Saving money is hard to do these days. Just today I was enticed to click on an article on Yahoo about how one family was saving money. BIG MISTAKE. The things this particular family were doing to save money were absurd. Take for example their idea to not serve $15 steaks to each family member at bbq's this summer. Seriously? Steaks for everyone, at bbq's.....all summer long. My family is long past not serving steaks. We are burger and dog people all the way. Another idea was to forgo the annual exterior house painting. Who paints the outside of their house every year? Jason and I are serious slackers if this is the norm for American families.
Saving money at our house has become increasingly difficult in the last month or so. You see, I watched Food Inc. Haven't seen it? You should. I believe every person should see it. Not because it will gross you out (but it might), not because I want everyone to eat organically (but you might start), and not because I am some liberal hippy environmentalist (have you met me?), but because you should know where your food comes from and how it makes it from the farm (or factory) to your table. Anywayyyyy....after watching this movie, I am back in full swing crazy organic lady mode. I was there before, but finances and a move to OK where it is much more difficult to score organic foods, made me a little lazy on the strict organic thing. We have never stopped buying organic milk and eggs and I have tried to always buy organic for the girls. Also, I don't buy heavily processed foods and try to stay far, far, far away from HFCS, but we aren't totally organic. Well....now that I have seen that movie things are a changin' at our house. For one, I am back to all organic produce. Second, I am back to only 100% grass fed beef. And lastly, only organic chicken.
All of these changes make saving money very hard to do. The chicken I have been buying was $1.99/lb. Organic chicken is $8.99/lb at Whole Foods. Talk about a price increase. The difference in ground beef isn't quite as dramatic, but it is still almost twice as much as conventional beef. Organic produce on the other hand isn't a huge increase, in fact I found it to be very reasonable.
So what is a family who is on a budget to do when they are stuck between eating organic and saving money? (to those of you who haven't seen that movie and are saying, "don't eat organic," I say to you, "Watch the darn movie!") The answer for us has been to stop eating as much meat and eat more veggies instead. Surprisingly, this isn't as hard as it sounds. I have found some great meatless dishes and am excited to find and try more. Not surprising is the fact that most vegetarians (notice I didn't say vegans) are much healthier than us meat eaters and there isn't anyone who would say that eating more fruits and veggies is harmful. We are currently trying to have vegetarian meals twice a week. I am hoping to make it three, but we will see. Jason isn't a huge meat eater, but he is a man, and he requires meat.
Other than that, I am watching for sales. If that chicken ever goes on sale I will be stocking up. I am also considering joining a food co-op in OK. Being healthy and eating organically does not mean you have to spend twice as much at the store, it just might mean that you have to make some changes in order to make it happen. I for one, am okay with cutting back in some ways in order to "vote" in the checkout line.
Do you eat organically? If so, how do you save money at the store? I would love to hear from you!
Lastly, do you follow my blog? If you like what you read, consider becoming a follower! All the cool kids are doing it!