Going Organic. Our Top Ten Easy Changes

Heather —  August 10, 2010
Official seal of the National Organic Program

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Long before we actually went organic, I had been thinking about the benefits. But, deep down, I thought going organic was for people who had more time and energy than I did. I have 5 kids and I do not like to cook!

I figured maybe we really needed a garden…a farm.

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You know, we needed to be one of “those” kind of people. The kind of people who really put time and effort into their food…their health. Ummm….A person who likes to cook.

Thankfully, one day I read The Conscious Kitchen and turned to my husband and said,

“You know, we can do this”

and, truthfully, that was it. We changed our eating habits overnight.

Because it was early Spring and we were new in our town, I knew of no local organic choices. So, the first thing I did was go to a Whole Foods–my husband enjoyed that trip, but was worried about costs.

Also, we knew there must be local farms who did low or no spraying, so little by little over the next two months we began to actually know which questions to ask.

Surprisingly Costco has some organic items. And our local Farmer’s Market is in full swing right now…and we have found a big organic center in a nearby college town…and a local butcher nearby. In fact, we were watching Food, Inc, and realized one of the people in the movie actually stocked our local butcher’s shop.

Overall, we are eating so well! Our food budget did spike in the second month. After that bad month, we made some decisions to do more pasta and vegetables…to eat less, but eat better.

Overall, our food budget is reasonable for a family of 7 now. If I cooked more, I know I could get it lower. I am lucky that one of my sons loves to cook. He is making a lot of bread right now–so that helps!

We have a lot to learn–I would like to have a large garden and eat more fresh vegetables–and then can more fruits and vegetables. And, I am thinking it would be useful to buy some organic staples online….maybe go ahead and get a wheat grinder….

But, meanwhile, I am pleased with all the change we have made. I have even changed over many of our personal and cleaning products. I laugh when I hear the kids say that they can’t imagine why everyone isn’t organic–because it tastes so much better. I agree.

Ok. Here are the Top Ten Easy Organic changes around here:

Only organic meat. If you can't find a local option/butcher, Costco carries organic ground beef. I get 3 lbs for 12.99.

#1 Only organic meat. If you can't find a local option/butcher, Costco carries organic ground beef. I get 3 lbs for 12.99.

I can also get organic milk from Costco. I'd rather a milk share...but this works, too!

#2 I can also get organic milk from Costco. I'd rather a milk share...but this works, too!

Organic eggs--again, I can even get these at Costco. At first, I thought I had been tricked when I couldn't find the USDA logo--but it is on the inside of the carton:)

I love the Pasta at Whole Foods. I buy the 1.99 organic version.

#4 I love the Pasta at Whole Foods. I buy the 1.99 organic version.

Fruit at Farmer's Mkt is reasonable. Otherwise I have to get it at Whole Foods and it is more expensive.

#5 Fruit at Farmer's Mkt is reasonable. Otherwise I have to get it at Whole Foods and it is more expensive.

I find cereal to be a problem item. It is so expensive! I am trying an organic granola recipe this week.

#6 I find cereal to be a problem item. It is so expensive! I am trying an organic granola recipe this week.

I was surprised to find organic yogurt at Costco...reasonably priced

#7 I was surprised to find organic yogurt at Costco...reasonably priced

My New Cast Iron Skillet...yes, this is making me want to cook again!

#8 My New Cast Iron Skillet...yes, this is making me want to cook again!

I like this deodorant crystal--I had tried Tom's and it irritated me. This lasts for so long and seems to work just fine

#9 I like this deodorant crystal--I had tried Tom's and it irritated me. This lasts for so long and seems to work just fine

This shampoo is my new favorite--it has a rich lather and my hair looks great. The matching conditioner works well on my daughter's long hair...

#10 This shampoo is my new favorite--it has a rich lather and my hair looks great. The matching conditioner works well on my daughter's long hair...

And, one more thing….I love cleaning the bathroom with just a bit of vinegar and water–who knew that really worked?? It does. Just mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 cup water in a spray bottle. You can add a drop of soap if you like. Spray in shower and be surprised it works. (if the shower is really bad, you can add a bit of baking soda, for a scrub) The vinegar scent is not great, but it evaporates quickly and your shower is looking good and shiny!

I have tried many other organic products and you can see a couple of reviews on my organics page.

Heather

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Blogging about parenting, green living, education.

5 responses to Going Organic. Our Top Ten Easy Changes

  1. It’s great when little changes can happen without major upheavel. I haven’t seen organic beef at the Costco up here, but most meat is frozen for shipping and then thawed to sell here. And, I won’t share the high cost of locally grown produce. I joined a CSA out of Washington State that air ships produce to Alaska. It’s pricey, but not as expensive as some of the local stores for organic produce.
    .-= Laura O´s last blog ..A Peek Inside Our School Room =-.

    • It is good to hear what is going on in different areas! I was actually surprised Costco offered anything, because Sam’s does not in our area. That is wild that it is cheaper to buy out of Washington than your local stores–but I know the Whole Foods has some crazy prices:( We have a Martins, which carries 2 organic aisles and some produce–they seem to be very reasonable. Seems odd, actually! I tend to buy based on price–so, the kids have seen lots of things like carrots this summer.

  2. I love this post! We are making the change over to organic food as well. Sometimes I freak out at the price, but then I try to remind myself that, in a very real sense, it’s an investment. I’m hoping that we will save more on future doctor’s bills than we spend on our organic food. I am making slow changes (raw milk, pastured eggs, planting our own garden), but I’m thinking that maybe I should be more like you and just take the plunge. Thanks for the inspiration! (I’m stopping by on the TOS Blogwalk, btw.)

  3. I’d heard that Costco was a better alternative than Sam’s if you were looking for organic, healthier choices now I know that I want to visit Costco for myself. This article was really helpful to me. We were on a pretty good track a few years ago, eating healthier and had our food budget under control. I was also making my own granola, etc. then we went on the road and didn’t have storage, regular places to shop, etc. I’m looking forward to getting back on track, I’d just remembered it as so difficult but it’s really just a series of small steps. Thanks for the reminder.

    I’m stopping by and following from the TOS Crew. It’s nice to ‘meet’ someone else I’ll be ‘working’ with. Blessings! 🙂

  4. Stopping by from the TOS Crew Blog Walk

    Enjoyed this post. I started making changes about five years ago, and today, I do grind my own organic grain (electric mill) and make all our bread, have chickens and a vegetable garden, and I buy 1/4 pastured steer yearly. Ten years ago, I would have laughed if someone told me I’d be doing all that. I’ve found that “doing it myself” does help with the costs. (Safeway now has an organic line, and sells organic produce as well as most of the major organic brands – I wait for their sales, and stock up.)