Organic on a Budget

Organic Foods

Is it even possible to eat organic on a budget?  I have been trying to decrease my grocery spending but I really want to buy more organic foods for my family.   On my list of wants is a compost pile and a garden but the garden at least will have to wait until next summer.  So that leaves THIS summer for me to figure out how to fit organic foods into our new lower food budget.  So I have decided to try and buy organic when it is a food that typically contains higher pesticide levels.  Did you know that strawberries are on the top of the list as far as foods containing pesticides?  And we eat strawberries like there is no tomorrow! 

Here is a list that tells you which foods are high and which foods are low in pesticides (this is compliments of SparkPeople):


Foods containing higher levels of pesticides

Foods containing lower levels of pesticides



Bell peppers




















I don’t know where tomotoes fall on that list but I have switched to organic grape/cherry tomatoes.   Madalyn polished off a whole quart of tomatoes by herself the other day!  She loves ’em!  I also want to start buying more produce locally.   I am really hoping that next year we can start a garden–even if it’s just a small one with tomatoes, carrots, lettuce and watermelon!  That will be a fun thing for Annagrace and Madalyn to help with. 

Natural Cleaners

While on the subject of Organic stuff–I have also decided to stop buying harsh cleansers to use around the house.  I never gave it a second thought to whip out the bleach or ammonia to clean things around the house.  But when you read the ingredients and the warnings it really makes you think twice.  I have all these harmful cleaners around my house with a very curious 2 year old!  It’s not safe to have them around and I don’t think it is safe to use them either.  You know how the fumes make your eyes water?  Imagine what it is doing to your lungs when you breath it in!  So I am going to switch to natural products, or will make my own.  EarthEasy lists all kinds of ideas for non-toxic house cleaning.  I’ll admit, I’m a little skeptical that these homemade cleaners will work as well as my store bought cleaners so I will keep you updated on how that goes.  And there are a few things that I don’t anticipate getting rid of yet.  I can not give up my magic erasers.  They are a blessing!  I guess one good thing is that they eventually wear down and dissolve so there is no waste to go in the trash.  I also don’t see myself making homemade laundry detergent.  I love my el cheapo Purex too much. 

Gradually I plan to faze out my cleansers.  As I use them up I will not buy more and will gradually make that switch to homemade products.

Skin Care

It’s shameful how much money I have spent over the years on skin products.  I have always been very acne prone.  I have tried every thing and have even been on prescription Tetracycline along with various prescription creams as well.  Recently I started reading about the ingredients that are in all these skin cleansers.  And then I took them and threw them all away.  It’s gross reading about all these chemicals that I am putting on my face!  Your skin is your largest organ and it deserves to be taken care of.  I have been using Burt’s Bees skin products (even though I found out that they totally sold out to Clorox–bummer, huh?) and have been surprised by how well they work!  And all the ingredients are natural and pronounceable!  I currently use the Citrus Facial Scrub during my shower in the morning and I use the Orange Essence Facial Cleanser at night.  It feels like honey when I put it on my face but I am amazed at how smooth my skin feels once I have cleaned it.  So far it seems to be working on clearing my skin up.  Now it is not cheap stuff.  I usually pick it up at Kate’s Natural Food Store or Target and it is a little pricey.  All skin care products ar a little pricey so I don’t beat myself up for buying it.  I also have seriously decreased the amount of make up I use so that will save me some money as well! 

One last link to share today.  I mentioned Earth Easy above.  It’s a pretty cool site–lots of cool stuff to look at.  I love this page about Simplifying your Life.  Lots of good easy recommendations for living a happier, less stressful life!

And finally:  HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!  I may be a little biased but I think the men in my life are definitely the best Daddies in the world!  Dad, Aaron and Brooks–Happy Father’s Day!  I love all of you! 


5 Responses to “Organic on a Budget”

  1. 1 Katharine June 16, 2008 at 11:04 am

    I recently bought some skin care products at Trader Joe’s and was surprised at how well they worked! It might be worth checking out in the future!

    Another thought, my mother recently went to the dermatologist wondering why she still had such bad acne, and it turns out her toothpaste was causing it! Consider switching to toothpaste that is just ‘cavity protection’ and see if that helps you clear up. Good luck!

  2. 2 Sam June 16, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    I enjoyed reading your post. I’m going to add it to my round up later in the week.

    I use vinegar and water to clean alot. But I also use seventh generation cleaners.

    We share a love of burts bee. I use the same products on my face,but I buy it online from or It’s cheaper that way.

  3. 3 Amanda June 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Great post! I am in the exact same situation. I feel a strong urge to move to organic but the budget is limited. Thanks for the list. Another things to consider: choose organics for foods that will be primarily eaten by the kids. In my house this included raisins, ketchup, apples, etc.

  4. 4 lsaufley June 16, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks katherine–I had never thought about my toothpaste being the culprit! That would totally make sense since all my acne is right around my chin and mouth! Thanks for the tip. (I was planning to switch over to Tom’s of Maine’s toothpaste anyway–so maybe I’ll go ahead and make the switch and Aaron can use up all the toothpaste I have in my stockpile!)

    I SO wish we had a Trader Joe’s in these parts. The closest one is about 2 hours away! Sam–that’s a good idea about getting BB online. I’ll have to look into that!

    And I agree Amanda about choosing organics for the kiddos. I haven’t switched my ketchup yet but that is totally a good idea since I am sure that heinz doesn’t care where or how their tomatoes are grown!

  5. 5 Karen June 16, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    If you can’t afford to go organic (who can?), then consider making better choices that are at least more natural. I get organic ketchup if I can find it on sale, but if not I get Hunt’s Ketchup. Turn your bottle over and read the label. If it has high fructose corn syrup in it, toss it. Then read the labels of everything else in your fridge and pantry…you’ll be floored!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

June 2008

%d bloggers like this: