical covered food is 'regular', huh? We've got a long way to go in this house!

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