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For Those of You who buy only WHOLE/ORGANIC foods

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
How do you do it? I guess what I'm asking is.. How do you afford it? Grace was on organic baby food but now as a toddler (well, since dh and I got married) we don't buy organic anymore because of the price. Ethan will definitely be on organic baby food also but I really want the whole family to be eating organic all together. I don't mind if the ketchup isn't, but you know what I mean!
post #2 of 28
I cook a lot so we only buy basics most of the time: bulk whole (non-gluten) grains, various types of rice, nuts, etc. We live in the California so organic produce is probably cheaper than the national average prices. I only eat chicken and turkey for meat. The fish I buy is wild and not organic. We dont eat dairy except for organic butter.

Our biggest expense is organic chicken, nuts and various oils. I haven’t learned to make kombucha or fermented veggies so I still buy that already made and that cost a lot. SO love his various dressings and sauces. He eats tofu (not good for him) and its pretty cheap.

We dont like beans so we never buy that.

Our monthly grocery bill (I left a few out) come out to be hundreds of dollars a month, but there is only so much we can cut back on.

Do you plan on making all of your babyfood?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
I tried making my own baby food w/Grace and it was just nasty... I don't know what I did wrong... I got a book and everything! I just couldn't get it to taste right. So we bought the "Earth's Best" baby food.

My biggest challenge is buying organic and still pleasing DH. He's a meat and potatoes type of guy and I don't know how to incorporate healthy meals. It's too expensive to buy two seperate things of groceries. But I want him to like the food and be happy too! :
post #4 of 28
Try again with the homemade babyfood. It's really so easy, once you get into the swing of it. I steam some veggies on the stovetop, puree it in the food processor, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then transfer them to baggies. I usually do 2 - 4 ice cube trays worth of food in one batch, so it lasts a while.

We buy in bulk from a local organic coop. Find yourself a coop! I buy bulk grains, dried beans, I make my own bread and baked goods, no cold cereals. The only 'processed' things we buy are pretzels, tortillas, and condiments. Only buy seasonally (don't buy organic raspberries in January!) or buy frozen from Trader Joe's. Organic milk gets me, though. That adds up quickly. But we don't drink much. 1 cup/day for my toddler, and then some for cooking.

Buy cheaper produce. Rely heavily on onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, apples, bananas, butternut squash, etc. Buy the 'fancy stuff' only when it's in season.

aven
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Buy cheaper produce. Rely heavily on onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, apples, bananas, butternut squash, etc. Buy the 'fancy stuff' only when it's in season.
I usually buy things in season, since they are always the cheapest and freshest (I'm not into buying stuff shipped from Argentina, even if they're organic). If you don't have access to a coop or a CSA farm, how about a farmer's market?
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by huskermommy View Post
I tried making my own baby food w/Grace and it was just nasty... I don't know what I did wrong... I got a book and everything! I just couldn't get it to taste right. So we bought the "Earth's Best" baby food.

My biggest challenge is buying organic and still pleasing DH. He's a meat and potatoes type of guy and I don't know how to incorporate healthy meals. It's too expensive to buy two seperate things of groceries. But I want him to like the food and be happy too! :
We shop together and separately for things we both eat together and on our own. My SO is a tofu type of guy so I usually make my protein, large salad and cooked veggie and grain of some sort and he will have the veggies and grains and fix is own part of the meal.
post #7 of 28
I just answered a similar question on another forum, so I'm just going to copy and paste what I said there. Please forgive me if I repeat anything that's already been said.

For produce, our biggest money saver was participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Basically, at the beginning of the year, we pledged a certain amount (every CSA is different), which meant that we owned share in the farm. Every other week (we also could have done weekly), we got a box of fresh, in season, organic produce, and it was always in excellent condition. The quality of supermarket produce doesn't even compare to the quality of what came in our box. When we pledged last year, we payed for the whole year up front; it seemed like a ton of money, but when I broke it all down weekly and compared it to what we normally spent on produce, it was much, much cheaper. You can find a local CSA here: www.localharvest.com

I would definitely agree that buying the things that are the scariest in non-organic form is very important. Eggs, dairy, certain fruits and veggies...hmm..what else...I have read that oils and vinegars should be organic. We use a lot of red and white wine vinegar, and I always buy those organic, because grapes are one of the most highly pesticized fruits.

You can find info on the biggies here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/. Off hand, I can tell you that a few of the most important ones are grapes, strawberries, potatoes, apples, bell peppers, greens, and peaches. Some of the less important ones are bananas, avocadoes, and citrus fruits; apparently they are safer from pesticides because of their thick skins. I also found some info here: http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Con...optobuyorg.htm.

Once in a while, I'll buy organic meat. I try to whenever I can, but it's not a regular thing. After I saw this, http://themeatrix.com/, it really opened my eyes to why it so important. If meat from cloned animals truly becomes a reality : , you can bet that my family will only be eating organic meat, even if it means that we become borderline vegitarians!

If you do go with just "natural", make sure that you check the ingredients carefully. "Natural" can be stretched pretty far, and there is no goverment regulation for things that say natural, free-range, grain fed, etc. Unfortunately, the only total assurance is organic.

Joining a co-op can save you tons! We have quite a large playgroup, and we do a lot of co-ops with the other families in the group (it's a pretty cruchy AP playgroup!).

One we do is Azure Standard, which is where I tend to order meats, breads, and some other things. Not everything is cheaper, but a lot of it is. I get Wild Alaskan Salmon for around $6/lb, which I could NEVER find in a store here. And it comes frozen, which is great. You can never freeze wild salmon from the grocery store because it's already been frozen once before. If you can get enough interest in a co-op with others in your area, it's definitely worth it. I think Azure only delivers as far east as Montana, but I'm sure those of you further east can find something similar.

If you do check out the Azure site, be aware that for some reason, when you're not signed in, the prices shown are much higher than when you are signed in. I'm not really sure why that is...

We also do a Frontier co-op, which is where I get a lot of our dry goods. We use a lot of Burt's Bees in our house (not organic, but still great, mostly natural stuff), and it's 1/2 price through Frontier. We get a lot of other products there too.

HTH!
post #8 of 28
We only buy organic whole foods, and we do it on the USDA "Thrifty" Budget for a family of 2 adults and a 1-yr old.

We don't buy any convenience foods, we rely heavily on our co-op/buying club, in the summer we buy only local organic produce and in the winter we rely on seasonal organic produce. About half of our money goes to the co-op for dry goods and some dairy (cheese), and the other half we use to buy produce, milk and eggs. We eat primarily vegetarian, and are slowly reintroducing occasional meats.

We eat a lot of legumes, eggs, cheese, home-made yogurt and seasonal fruits and veggies.

I blog about eating whole/organic on a budget if you wanna check it out for ideas or recipes.
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Wow! This is great. So much info mamas! I will try the baby food again! When it's time!

I need to go through these posts tomorrow thoroughly and take some : !
post #10 of 28
:

This is great. Sorry to hijack - but in planning meals using organics/wholefoods - what do people use as a general staple list of pantry supplies? I want to get my pantry re-stocked so that I only have to buy fresh produce for the week, and do the pantry shop about once a month. Is this a good way to do it? (please tell me if I should repost this elsewhere - sorry huskermommy if I derailed !)
post #11 of 28
Your list is going to be different than mine because I don’t eat gluten, dairy (intolerant) or beef (dont like). Well, actually I don’t know what you don’t eat

Pantry staples doesn’t include other misc grocery items, supplements (hemp seed powder, etc) and produce. I buy more than this list on occasion, but this is what I always have in my house (almost)

Rice
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Black

Other grains (organic)
  • Corn meal (corse and fine)
  • Brown rice flour
  • Potato starch (used rarely)
  • Tapioka starch
  • Qunoa
  • Millet
  • Wild rice
  • popcorn seeds

Spices
  • Sea, kosher or Celtic salt
  • (gourmet salts: black, red, smoked)
  • Pepercorns
  • Cayenne
  • Papricka
  • Indian spices (various)
  • Thai spices (various)
  • Herbs (fresh and dried)
  • Vanilla beans
  • Vanilla extract
  • Amond extract

Baking
  • Baking soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Yeast
  • (grains and spices from above)

Sweetners
  • Raw honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Maple Syrup

Nuts and seeds(all raw and organic)
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seed (black and beige)

Butters
  • Raw almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Coconut butter
Oils
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Toasted Sesame oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Ghee

Dairy
  • Organic and/or grass fed butter

Tea
  • Various types of loose green teas
  • Chai tea (loose)
  • Black teas (loose)
Misc
  • (Sugar - only for feeding yeast and making Kombucha - eventually)
  • Sprouted tortillas
  • Kombucha
  • Sour kraut
  • Various sauces
  • Ketchup (fruit juice sweetened)
  • Wine – all types
  • Coffee (mostly for SO)
  • Tofu (for SO)
  • Dried sea vegetables
  • vinegars

Meat and Fish
  • Chicken
  • Salmon (only buy the same day I will eat)
  • Other types of fish when I get in the mood
post #12 of 28
You've gotten lots of great tips so far! Depending on your current eating habits, you should try to make slow but incremental changes toward whole foods, otherwise your family might rebel!

Re: meat, we eat organic meat for the price of regular meat. My grocery store has an about-to-expire meat bin, and I always buy from that and plan meals accordingly. They are marked down to conventional meat prices, and as long as you put them in the freezer right away they are fine!

Re: baby food, you don't actually have to make baby food. I did that for dd and it was fine, but with ds I realized it was unnecessary. We just gave him whatever was around that was soft - avocados, pears, bananas, applesauce, oatmeal (at first ground up in a coffee grinder), etc. We did have one of those baby food grinders for the brief stage where they need things more pureed, which I used occasionally but not a lot.

When he got to the chunky fod stage, things got even easier because he could eat a lot of our food. My grocery store also sells bags of organic frozen cubed squash and sweet potato, which he liked a lot.

Seriously, I can probably count on two hands the number of times I cooked up something special for him or gave him an actual jar of baby food!
post #13 of 28
I make my own organic babyfood and find that it is very easy. I steam fruits veggies using a steamer/colander in my saucepan then puree them with our immersion blender (I used the food processor attachement) see here for a picture http://www.amazon.com/Braun-MR430HC-AC/dp/B00004S9GX
I use baby cubes to freeze and also put some in the fridge in old babyfood jars
post #14 of 28
just subbing, great advice!
post #15 of 28
For the baby food, I overcook a small portion of the food we're having and mash it with a fork. When I say overcook, I just mean I cook it enough to be mashable while we mostly like crispy al-dente food.
post #16 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by little-g View Post
:

This is great. Sorry to hijack - but in planning meals using organics/wholefoods - what do people use as a general staple list of pantry supplies? I want to get my pantry re-stocked so that I only have to buy fresh produce for the week, and do the pantry shop about once a month. Is this a good way to do it? (please tell me if I should repost this elsewhere - sorry huskermommy if I derailed !)
OH! Don't be silly!! I need the info too!!
post #17 of 28
Thread Starter 
This is great!! I'm taking lots and lots of notes!

Good idea about doing it gradually! DH would def. rebel!!

How do you get into the groove of grains? I have no idea how to cook them or even if I'll like 'em.
post #18 of 28
I haven't read all the posts (they look informative though and I will be back!), but do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? They have lots of organic stuff and the price is SOOOO much better than the regular grocery store or the health food store.
post #19 of 28
We eat an all organic whole foods vegan diet on my husband's public school teaching salary. We feel very strongly in eating/buying organic and so this is our biggest and mostly our only splurge. We rarely eat out and don't spend on other things so that we can be stocked up in the kitchen- because we love to eat.

We spend about 150-200 dollars a week in groceries for a family of 3. We buy lots of bulk grains, rice, and nuts but spend most of our money on oils, nut butters, and vegan bars. We are lucky because we live in an area that has 3 natural foods stores and farmers markets (although these are not carrying as much organic fruits and veggies as in the past).

I think that it is important that if you can't go all organic due to money or location buying organic items that you use frequently is good and also buying organic for the worst pesticide laden foods.

Good luck.
post #20 of 28
I didn't read this whole thread, but thought I'd pop in. I've been trying to buy more organic produce lately. If you go to: http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php
they tell you which produce has the most pesticides. So I avoid the top 12 or try to buy those items organic. I also try to get free-range/organic meat and dairy as much as my budget allows. The rest just depends on the price. It's weird. Some items there isnt' much of a price difference. On others I just can't afford it.
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