Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Budgeting for Organic Foods-Step 1 Taking Stock and Prioritizing
A few of my friends have been asking me how we afford to eat organic foods after they watched Food Inc. After some discussion I was a little shocked to know that we had almost the same grocery budget (mine was $5 more a week). I was asked to tell how to eat clean foods on a budget. Let me give you a little background on this, I started on this lifestyle shortly after we got married and have gradually gotten "crunchier". We make some choices that have been viewed as extreme in order to be able to fit this into our budget. I view our budget as a game of "Would You Rather", lets dive in a bit.
In our home we:
use rags for cleaning
use cloth napkins for food
clean with vinegar and baking soda
line dry whatever clothes that we can
change our own oil and do car repairs that we can (well the hubby does these)
mend our own clothes
try to learn new skills rather than paying someone to do them for us (plumbing, electrical, etc)
buy used "beater" cars with cash
stockpile food either by buying in bulk for better prices or by buying the max amount of a sale price
shop at multiple stores for best prices
buy used clothing for the whole family if possible
bake from scratch instead of buying convenience foods
turn off lights like freaks
I cut my husbands hair
we don't have premium channels (and our cable is free)
we don't watch tv until the evening
we drink water for beverages
we don't have netflix or hulu plus
This is not an exhaustive list but it gives you an idea of the types of ways we cut back on our budget in other ways to accommodate the things that we find most important. What's most important to our family right now is for me to be home with our son and for all of us to eat nutritious REAL foods. Now don't think we are complete misers here. We do allow some luxuries into our life. My husband and I have a slight Starbucks addiction, we both have smartphones (his company pays for his and because we don't have to pay for a cell phone for him we use that savings for the data plan for me) and other things. We live a rich full life that we enjoy by taking stock of what's important to us and cutting things out that we don't care about. I would rather do these things and eat well than have some more conveniences and not be able to eat this way.
So I challenge you to take a look at your spending and write every single blessed thing down that you spend your money on. Once you have a month of that take a look at what you are spending your money on and figure out if there are things you can do to reduce that number. Remember that Rome wasn't built in a day and you don't need to make complete and drastic changes overnight but just little steps in the right direction. Figure out what the most important change to you is (for me it was buying organic milk and cage free organic eggs) and make that change this month. If you have questions or scenarios that you want to know more about let me know and we can address them in future posts. I'm not the authority on this but whatever knowledge I have I'd be happy to pass on.