I am desiring more and more for my family to eat as healthfully as possible, especially since 2 out of 3 of my children are very picky eaters. Unfortunately, our grocery bill is through the roof and I STILL pass up important organic foods because of the expense.
So, I am starting this series, Budging the Organic Budget, as a sort of brain storm of ways to keep the grocery budget down and healthful foods up.
Eat more simply.
Variety is the spice of life, but now that I am a busy mom of 3 going on 4, variety can be an added burden. I used to love making all those ethnic, different and gourmet dishes. Planning all those different meals is time consuming and expensive, not to mention all the leftovers that go bad in the back of the fridge because heaven forbid you eat chicken twice a week.
With 2 picky children, making dinners such as casseroles, or gourmet flavorings means a lot of waste. They don't eat it. So, I am taking inventory of simple, healthful meals my children will actually eat and sticking to the healthiest versions of those ingredients that I can afford.
I grew up with the idea that you HAD to have variety in your meals. Then, I found out that back in the old days, meals were quite simple and healthful. Lots of soups, stews, bread and cheese, eggs, oatmeal, apples, etc etc etc. Quick, simple, healthful. Our foremothers had enough to do without spending HOURS and expense on meals. It's ok to eat simply! It really is! Not only that, but you'll savor and enjoy the flavors more! Want variety with less expense? Buy in season!
Here's my first week of buying more organic:
I spent a grand total of $124.00
.29 lbs olives
Marble Jack cheese
Hunt's Natural Ketchup
All Natural Heidl Raisin Sunflower Bread
Dried Zante Currants
Kate's Sea Salted Butter quarters
Store brand baking soda
Sorrento Mozz. Cheese
Bimbo Whole Grain White bread
Attitude Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Diapers
Half Gallon Whole Milk (from a local source)
Naturally Raised Stew Beef
Angus Loin Tips
Natural Breast Cutlets
Organic Frozen Green Beans
Organic Frozen Mixed Veg.
Organic Frozen Blackberries
Organic Frozen Blueberries
Organic Brown Basmati Rice
Dried Pineapple slices
Organic Apples 3 lbs
Organic Potatoes 5lbs
Organic Spring Mix
Organic Celery hearts
Organic broccoli crowns
I get my eggs and raw milk from a local farm.
I should get organic ketchup, especially since my family treats it more like a food than a condiment
Bimbo Bread....yeah I know, but hubby is a Wonder Bread sort of guy. At least Bimbo doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it!
I don't buy organic milk because it is ultra-pasteurized. The milk I get is from local dairies that do not use growth hormones. This pasteurized store-bought milk is used to make my yogurt.
The watermelon was probably not a wise buy. It is most likely imported and definitely NOT organic. But it was on sale and looked so good!
Where To Save $$:
I'm going to start cloth diapering and cloth wiping to save $$. The Attitude diapers are only $9.99 a pack, but there's fewer diapers in a pack than Earth's Best or Seventh Generation. I chose Attitude because it says they're biodegradable. The other two brands don't say that. I'll use Attitude for traveling and nighttime.
The raisin bread....yeah...that was nearly $4.50 a loaf! I can make that at home AND soak my grains beforehand, making a healthier loaf for less.
The hummus I definitely have to start making on my own. My youngest LOVES hummus, but store bought hummus is so expensive and has questionable vegetable oils in it.