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Where can I sacrifice on organic? New Budget!

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Dh was laid off and we don't have any firm possibilities yet. I need to start cutting back in various places and need to look at our food budget. I am not willing to buy conventional meat and dairy. We are big on dairy, though eat meat only occasionally. I've seen lists of what fruits/vegetables are best to get organic and which ones you can "skimp" on a bit. We belong to a community far, so come spring and summer, we'll have a source for produce, but until then, what should I know?

Any insights, tips, etc?

post #2 of 14
Hi there,
I work in a whole foods organic market and basically anything that is higher in fat concentration or comes from an animal should definately be sourced organically. As far as veggies and fruit go the top ones to source organically are berries, apples, citris and bananas, root vegetables such as beets and carrots. Grains are really important too because many of our grains come from underdeveloped countries where sanitation and standards aren't the same. But if the grain is organic then the farm does practice proper sanitation and soil standards. Many veg like Kale and brocolli cauliflower ect. will be sprayed because of the higher risk for worm infestation. If it is at all possible to shop at a smaller grocery, one that the owner actually meets the farmer who grows the food, you may be able to ask what the farmer uses for fertilizer and where the farm is located. What I find sometimes is that some of the smaller farms cannot afford to certify themselves as organic but actually practice organic farming standards.
So to sum up, definately butter, cheese, youghurt, seeds nuts and most fruits. Buy in season and from your bioregion and things become quite inexpensive that way. The further the food has to travel to get to you the more expensive it will be.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Are things like flour and sugar considered grains in your discussion (which is just what I needed, btw)?

Any other grocery budget saving tips out there?
post #4 of 14
I always buy organic animal products, dairy and eggs (pesticides, hormones, dioxins etc are stored in animal fat) and thin skinned fruits like berries that can't be peeled (if they're in season/affordable).

When I'm on a tight budget I buy 'commercially grown' peelable produce (like carrots, potatoes, other root veggies, apples etc) to minimize pesticide consumption.

If you make your own bread, it really isn't 'that' expensive per loaf to buy organic wheats/grains, though I often don't if I'm short on cash. I still think it's cheaper than paying $3.50/loaf for organic bread (which we go through quickly).

I don't have any money saving tips other than to buy in bulk and freeze if you have space. My grocery bills are always outrageously high. We don't buy much snacky food (well, part of that is me trying to avoid hydrogenated oils but that's a different story) so dh and ds get peanut butter sandwiches, fruit, etc for snacks unless I was ambitious enough to make cookies, which rarely happens :LOL
post #5 of 14
http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php a short list of most and least contaminated produce.
post #6 of 14
Hi there,
If you are going to be making bread its really worth your while and pocketbook to buy organic flour. If you purchase a bulk amount most stores give a discount.
We spend about $125. per week on groceries, and that also include a pound of organic coffee and cleaning supplies. I make all our crackers, bread and muffins and we also make all our pastas fresh too. This really cuts the cost back. Its time consuming but I figure its worth it.
Take Care
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks! This is all so helpful. And I'm not opposed to making things from scratch!

Keep it coming!
post #8 of 14
mountain mom

Can you share a cracker recipe?
post #9 of 14
I have a great sesame spelt cracker recipe so when I log on tonight I will post it up!
post #10 of 14
I think the answer is not in what you buy but what you cook.
post #11 of 14
hi everyone....here is the cracker recipe:

1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup cashews
1 1/2 cup flour (I've used spelt and whole wheat and a mix of both)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
seasonings of any flavour to suite

Grind the millet, 3 tbsp sesame seeds and cashews until they resemble a course meal

Add that to the flour, salt and seasonings.

Add enough water bit by bit to form a stiff dough

Roll out onto a floured surface to about 1/8th of an inch thickness

Sprinkle the remaining seeds on the dough and roll in to set

Cut into shapes with cookie cutter

Bake the crackers on a lightly oiled cookie sheet for about 12 - 15 minutes at 375 degrees

This is a very forgiving recipe, I have omitted the cashews, grinded only part of the millet and left the rest for texture, added flax seeds and I have used lots of different flours with different outcomes. The ones I listed I have had the best luck with, the whole wheat was stoned ground.

Good luck and make lots, they go fast!

post #12 of 14
Thanks, Colleen, I can't wait to try. Just curious - what do you use for flavoring?
post #13 of 14
Consider joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for your produce? We bought a share that does require upfront money, but supplies all the veg we need for our family and delivers once a week. I also feel good about supporting local farmers and sustainable farming practices. Check out the link or do a google on CSA(s). You might be surprised how close one is to your home.

post #14 of 14
Hi there,
What I use for flavouring is sometimes stock instead of water. The last time I used Mushroom stock and the crackers had an oriental flavour. Also I will use lots of different spices depending on what outcome I want. Dill with lemon juice (part with water), caraway, curry crackers, oregano, sundried tomato pieces, different sea veggies, kelp powder, really anything
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