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Where to start - organic food or chemical free home?

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  • Where to start - organic food or chemical free home?

    Reading a lot of articles lately has really started to get to me. So I'm committing to getting our family to fully ogranic foods and a chemical free home. But I'm at a loss for where to start. We don't make a ton of money (<$50k family of 4 in Chicago area), as we decided that having a parent home with the kids is very important. So which transition makes sense to do first? I feel like switching to natural cleaning products - clothes, soaps, dishes, floors, etc would be fairly easy and not exorbitantly expensive. But food is overwhelming to me because of the jump in price. Going from $1/dozen to $5/dozen for eggs, double or triple prices for everything else - fruits, veggies, meats. I've always been very careful with my money so the idea of increasing a budget area by a large amount is scary.

    So, where would you start?

  • #2
    Hello teach!

    First off, any and all change in the right direction is worthwhile, so no matter what you do, it is a positive step for you and the family. That said, I would start with the cleaning supplies/setting up a nontoxic home just because you said watching your budget is important and a huge immediate jump in the grocery outlay would cause you stress.

    Then, I would tackle the food supply one item at a time, and take your time. For example, I decided to search for better eggs first, because we go through a huge pile of eggs weekly - and found a local supplier of eggs from that are definitely not certified by any organic label, but they are local, small-farm, known-feed when not pastured, well-kept chickens laying delicious eggs, at $2.25 per dozen, and I am satisfied with that.

    Now that you have your eyes open, you will find farmer's markets, check websites of farm-to-table and such, chat up like-minded folks, work your small-town/rural family and friends for their info, get to know the health food stores and their sales habits, and generally get there in due time. I am still working on this myself, but when I look at how far I have come without busting my budget, I am kinda astounded. Happy shopping!
    Last edited by Crabbcakes; 01-26-2013, 07:42 AM.
    I have a mantra that I have spouted for years... "If I eat right, I feel right. If I feel right, I exercise right. If I exercise right, I think right. If I think right, I eat right..." Phil-SC


    • #3
      Definitely start with the cleaning products, that right there will save you some money. Making your own is so easy, and the ingredients are simple--I have a big jug of vinegar, bag of baking soda, and a couple of spray bottles under my sink now instead of 10 gazillion bottles.

      Local food is more important to me (and cheaper) than organic stuff from Whole Foods. I do stay away from high pesticide conventional produce (like strawberries, though I just bought a bunch of frozen organic strawberries at Aldi for cheap) but using the dirty dozen/clean 15, buying frozen, and buying from local farmer's markets helps with the cost a lot. Meat and eggs are our priority though, I try to get those as clean as possible (pastured, grass fed) from local farms, and once that's covered the rest of the budget gets worked around for the rest. Sometimes if I can't get good dairy for cheap, we just don't eat it for a while. If we can't afford fresh broccoli, frozen it is.


      • #4
        Thanks! Looked around online today to find directions for at home detergents and will start with them when we run out of what we have. Also took the plunge today and signed us up for a CSA that includes eggs. Comes out to ~$50/wk and is delivered to my doorstep. They only deliver every other week during the winter so there will be a lot of supplementing, but I think this will be a good first step.

        Feels good to takes these steps toward a more healthy home. If only DH could understand why I'm worried about all of this.