How am I Doing on the Organic Challenge?

Heather —  March 22, 2011
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The challenge:
For a full week, make a conscientious effort to save money by using some of the tips below. Then shift your savings to organics!

So how did I do? Well, we do already use all organic foods. I made that decision last year. So, that helped with this challenge! But, honestly, I could do better to save more money and be less wasteful in many ways and so this Challenge is a wakeup call to me.

All on sale!

All on sale!

I want to share that my experience in going organic was NOT as hard as I thought it would be. Our food budget has increased some, but also, I have changed how I buy and what I buy. I do buy things in bulk and on sale, for example. I buy more produce and we do have more spaghetti! I am learning to scour my stores for organic offerings and even to ask lots of questions at our local Farmer’s Market (this is hard for me, an introvert!)

One thing that unnerved me when we first began considering organics was all the information available. It was hard to have a clue what I was doing and talking about—I would research one thing, and end up overwhelmed. But, then I would do something like watch Food, Inc. and remember why I wanted change for my family—to protect them.

Anyway, here I go: below are the things we were to do for a week, to save money and make the shift to organics. I have to say #2 and #4 on this challenge seemed meant for me!

  1. Buy in bulk I do buy in bulk for many things. We have a local Costco that carries organic milk, ground beef, chicken, eggs, frozen veggies, peanut butter…even jam and a couple of cereals. These are many of our staples.
  2. Eat your leftovers. Oh, I do badly on this one. But, the leftovers are not the problem. Instead, I often end up throwing out good food that I did not prepare for the family. I feel horrid about this. I will have all these plans to fix a bunch of veggies or a big salad…then I’ll be tired and just do spaghetti—or, the kids will come in and want meat. And, I’ll cook that, because that is easier for me—I know what I am doing! Learning to make quinoa palatable to my boys is harder for me. Shoot, anything new is harder. So, if I don’t get it cooked…no one does. The week before this challenge I threw out a bunch of expensive salad greens and a $4 head of cauliflower. I also thawed out some chicken in the fridge, then got busy and didn’t cook it. That ended up in the garbage as well. So, for this challenge I made sure I used up all our veggies. In fact, I cut up a head of cauliflower and left in out on the counter for the kids to find and snack on. It stayed there much longer than say, cookies would have, but in the end, everyone ate it!! I had plans to feed everyone a quinoa salad, but I did not get to it. Next week…
  3. Opt for water. We do use tons of water. I bought a Brita Water filter/dispenser for the fridge and the kids use it like crazy.
  4. Choose whole chicken. Yuck. I hate cutting up meat. My mom showed me how to cut up whole chickens years ago, but I still hate it. I bought some whole chickens for the challenge, but ended up just roasting them. Ironically, the kids ate every bite of those chickens. So, I guess my advice is, buy the whole chicken, throw it in the oven, cook it and then cut it up!
  5. Buy fruits and vegetables when they’re in season. I try to do this. Now, the Farmer’s Market is getting going for Spring and my husband is excited to try using a CSA
  6. Eat less meat. We try to do this, too. I think I would be fine without meat and I rarely eat red meat, myself. But, again, my boys would (supposedly) die if they could not have meat. What I have done is lessen the portions of meat I feed everyone. Rather than giving each person an individual chicken breast, I will cook the chicken and cut it all up and then serve over rice, etc. And, for this challenge, I pulled out my cookbook and tried a few bean recipes as sides for this week. As summer approaches, my family knows to expect more salads and stuff like that.

I know some of my readers do many of these things already, so good for you! If you want to do a challenge, go for it! I am excited to see some of my friends participating!

You can read more and see how some of the other easy living organic bloggers are doing with their challenges at the Organic Challenge Group.

And, please let me know how you think I am doing. Any tips appreciated!

CLICK HERE For Details & TO ENTER MY EASY ORGANIC LIVING GIVEAWAY!

This post is part of the Easy Organic Living program co-hosted by Baby Center and Healthy Child Healthy World and sponsored by Stonyfield. For participating, I will receive a tote bag of organic products and I will be giving away an additional bag of organic products.

Heather

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Blogging about parenting, green living, education.

4 responses to How am I Doing on the Organic Challenge?

  1. Whole chicken may or may not be the cheaper way to go. For us, it’s definitely not cheaper than purchasing boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Why? Quite simply because I won’t use the whole chicken which is the only way it’s actually cheaper. You have to know what works for you and go with it. 😉 (I do use the whole chicken now and then, but that’s the exception and not the rule.)

    Did you know that you can cook quinoa in a rice cooker? I use chicken or veggie stock instead of water. The results are quite tasty.

    I’m still working on finding more fresh organic fruits/veggies locally. I have lots of frozen veggies in the freezer. 🙂

    • quinnschilling March 22, 2011 at 4:35 pm

      🙂 You do have a point! I agree that it helps to know what is really feasible for your own family–and how neat about the rice cooker! I never thought of that!! I do have a rice cooker and I will do that right away. I even have some cranberries and almonds I wanted to mix in…that sounds good to me. Good luck with finding good local fruits and veggies–I remember when we first moved here it was so hard to start over and re-find everything!

  2. Nicely done! I have been itching to join a meat co-op. they are just too far, so some families in our neighborhood are trying to do it as a group.

    • quinnschilling March 23, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks! I would love to do that, too. I have not tracked anything like that down yet, but we live in an area where I know I could…just have to get it done! Good luck with yours:) Your site is great, btw!