Monday, July 16, 2012

Eating Organic on a Budget Part 1

Just like when you are planning a wedding, you have to spend a majority of the money somewhere (or you should, and I always say photography! wink).  We spend the majority of our money on fruits, vegetables and plant based foods (oatmeal, nuts, beans, whole grains).  It generally goes: fruits, veggies, fats (because they are so expensive. ie nuts, oils, avocados), grains, dairy, meat. 

Farmers Market: Every Thursday I venture out to my farmers market and buy fresh Organic produce. This is by far the very best way to get organic produce.  Not only is it cheap and organic, it's local, which means you support local organic farmers and you get the most nutrients out of the produce.  I buy strawberries by the box for $5 (3 heaping green baskets).  Which is waaaay cheaper than any regular store! Last Thursday I bought cucumbers for $2 a pound (which equaled $.50 each, same price as winco), apples for $2 a pound (this was pricey because apples aren't in season), olives $5 for a container (impulse buy, they were stuffed w garlic, delish!), I always get Kale for $1 a bushel, I got peaches and nectarines mix and match for $2.00 a pound, 2 boxes of strawberries (which are almost all eaten now) and this huge red onion for $2! Total= $24. Pretty good I'd say! Better than store prices.

My second stop is Trader Joe's. If you told me 4 months ago I'd be shopping at Trader Joe's I wouldn't believe you because I always thought it was way to expensive. My friend and her mom surprised me with some groceries from Trader Joe's about 4 months ago (so sweet huh!?) and I LOVED all the food! Here's what I get there that is natural/healthy/organic that is priced about the same at a regular grocery store.{Just FYI, not everything at Trader Joes is organic, and not everything is clean and healthy, cough Cookie Butter, cough cough, Kelly, Kendra! Cough.} ;p 
Here are some pics of a few very reasonable things that are staples for us.  
1. Organic whole wheat pasta- $1.39 2. Organic Reduced guilt tortilla chips $2 a bag (cheaper than regular chips and good!) 
3. Strawberry Kefir, (organic if they have it) $3.50 {kinda pricey but goes a long's super good for you, has probiotics, and lots of protein & it's delicious! Your kids will love it!} 
4. Organic black beans $1 (I know it's best to cook your own, but I like to have some canned just in case..).

More things that are staples for us from Trader Joes include: 
Organic Free Range Chicken drumsticks $2.98-$3.50 for a package of 5! Let me park it here for a second...I buy this even though yes it's dark meat, because, it's organic & free range. Meaning- these chickens are not cooped up in a dark chicken prison sitting in their own poop all day. They roam around and get fresh air at least part of the day, they aren't pumped full of hormones to make them bigger (which makes the chickens retarded and unable to walk-so not joking, this is true).  They aren't treated with antibiotics either. The breasts are even better but much pricier.

Beef- if we get beef (which is rare) we will get ONLY organic beef. Because, organic beef is so expensive, we rarely get it.  We aren't vegetarian, and we aren't vegan, although we aren't oppose to it.  Our diets do consist mostly of plant based foods.  But we still buy chicken and occasionally we will get organic grass fed top sirloin. YUM. The one I buy from TJ is around $7, not too bad, but you don't get much. If I knew where to get grass fed beef at a reasonable price I would. 
Beef is one thing you don't want to buy unless it's organic AND grass fed. Just watch Food Inc. These cows are caged up, unable to roam and eat grass. They are fed genetically modified corn and soy crud and they get E-coli. Grass naturally kills E-coli. So when cows roam and eat grass like God intended them to, you don't have to worry about it. But now they are cooped up, fed a bunch of crap which has lots of Omega 6 {linked to causing cancer} and the cow has lots of E-coli bacteria in his stomach. So the farmer cuts a whole in the stomach of the cow, inserts a plastic tube over the whole, reaches in with his gloved hand, and scoops out all the visible E-coli. Disgusting right? Well it isn't over yet.  They also regularly give the cows antibiotics. THEN, once the farmer gets all he can see out, they kill the cow, butcher it, and clean the meat with AMMONIA.  Yes, like the stuff you disinfect your house with. Then they process it, package it, and sell it. Mmmmmm, barf now, gag me. 

Salmon: I like to buy one package of wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon (must be wild!). Usually around $7. We don't always get this either due to the price.


We get produce here as well. We usually only buy organic produce that is on the dirty dozen list or anything with thin skin and that you don't peel. I get organic romaine lettuce for $2.50 a bag. Organic zucchini for $2.99 a package, organic apricots $2.99 for a package, organic sweet potatoes a big bag for $2.99, and more.  They don't have organic apples right now because they aren't in season yet. We can't wait for this.  (I get more produce at Winco & Walmart and go into that later). 

I've been getting Ezekiel bread which is Organic, sprouted, grain bread $3 something...& you need to keep it in the fridge. It's made just like in the bible. VERY healthy and so much better for you.  Ezekiel wraps $2.50, AK-Mak crackers $1.69, sprouted whole wheat cinnamon bagel $2.29. All these are considered "clean" breads. This is where our budget jumped. We use to buy Cascade pride potato bread from Winco. We are weaning off of's only $1.69, super soft and fluffy, buuuutttt has high fructose corn syrup at the top of it's ingredients list, among lots of other things I can't pronounce.We've been eating less bread and more salad.  I found some OK bread at Winco, I'll talk about that later.

Raw whole cashews $7 for a pound, raw almonds $4.49 a pound, raw pecan pieces $5, 4 organic avocados $4, organic virgin coconut oil (cancer fighting, fat burning, fungus killing awesomeness! I've been eating it everyday) $5.99, Extra Virgin Olive Oil big bottle $5.99. The oils I only have to buy once a month if that.  I know nuts get pricey. For us, we never bought nuts before because they were too expensive. But now we substitute them for other snack foods we use to buy. Our boys love them, and they are great for all of us.

EVERYONE should take supplements.  Most people don't get half the nutrients we need a day. These are reasonably priced in my opinion.  Ground flaxseed $2.69 (sprinkle on your oatmeal or in your soup or salad or coffee!) it has Omega 3's, which is soooo important to fight/prevent cancer and keep brain healthy.   Chewable vit C $5.99 also a major cancer fighter and preventer, Multi-vitamin and mineral $7 I think...can't remember. Tom's fluoride free toothpaste $3.99 (we get waaayy too much fluoride, which is toxic!). Next time we will be looking into natural soaps, shampoos, ect. But I'll probably get them online if they are cheaper.  

More in part 2. :) Do you have any good deals and staples? Please share! 

Love, The Curvy Housewife


Kelly said...

What? Why are you looking at me for? (Throws jar of Cookie Butter in the trash.)

Staci's Slimdown said...

It really is so hard to eat clean and not break the bank. Now that my 4 kids are actually to the point where they eat real portions, it's super hard. I have to compromise some here and there, but I keep them stocked up on fruits they love (and the very rare veggie they love, lol). And girl, it's toiletries not toilet trees. I swear I am NOT poking fun! It just cracked me up so bad, and for all I know it was a pun/joke since you are talking about all natural. But I loved it. :) No Trader Joe's near me. Everyone brags and brags. I'm so bummed.

Adrienne said...

Lol oops!! Toiletries?! Hahaha

K said...

So we have a local farmers market here in town...totally organic, what I've found is that they mark their prices up. Organic farmers market is comparable to regular non organic at Safeway or Walmart etc. California is a state FULL of farmers and crop pickers, find their local fruit stands off the grid. For example, Morgan Hill has expensive veggies. Farmers Market on Depot gives you organic options for the same price...but there is a fruit stand on Tennant AND Watsonville Road where you can buy organic for half the only.

I've found it tremendously helpful in allowing us to eat healthier,

Becca said...

I so miss Trader Joes... Our closest is in an hour away. My dream one day (in regards to your beef..) is have an extra freezer and then just buy half a cow. Yep. You can do it and I have actually found farms around where I am that let you do it. It seems really expensive to do it in one shot but it works out much cheaper per pound for what you get. :)

Adrienne said...

Awesome Job! And that's great you've found organic fresh, local for cheaper. I suppose it really depends on the farmers. Some guys at my farmers market sells non-organic strawberries for $7!! you would assume he was organic, but when you ask him he tells you he's not, and they use pesticides.

Staci's Slimdown said...

Your email to me said "no reply," so I just came here to comment to you. :) We actually used to live in Cleveland, TN. So yes, def heard of and even been to Shenandoah. Have one of their girl's home CDs even. While living in that area, we went to Mineral Park Baptist Church in Ooltewah. Now we are in Dickson County and have just started a church. We're in a store front building at the moment. How cool! :)