Monday, June 15, 2009

Organic on a Budget

I came across this list on Sparkpeople.com that is a guide to what you should and don't necessarily need to buy organically. We first switched our kids to organic dairy, then farm raised meat. We eliminated nitrates in hot dogs and bacon. We also buy organic, local produce whenever possible.

Here is the list:

The Dirty Dozen: Top 12 Foods to Buy Organic
If you have budget constraints, your money is doing more for your health when you put it towards organic varieties of the following fruits and vegetables (listed in descending order, starting with greatest levels pesticide contamination):
  1. Peaches
  2. Apples
  3. Bell peppers
  4. Celery
  5. Nectarines
  6. Strawberries
  7. Cherries
  8. Kale
  9. Lettuce
  10. Imported grapes
  11. Carrots
  12. Pears
The Clean 15: Save Your Money & Buy Conventional
If going totally organic is too difficult or pricey, play it safe and eat the following conventional produce items to minimize your exposure. These are known to have the least amount of pesticide residue (listed in ascending order, starting with of lowest levels of pesticide contamination):
  1. Onions
  2. Avocados
  3. Sweet corn
  4. Pineapple
  5. Mangoes
  6. Asparagus
  7. Sweet peas
  8. Kiwis
  9. Cabbage
  10. Eggplant
  11. Papaya
  12. Watermelon
  13. Broccoli
  14. Tomatoes
  15. Sweet potatoes
I am going to put this list with my coupons so I can remember where I can save some money. One of these days, I'll write about my triumphs with coupons.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Is it really June...?

No matter how hard I try to make this blog a more real and regular part of my journey, I just can't help but post once a month...at best. Perhaps with the summer and the more relaxed schedule I can find more time to get my thoughts down. As the school year wraps up and the family schedule begins to change I am really looking forward to summer. I love having my kids home. Don't get me wrong, they go to camps, lessons and a vacation bible school or 2, but I love the more relaxed nature of heading to the library for an afternoon, or eating lunch in the backyard, or going to the lake for a whole week.

In addition to all that summer goodness, I have added a vegetable and meat CSA to our summer. The kids and I went to visit "our farm" (as the kids call it) where we get our vegetables. It was fun. It was educational. The kids walked through the hen house and chased chickens. We saw actual fresh eggs. It is so comforting knowing where your food is coming from. I am so sorry I hadn't figured that out before now. I am planning on keeping our summer grocery budget lower because the produce and meat is already coming. I'll keep you posted on how that is going.

Finally, I am thinking of going back to work. No one panic - part time. This economy is forcing me to think about how we live and whether we can do with less. Well, of course we CAN, but WILL we. I think of all the things my kids have and do that I didn't. For example, my kids eat out once a week(sometimes twice). We made homemade pizzas once a week as kids and once a MONTH we ordered out. My mom bought boxes of ice cream treats as opposed to the ice cream truck, or in the case of my kids, DQ. We borrowed books and tapes (and they were tapes!!) from the library. My kids do too, but only as a supplement to the book orders and trips to Borders. I am currently spring cleaning the house only to realize...we have a lot of stuff. More than one of a lot of things. Clothes with tags, toys unopened, stuff unused. I am going to ebay, craig's list and garage sale quite a bit of it. Not only in the hopes of making a few bucks, but how can you really appreciate all that you have when you can't find it.

It should be interesting how it all shakes out and whether or not I am able to get it all together this summer. I hope to post again before July and see!