Friday, February 6, 2009

Nutrition...Talk About It

Here is a question I received in an email recently to get "friends" talking about budgeting in organic foods and what works for their families:

"With all the talk about the danger of conventional pesticides and chemicals lurking in our food, it’s easy to get alarmed. While we know buying organic food is the best thing for our families, it’s not always within our budgets. How do you create a balance between your wants and your budgetary limitations when it comes to organic foods? "

My answer: Economically, times are tough for all. Listening to every financial advisor they all have the same message: "Hunker down, and cut spending". We have cut spending in some areas. But when it comes to our groceries, we always try to buy organic dairy and budget accordingly to do so (milk is my most expensive item I buy weekly...between $20-26 a week!) However, living where we do sometimes those items are not always available, and therefore need to either decide if we can go without that item for the week, go to the health food co-op (15-20mins away), or buy conventional. I have done all three options many times. As well as dairy, I always buy organic "dirty dozen" items (aside from grapes...conventional are not as bad, and conventional is better than not having the nutrition of grapes at all). When it comes to meats (beef and poultry) I do my best to buy organic or at least all-natural, free-range, antibiotic and hormone free. These aren't always available in our stores, but I will go out of my way to the co-op to buy these items.
It is tough on the budget, but we cut back in other areas (such as eating out, entertainment, etc.) so we're able to provide the best nutrition for our family. Using coupons and utilizing the CVS program helps as well, freeing up extra money for our groceries! I take note of my prices...I know how much each organic item that we use is and where to buy it the cheapest. I also go to Sams and BJ's clubs once every two weeks or so to buy organically in bulk. Their prices still come out to be the cheapest on many items.

Now, your turn!...What works for you? Do you buy organic? What measures have you taken in order to allow some extra money to do so during these tough economic times?

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