Eating organic is financially tough. Especially when you have kids, an organic grocery bill can be outrageous. With that, I'd like to talk about why eating organic is important. What does organic mean? When it comes to produce, it means that no synthetic pesticides are used. Why are pesticides bad? There is a long list of potential health issues associated with ingesting pesticides over time. My favorite one, as a reminder to why I'm paying a premium for organic to avoid pesticides... they are endocrine disruptors, which can cause tumors/cancer. They are general hormone disruptors, toxic for our brain and nervous system, cause birth defects... and many other less than ideal issues.
Making an effort to eat organic is clearly important for our overall health and longevity. But how can you make it financially work for your family? There are a few ways I've learned how to save. Here are some of my favorite organic products to help save.
Frozen organic vegetables
Broccoli, cauliflower, and peas are my go-to's. I find washing, drying, and chopping broccoli and cauliflower to be so time consuming anyway. Buying them frozen saves money AND time. Leila Mae loves peas, so I'm always using frozen organic peas as snacks for her (thawed/cooked).
Frozen organic fruit
I buy frozen berries in bulk for smoothies. As a family, we all drink a smoothie a day so we can go through a lot of fruit in genera. During the summer months it's possible that buying fresh is cheaper than frozen, always do a quick approximate price check. During the winter it definitely makes more sense to buy frozen though.
Organic lemon juice
Buying bottled organic lemon juice has been a huge game changer for me this winter! I use lemon juice a few times a week in different dressings and sauces, plus my husband uses it daily in his green tea. An organic lemon is usually stupid expensive. I don't think I've ever bought one, I've always opted for the non-organic because I couldn't stomach paying so much. Finding out that bottled organic lemon juice exists as an option has solved that problem.
The closer you are to the source of your food, the better. In Columbus, OH that option is really only available May-October. Take advantage of those months! Especially if you have little ones, it's such a wonderful field trip for them. There's something really special about having your kid run around a farm atmosphere, helping you pick out produce to take home. And then having them see it on their plate later. Can't start teaching them soon enough how to shop smart and where their food comes from! Plus you usually get to chat to someone who works at the farm and ask them any questions about their products.
A great list to have on hand: The Dirty Dozen. These are the top worst foods to buy non-organic from a pesticide perspective. Notice that so many of them are available in the frozen section.