How Do You Afford Organic on a Budget?

Updated on March 09, 2009
K.E. asks from Bernville, PA
44 answers

I'd like to see my family eat healthier and preferrably chemical/antibiotic free. We have a friend whose daughter has juvenile RA and the only thing that helped her was going completely organic. It helped tremendously and I'd like to try it with my family. But, I almost fell over when I saw the prices at the store. Those of you who buy strictly organic meats, veggies, milk, etc -- any money saving ideas? It's a big price jump from standard to organic.

And please, not to be rude, but if you want to lecture me about how organics are no better than regular, withhold your post because I'm not interested.

Thanks,
K.

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.D.

answers from Philadelphia on

I agree, buying organic is more expensive, however we chose to only buy certain items organic. Meat, milk, eggs, are on the top of my only organic list. As for the rest, I look for sales and pick and chose what looks best. For veggies...try the Phoenixville Farmer's Market in the summer. (The market also has organic meat) It might not be 100% organic...but is close to it...and they have absolutely beautiful produce. It would inspire anyone to cook.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.L.

answers from Evansville on

Join a CSA--if you are willing to work in the harvest, you can get a reduced share and the farm I work at is very family friendly (you can bring the kiddos to work) it is a 2-4 hr. per wk commitment for practically free organic produce.
www.pennypackfarm.org
tell Farmer Andy that S. sent you!

www.themomteam.com/stacyla
Helping YOU work from HOME!!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

I also am trying to go organic, my daughter is 1 yr old and I'm just starting to introduce her to food. Shoprite has a few organic things, so I buy the shoprite brand organic milk and eggs...........

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Scranton on

After a while you get used to finding the stuff you need to eat right. You have to have an adjustment period, about a year. You find corners to cut. One thing I have found that I get certain things cheaper at certain stores. Some things are cheaper at different times of the year too. I also look for sales. I grow my own garden in the summer, and that helps with finances and getting fresh pesticide free veggies. We also have blueberry bushes. It's nice if you have the room in your yard.
I also buy local when I need stuff they have.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

farmers markets r great, you can get organic fruits and veggies as well as meats for much less then supermarkets, i save a ton of money this way, it can just be annoying having to go to 2 different places for groceries!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.W.

answers from York on

I don't know how much help this is...but I know there are lists of foods that are broken down by: "must be" organic, "should be" organic and "it doesn't really matter" that are directed specifically to budget issues.

If I remember correctly, if something grows in or right on the ground, go organic. If it grows high up on a tree, e.g., a banana, it's OK to buy non-organic.

Although I do not buy as much organic as I would like or should, one thing I do is buy all of my meats, etc. from a butcher and visit farmer's markets pretty frequently. We buy a large amount on each trip and then freeze the bulk of it right away. With most butchers, if you buy in bulk, it is almost always less expensive than buying at the grocery store. For example, rather than buying 3 New York Strip steaks, I buy the entire cut and have it sliced into strips for me (usually around 20 of them). The other advantage to buying from a butcher is since the butchers (at least around here) actually raise their own animals, they know exactly what does (or doesn't) go into their food and environment.

I'm sure you can Google the list of "should buy organic" foods - I checked my files and couldn't easily put my hands on it - sorry. Hopefully this helps a little...

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Allentown on

Don't change everything at once. Maybe start with meats and dairy first, since these are the things that have hormones and antibiotics when not organic. You may have a local source...farm rather than grocery store. Some farmers who use organic methods are not certified as such because of the expense. Go to local farms and talk to the farmers. Look for roadside signs that say things like "fresh eggs" and point down a country road. Also, limiting meat intake to once or twice a week will help. As far as veggies go, grow your own organically. The savings are huge.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.L.

answers from Philadelphia on

I have 3 suggestions - see if there is a food cooperative in your area that you can join - these often offer organic produce at a discounted price. In return for joining, the adult members of your household usually are required to do some work hours each year (ours requires each adult member to work 6 hours per year). The other suggestion is to look into a company called "Urban Organic" - they deliver to many cities across the country and you can get a box of organic produce of varying size (depending on the size of your family) and varying frequency. The boxes also usually come with recipes inside - my family and I have tried many different kinds of produce that I might not have been adventerous enough to try as a result of their recipe suggestions. It's also possible to find coupons for a lot of organic foods. I would try running a web search to see how you can find out about these. I hope this helps!
R.
Philadelphia, PA

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Lancaster on

We too eat mostly organic. The way I fit it into our budget was to eliminate the nasty chemicals I was bringing into our home and our bodies through cleaners and personal care products. First off, name brand cleaners are expensive and harsh. Second, if you are going to stop putting chemicals into your digestive system, why continue to inhale them and absorb them through your skin?
I started with the book "The Naturally Clean Home". "The complete book of essential oils and aromatherapy" is handy, too. I also use essential oils for scenting laundry, the house, soaps, etc, not to mention their own properties. White vinegar, baking soda, castile soap. You don't need much. You save a fortune on candles, cleaners, body products, etc. We pretty much use baking soda, vinegar, castile soap, jojoba oil, coconut oil, lavender oil, lemon oil, tea tree oil for just about everything. We do still buy dishwasher soap and the occaisonal laundry product, natural shampoo, organic body wash for our son, natural toothpaste. You can't make everything.
Saves plenty for organic food, and as a bonus we no longer suffer from sinus issues or eczema.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.T.

answers from York on

K., good for you! My family and I have been trying to purchase and eat as much organic and local products as possible too.

A great list to follow if you are buying fresh produce is called "The Dirty Dozen". These are the items that you should buy organic since there are higher levels of pesticides in them than others.
1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Grapes (Imported)
10. Spinach
11. Lettuce
12. Potatoes

The other thing I do to save money is to plan my dinners for a whole week. (We eat the leftovers for lunch throughout the week.) I make my shopping list from what I am going to cook and check the ads for sales before I go. This has really helped keep my costs down. If organic milk to on sale I buy 4 and put the others in the freezer for later. Organic milk does last longer so if your family drinks a lot of milk than the freezer storage may not be necessary.

Another tip, is to visit the websites of the organic products your family seems to like and most of them have coupons for you to print out for your next shopping trip. I know Brown Cow (yogurt) and some others offer good coupons.

I also shop at our local Farmers Market most of the year and get great fresh/local produce and meats. Check out www.sustainabletable.com for local farmers that sell there products.

Well, that is all I have. Good luck with this endevour and just remember you are doing a great thing for your family.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.W.

answers from Reading on

Hi K.,
I don't have an answer but I wanted to thank you for asking this question. I have been trying to bring organic into our home and I am having the same struggle. I did hear about co-ops that people belong to where they order food together but I have no idea where to find one.

Take Care,
L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Congratulations on making an effort to provide healthy food to your family. I have a couple of suggestions. One is to join a CSA(Community Supported Agriculture). CSA farms are everywhere. If you haven't heard of CSAs this is how it works. In the spring you pay a local farmer around $300 -$400 to join the CSA. Pgh has many. Then throughout the course of the spring, summer and fall(depending on the length of the growing season in your region) you get approximately two large bags of organic produce each week. Sometimes they deliver and often an option is to pick up at the farm. Usually if you agree to put in a couple of volunteer hours weekly at the farm you get a discount on the price of joining but either way it's inexpensive when you figure out the price per pound of the organic produce that you'll receive.
Number two: If you want to buy some organics but can't afford to go all organic there are 10 foods that top the list of "important to buy organic" because of the high pesticide use on them. They are(in order): Strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, cherries, peaches, Mexican cantaloupe, celery, apples, apricots and green beans.
You might also check out the farmers' markets in the summer.

A.J.

answers from Williamsport on

Hey, K.!
You're right, the prices on organic foods are incredible, and you are awesome to want to make the switch. There is really no way around it. I was shocked to see the prices on natural and organic foods when we moved to rural PA were exactly the same as boutiques and Whole Foods in NYC!!! The only thing you can do is what we do- do without other things (in our case, cable, restaurants, a second car) and constantly remind ourselves that what we eat is more important than some other luxuries-or even non luxuries. We shop very carefully and try to stretch things. You definitely won't be overeating!!! I have recently begun to compromise with my husband since I have taken time off work to have two babies. In order for me to get organic milk for them, and all meats, cheeses, packaged Amys foods, and other natural organic things, etc I have started buying some non organic produce to mix in, since the prices can be so drastically different, and it's still better than not eating fresh produce. We avoid the packaged organic "treats, snacks, and desserts" altogether and just make snacks from the basic groceries. Also, I always water down our organic juices so they stretch longer. I always add a side of sweet potato fries or something to the tiny A.'s meals to avoid eating twice as many. Good luck, do the best you can!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Philadelphia on

You're doing the right thing! I get what's available at BJs - they have some organic items. I also visit Whole Foods on Rt 73 in Marlton once or twice a month - they have some good sales and the ShopRite on Egg Harbor Road in Washington Twp. has a nice natural/organic aisle. Also, I use the organic fruit and veggie wash that's located in the produce department - seems expensive but lasts a long time. Our monthly food bill has increased but we don't eat out as much and organic and all-natural is the way to go!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Its easy if you shop at WHOLE FOODS. Yes, organic food is more expensive-but the whole point of eating healthy has to do with portion sizes as well. You can definitely afford organic pasta's and breads-that are very filling in small portions. Organic cereals are also the way to go-they keep you regular and there arent any ridiculous fillers. You may have to compromise with your grocery shopping: do 1/2 organic 1/2 regular processed food and that'll be easier on your wallet!!! Im in colege and i bartend as a single mother-and I MAKE SURE i have extra 4 for organic food....because what's more important than your nutrition and how you feel everyday?
goodluck :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.H.

answers from Philadelphia on

We buy almost everything organic on a one-income budget. (I'm the SAHM.) We have a CSA with Landisdale Farms that we split with a neighbor and pickup at Clark Park every Thursday. (Not year round, but 22 weeks or so.) We buy a few things at Whole foods, but I try to limit my trips there to once a month and only what's on my list. Their organic frozen fruits are reasonably priced and great for teething younguns. Finally, we shop at Trader Joe's. Not everything's organic, but they have spaghetti sauce, pasta, frozen veggies and some fresh produce that is way more reasonably priced than Whole Foods. There's one in Ardmore and one in Center City. Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Are you planning on going organic and also elimate processed foods (i.e. junk foods?). I found that when I cut out ALL processed foods (foods with additives, preservatives, more than a couple of ingredients, etc....), it freed up money to buy the organic. I actually have reduced my food bill by doing this. If you think about it, if you are buying a bag of $3.00 potato chips, you could instead buy a bag of $3.00 organic carrots which will last longer (per day as a snack) than the potato chips. Some of the organic items, such as milk, doesn't spoil as quickly as the non-organic - thus there is less waste. I often wonder how much money I have poured down the drain because the milk went bad.

I think with planning, you can actually have a lower grocery bill than when you started.

I think the prior posts also gave a lot of good recommendations. I do the same and it does help cut down the costs.

Have fun! Eating organic is a good decision. :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I have nothing to add but wanted to say that I'm really glad you posted this because I, too, am learning. I hope more women give us both more! :-)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.S.

answers from Reading on

Hi K.,

I shop at Redner's where we get our organic milk. They also have a natural meats line called "Leidy's" that has no antibiotics, vegetarian fed... I don't think the prices are that much higher for meats, but since it is just my husband and I who are eating meat right now, I don't have to buy alot.

I also agree that growing your own vegetables in the summer is a great way to save money. It looks like you live in Berks County... I used to live in Womelsdorf and there was a natural foods store over near Christmas Village that had a food co-op from May - October. You had to order your food ahead of time, and pick up on a specific day, but you might save money that way.

Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

HI K.,

Yes, there are ways to save $$ on organic. I am a mom to an 8 month old, and I also work in the organic/natural products industry so I know all the tricks!

www.mambosprouts.com and www.deliciousliving.com has coupons/deals.

Stock up when items are on sale. Manufacturers will typically put an item on sale 3-4 times/year, sometimes more.

Buy organic frozen veggies and fruit...this is often cheaper, especially during the off harvest season.

Try private label organic (Whole Foods, Giant, Trader Joe's, Genuardi's have it). The quality and taste is often comparable to the name brand.

If you live near a Whole Foods Market and have the time, maybe consider a part time job (even 1 day a week or seasonal). All team members get a 20% discount card, which saves a lot.

Try Amazon.com and drugstore.com for deals (and free shipping if you spend enough!)

Organics are incredibly popular, so the economies of scale is getting better. Sometimes there are supply issues that drive up the costs, but the supply issue is improving. Personally, we don't buy organic meats because of the costs (and I'm breastfeeding and eating huge quantities so it's just unaffordable). Instead I purchase our meats from an Amish stand and they confirmed they raise their animals humanely and naturally...very very close to organic. Certified organic means it has to be 3rd party certified, and when it comes to meats, this can be difficult for a variety of reasons. I think that if you are watching your budget consider buying from a farm, Bell and Evans, Applegate Farms, etc are natural but not necessarily organic.

Good luck! Contact me if you have any more questions.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.S.

answers from Allentown on

We are members of a CSA out of Reeders called Trailhead CSA. I was able to enjoy great produce for the entire growing season and we're still eating some organic beef and lamb that we have in the freezer. I think their website can be found at http://www.TrailheadCSA.com. Other than that we buy the vegetables and other things that fit into our budget. The CSA is definitely the best way to get the freshest produce that also happens to be organic.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.L.

answers from Pittsburgh on

K.,
I am the mother of 2 young kids, 3 and 4 1/2, and we are big proponents of eating organic. My husband and I am also graduate students so we do not make alot of money. One thing I can tell you is that it is almost impossible to convert to 100% organic in Morgantown. We buy our beef from a local rancher, Mon Valley Beef. They also sell pork. The farmers market is a great way to buy organic (May-Oct). Evans Knob farm has a CSA that has wonderful organic food. You buy and share of their crop and receive a ton on orgainc veggies all summer long, you can even work on the farm to reduce your cost of a share. WVU has an organic farm where they sell their produce too. I always but in bulk when organic produce is on sale (that can save alot of $$). We are also part of food co-op. Once a month we order from Frankferd farms (in PA), along with other families in the area, and they have alot of selection and pretty good prices.

Here is a website that lists the least and most contaminated fruits and vegetables http://www.ewg.org/node/21455

That's how we started, buying organic for the most contaminated foods. We have gotten to the point where we don't even look at how much the conventional costs and try not to think about it. In the end we always ask ourselves "what is it worth to have our family as healthy as possible?"

My advice is start small and work your way to include more. With spring around the corner local organic produce will soon be here and when you taste the difference it's hard to go back :)

If you want any more info about any of the places I mentioned please let me know.

Good luck,
T.

T.S.

answers from Pittsburgh on

.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Buffalo on

The only new "2 cents" I have to offer is regarding meats... someone below mentioned that some chicken is pesticide/hormone free but not labeled organic. That's because ALL chicken is hormone free (by law) and they don't use pesticides on chicken, just produce :) The difference between organic and non-organic chicken is in how they live (in a pen or free range), what they're fed (nastiness or good stuff), and if they're given any antibiotics or not. Other meats, aside from chicken can have hormones, but chicken cannot. There are meats that are "All Natural" instead of "organic" and yes, there is a difference. You need to decide how far you want to go with organic and how much you can afford. Personally, we buy all natural meat and as much organic otherwise. Organic meat is too hard to find around us and more expensive than even the all natural. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.

answers from Philadelphia on

We buy a lot of organic produce and meat, and exclusively organic milk, and yes--it *does* get pricey sometimes. But here's what I do to keep the cost as low as possible:

1. Read up on which crops are more heavily pesticide-treated than others, and choose your organics accordingly. Some fruits, like berries, for example, are huge sources of pesticides so you're better off with organics than not. (Strawberries come to mind--I only buy organic strawberries, and if they cost too much, I get something else.) Avocados and bananas are not as heavily sprayed, so I buy conventional fruit in that case.

2. Look for a grocery store that offers an organic store brand. Giant does this in their Nature's Promise line. (That might not be exactly the right name, but it's close.) Their prices on organics are usually comparable, and sometimes even lower, than their prices on conventional items. This is usually the case with carrots and broccoli, though I don't know why that always seems to be the case. I just know we eat a lot of carrots and broccoli in our house. :-) Just read the labels carefully, because the "naturals" line is packaged very similarly to the "organics" line. I'm happy with either one, but you may not be.

3. Supplement your regular grocery run with a trip to Whole Foods, which has a lot of organic options and buys larger quantities of organic foods. So they'll often discount organic items that a conventional grocery store wouldn't. They also do a great job of labeling their products so you always know what you're looking at.

4. If you can, shop more than once a week and buy in smaller quantities. Organic fruit/veggies/meat is even more expensive when it spoils before you can use it. ;-)

5. Whether you're buying organic or not, get a store discount/loyalty card. Sometimes you can save a lot that way, and the targeted marketing (which annoys me in concept, but seems worth it in the end) often results in coupons you get at checkout for things you'd buy anyway. My receipts show a total bonus card savings of over $100 on January groceries alone.

And, of course, if you have an organic co-op or community farm nearby, it's worthwhile to look into buying a share. I haven't done that yet, but friends and family who have done it say it's a substantial cost savings and a lot of fun since there's always an element of surprise regarding what they'll send you.

One last thing, which is something I've recently considered and need to follow up on myself: If you can, find out what organic treatments are being used on these crops. Sometimes something is organic, but not necessarily harmless.

Looking forward to seeing everyone else's ideas; I could stand to trim my grocery bill a little more, too!

L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.H.

answers from Harrisburg on

We try to do mostly organic. The most expensive thing I find is milk but I think it's really important to buy organic dairy because it's terrible what goes into the regular stuff. I did find a store (Wegmans) that sells one gallon sized organic milk for under $6 - that's the cheapest I could find as far as milk goes. Our local grocery store (Giant) sells organic meat for only a little more expensive than the regular meat so I don't find that to be a problem. As far as veggies/fruit go, I bought an All Natural Veggie Wash (found in the produce dept) that is supposed to remove any chemicals, etc from the veggies. I read somewhere that that's all you really have to do with produce to make it the same as any "organic" produce you might buy.

I think it's really important to buy organic because more people buying it will drive the prices down. I've already noticed the price of milk going down.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

K.,

My family shops at Whole Foods...They are by no means cheap (We call it "Whole Paycheck" for a reason :) ) but I've found its cheaper to buy from them then to pay the inflated prices of the 'regular' stores. We like to buy the Whole Foods 365 Organic brand. We've tried in the past to buy from the local supermarkets (McCaffery's / Giant / Superfresh) but the they don't have the selection and the prices end up being a lot higher. The prepared food at Whole Foods is great too. I'm a vegetarian, my husband is very health conscience and my son is a typical 2 year old and we are able to find something for each of us there. You could also try Trader Joes. I've only been there a handful of times. I thought it was pretty small but the prices are very reasonable. Wegmans also has a pretty big Organic / health food section. Good Luck!!
-C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.D.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi,

You have already gotten good advice, but the there are a few things I wanted to add.

There is a Trager Joes downtown, and in Jenkintown in addition to the ones listed above. Their produce is not great, but they are very cheap and offer lots of grocery items that are organic (kechup, soup, cornbread mix etc...).

I think the CSA option is the cheapest for produce. If you want one in your area talk to your church, or send out your location. There are many farms outside Philly.

Whole Foods has everything but it is very pricey. I would limit trips there for sale items, and specialty things you can't get elsewhere.

I shop at three stores consistently to complete my groceries, so I stock up when I can to reduce trips. Trader Joes for snacks, cheeses, nuts/dried fruits, frozen items, granola bars, and chocolate/candy. I go maybe once a month. My local co-op (Weavers Way) in Mt Airy is for everyday stuff/produce - 1-2 times /week, and Whole foods/Super Fresh for the items I can't get at the other two - once/twice month.

It is also important to pay attention to seasonality. Blueberries in January cost a lot even if you find them organic in your store. Buy the produce that is grown locally in season and it will likely be cheaper/better because it has less time/cost to travel - and suppports local industry/reduces carbon emissions!

Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi,

I'm so excited you asked, because we're on a tight budget and have been getting by on organics! I used to have allergies and asthma - switching to whole grains and organics completely eliminated everything! Then I started to develop arthritis in my knees, and switched to raw milk - now my arthritis is GONE.

So here's what we do....

we purchase all of our eggs, milk, and meat from a farm in Lancaster. We drive out once a month to Bird In Hand to an Amish farm which has a farm store, and purchase everything there. Across the street is health food store - Amish run - the CHEAPEST I"VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. I bought an organic pineapple the other day there for 2.50. Compare to 3.99 at Giant with pesticides, and 5.99 at Whole Foods for organic.
The health food store has everything.

Then Landis supermarket has locally grown stuff in season. It isn't certified organic, but I have gotten in touch with some of the farmers and they don't spray. They just don't want to pay the govt. 10,000 bucks a year to certify them. Same with local farmers markets - a lot of nonsprayed stuff.

FINALLY..we belong to Blooming Glen Coop (Google Blooming Glen CSA). It is 800 dollars for a share for the year - but ai PROMISE it works out to be a great deal if you coudl swing it. We do a half share and pick up every other week because I like to go to WEGMANS on the offweeks. The CSA in Blooming Glen is organic and has the nicest farmers, their quality is amazing and you get about 20 weeks worth of produce that will easily feed an entire family. (May-November), including watermelons, melons, greens, pumpkins, squash...you name it.

Then Wegmans. I have found Wegmans to have the cheapest organics, and a little health food section of about 5 aisles within the store. It is a hike, but we have a deep freezer and it is easy to stock up that way. (We also can everything nad freeze fresh stuff all year because I can't afford a lot of winter organics).

If interested in the Amish health food store/farm, email me personally because I can get you the information. There are several moms that alternate taking trips out there to make it easier on the other moms!

Good luck, and stick to this no matter what! You'll see huge improvements in your health.

J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.V.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi K.,
I buy almost all organic and my food bill is pretty big. There are certain items you can buy that doesn't have to be organic and items that you should purchase that should always be organic. http://www.foodnews.org/ This is from www.ewg.org and if you sign up for their newsletter they'll give a shopping card of what purchases should always be organic and what purchases can be conventional. I also live in Pittsburgh and I found a supplier of organic meat that delivers all my organic meats prepackaged and sealed. All I have to do is throw it in the freezer. It is supposed to be cheaper than the grocery store however, I have to pay for about 1 years worth of meat upfront. I purchase my personal care products from www.spirituality.mionegroup.com. Unfortunately, it is going to be more expensive to purchase these products but I believe the health of our children are worth it. I look at this way - organic food has 30 - 40% more nutrients in it. For one organic apple you would have to purchase 1 1/3 conventional apple to get the same nutrients - therefore, you are probably paying about the same amount per nutrients.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Scranton on

Dear K., you already got a lot of good advice. I too am trying to transition a little at the time. The things that are most important are also some of the things that are easier to grow in our climate, so I gave it a try. I never gardened before and last summer I had huge bell peppers, fabulous eggplants and enough tomatoes to feed my neighbours and still have some in my freezer. I am going to start planting fruit trees too. I already have fencerow peaches and pears that were on our land before us, as well as huckleberries, balckberries and rasberries; and have to do nothing to them but collect.
Another hint: it is very expensive for farmers to get the "organic" certification, so sometimes they sell organic produce that is not certified and cost a lot less. Many Amish grow organically, but do not apply for the certification and their prices are cheeper than the Wal-mart groceries. They also sell cheese and eggs.
And save your money on organic coffee, most coffee from small farms is grown organically anyway because the farmers cannot afford pesticides.
Good luck! I hope that the more of us buying organic, the more the prices will come down and the more availability there will be.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.K.

answers from Philadelphia on

I buy meat, poultry, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, honey and a couple of other items from a local farmer in Paradise, PA. He charges less than store prices for his organic products. I am completely happy with all the things we've gotten from him. We have known him and his family for almost 10 years now. Call and leave a message on his phone service- he delivers to my porch twice a month but also does drop offs in Phoenixville, Havertown and other places. ###-###-####.
C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

I.V.

answers from Reading on

We strictly eat organic and all natural produce/dairy and food in our house. No meat, we are vegetarians. It is NOT cheap, you are right but it's worth it...
I think you can save a lot if you cook at home, instead of boxed, all natural or organic TV ype of meals. I buy my ingredients in bulk, Echo Hill, Giant, Trader Joe's etc...The last one is the least expensive, although it is not too close, but once a month it's worth the trip. It is cheaper then the cheapest grocery store around here (Redners) and everything is healthy, all natural, organic there.
I shop at the organic stand at the Fairground market, it is very pricey though but they have raw, organic goat and cow's milk if you like it. Giant has a good selection of produce.
You can save some money if you know what are the Dirty dozen. For example conv. bananas, avocados, onions are Ok but conv. strawberries, apples, potatoes, raspberry are bad b/c they soak all the pesticides in.

I live in Temple with a 5 yr old son and adopting a baby from Korea, email me off list if you would like: [email protected]____.com

I.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I have noticed that Wal Mart is carrying more and more organic options and I feel their prices are better than other stores. The one thing that I learned when shopping for organic, however, is that there are a lot of products out there that are not marketed as organic but actually follow the organic guidelines. For instance some Perdue chicken does not contain hormones or antibiotics yet it isn't "organic" on the lable...it IS however cheaper than the chicken that is labled "organic". I also agree with another poster about the "processed" food. THAT also makes a big difference in the health of your child.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.M.

answers from Harrisburg on

First, more and more companies are making organic products. Gerber has a line that, yes, is about double, but it's still rather cheap compared to regular food. What I find is best is to grow your own vegetables. Now is a great time to be asking, so you can order/buy seeds, think about where in your yard you want to put your garden, get the tools you need, etc. You don't need a large space, either. Check out "Square Foot Gardening" - great easy to follow book/guide.

Giant has an entire line of organics that are midway between the traditional organic companies and the non-organic brands.

Also, consider shopping online for some of the shelf staples. You can get better deals if you buy in bulk. Consider starting a co-op with other mothers to buy in bulk. I worked at an organic co-op in college. It was started just in this fashion. Just some interested folks getting together and placing bulk orders. This would be a great place to post to find others interested.

Good luck and keep us posted on any other things and bargains you find.

H

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.D.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Hi, I HEAR YOU!!! and then for us, it's not so much "money" but the pesticides etc. But it is IMPOSSIBLE to find organic blackberries in winter, and honestly, my son eats blackberries like candy.

so, anyway, 2 bits of advice:

1. Decide which things need to be organic and which not. Some fruits/veggies really absorb the chemicals and it's worth the $$--like grapes and apples, with their thin, porous skins absorb everything--but veggies like asparagus and broccoli are tough and absorb nothing--I believe that I read it on Dr Weill.com--but there have tons of studies--just google "ten fruits that should be organic" or something like that-- and so there are certain fruits and veggies that should always be organic and others where it doesn't matter because they just don't absorb the pesticides

2. wash wash wash. I have a veggie wash i swear by--put it in a spray bottle and spray everything in a bowl--let it sit for 60 sec and rinse, rinse, rinse. it says that it's tested to remove pesticide residue and its made from grape seed extract.

My son is a berry eater--and in february in pittsburgh, that means berries from chile and god knows what they spray on it. but i could give him ritz crackers or chilean berries so i give him the berries--and I just really, really, really wash them.

hope that's helpful. R

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.P.

answers from Erie on

my question exactly!!! i was just lamenting to my mother in law about the fat epidemic and how it's much much cheaper to buy fattening bad for you food.......i have found when i eat better (organic) it seems you eat less or fill up on less.....that "crap" just doesn't satisfy! i found organic onions at giant eagle that were exactly the same price as the regular kind....delighted! it pays to look closely at things like this...you can find lists on-line of what produce is usually totally laden with toxins compared to things that aren't so affected by chemicals...and buy accordingly. the best we can do is to buy as local as possible (roadside stuff around here is great in the summer).....or your little markets like H&H in Saegertown.....and wash the stuff.....it's a crying shame.....Wal-Mart produce is the worst!!! good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi K. .. first I applaud you for wanting to go organic! I too was appalled at the prices! Take heart ... they are going down some. I buy organic on the things we use the most, milk, cereal, eggs and some veggies. I try to buy local produce when the organic is outrageously priced. Some health food stores have better prices on organic because they sell more of it. Do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? I guess the best thing I can say is buy organic for the high volume things, and try to buy local on everything else. Depending where you are some grocery chains have a better organic section (and there are still some that don't even have that!) Ask your local grocery manager if they don't .. sometimes it's just a matter of demand. Hope this helps.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Hi K., Try a store called Trader Joes, they have a lot to choose from and really reasonable prices. I don't know where you live but I am familiar with two, one is in Media, PA and the other is in Concord, De. They are both really close and the store is GREAT!!!

Good luck!

S.
Chester, PA

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.L.

answers from York on

I haven't read any of the other responses, here, but you might check at your local farmer's markets or local farmers. Many don't actually use chemicals because it's just the way they've always done things ... yet don't advertise that. Also, there are some products that are more advised for organic than others so you might research which products are more imp. than others. I don't have the budget for anything at the store so I only use farmer's markets.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.R.

answers from Philadelphia on

try to shop around at different stores as well as in the summer local markets and there are always coupons in the paper

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.R.

answers from Pittsburgh on

A great way to get local and organic produce is to do a farm CSA. It costs about $500 for a weekly box of food delivered to your neighborhood from May to November. If that seems like too much food you can also buy half a share where you either get half the amount of produce or you get a box every other week (depending on the farm). Here is a link to a Post-Gazette article about CSA's and comparisons: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07060/765787-34.stm From my personal experience, Krutchman's farm is most popular in my neighborhood. They are organic, but tend to have A LOT of more unusual vegetables (beets, kale, turnips) that my family doesn't really eat. This year we're trying Harvest Valley Farms because they have mostly typical veggies (salad greens, beans, tomatos, peppers...) lots of fruit and the opportunity to purchase eggs, honey and meat from other local farms. I know many of the local farmers markets also have great organic produce. You can check out this blog for more info on markets: eatinglocalinpittsburgh.blogspot.com Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Scranton on

K.,

I don't know how much the difference is betweeen organic and regular, as far as health and nutrition goes. But I do know you are right. The anti biotics that are in the meatsvare building up in our systems, and that's not good.

Anyway, I would say start out with adding a few things and then a few more. That way it's a slower transition, and less sticker shock! That's what I've done. THat and make as much at home as possible. I figured out how to make home made Rice A Roni, it wasn't that hard, and there was no partially hydrogenated fats.

I would also recommend Natural cleaning. That has made a HUGE difference for my family. I was Able to find natural products that work, and are super concentrated. If you want to know more, you can email me at [email protected]____.com I have a kitty that has an immune issue. ANd her paws were getting swollen to two to three times there size, once we switched to all natural cleaners, that stopped! It makes me wonder how much chemical residue was left behind on the floors and stuff.

I hope this helps! :)

L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.S.

answers from Lancaster on

Unfortunately, buying everything organic is much more expensive and our wallet couldn't fully afford it. What we do is buy organic where it matters most. For example, bananas and avacados do not need to be organic, chemicals do not pass the peel..... strawberries & peaches should always be organic because of the amount of pesticide they absorb. www.ewg.org is the site that I have used...they made a popular dirty dozen/clean dozen list. They actually have a lot of great resources. Some towns also have stores like "amazing savings" that will occasionally have discounted organics ( cereals, crackers, snacks) Either way, you will notice a difference in the grocery bill....I believe that the extra cost is worth it.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches