Living Better in 2011 – Eating More Organic Foods

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

One of my 2011 goals is to feed my family more organic foods.

Eating organic is expensive, but it doesn’t have to break your budget.

In my area, I am pretty limited on the number of different stores available. I am fortunate that we have a small, but great health food store in a nearby town. It has a limited supply of fresh fruits and veggies, but has several other products I like.

For grocery stores, I shop at the Kroger that is a 40 minute trip one-way, because it is the only store with a number of organic items.

The advantage to this is that they have an amazing (and large!) organic section with fresh fruits and vegetables, Annie’s, Stonyfield, and more. I’m in love with my “local” Kroger!

Beyond that, I am an hour and a half from the nearest Whole Foods, so I can only shop there occasionally.

When you get down to it, I am left with what I get from my garden and what Kroger has to offer.

I’m on a budget; what should I purchase organic, and what can I {safely} purchase regular?

I go by the “Dirty Dozen” list of fruits and vegetables; items I should definitely buy organic:

:: Celery
:: Peaches
:: Strawberries
:: Apples
:: Blueberries
:: Nectarines
:: Bell Peppers
:: Spinach
:: Kale
:: Cherries
:: Potatoes
:: Grapes

It is also best to buy these organic:

:: Meat
:: Milk
:: Coffee
:: Eggs
:: Leafy Greens
:: Carrots
:: Pears
:: Tomatoes

The “Clean Fifteen” (aka, the group that is okay to buy non-organic):

:: Onion
:: Avocado
:: Sweet Corn
:: Pineapple
:: Mango
:: Asparagus
:: Sweet Peas
:: Kiwi
:: Cabbage
:: Eggplant
:: Papaya
:: Watermelon
:: Broccoli
:: Tomato (yes, it appears on two lists)
:: Sweet Potato

For our family right now, I’m going to stick to the “Dirty Dozen” list, and to save money, purchase the other items on the “Clean Fifteen” list. I can feel good about giving my family the fruits and veggies they need (and that are safe to eat!) and still save some money.

Life… Your Way has a handy printable of the Dirty Dozen list so you don’t have to remember it! Print your free copy here.

What about other foods? Organic products are expensive!

Yep, they are! And while we have not gone 100% (food) organic, we are working on it. Our family saves money on organic products by shopping sales and using coupons.

Yes, there are lots of organic coupons out there!

Kroger likes to include organic items in their sales and even their mega events. They also have eCoupons for organic items on their website.

Whole Foods offers printable coupons on their website AND you might even get a newsletter (filled with coupons and healthy-living ideas) when you check out.

Other companies who offer organic coupons:

:: Stonyfield
:: Organic Valley
:: Newman’s Own
:: Cascadian Farm
:: Muir Glen
:: +  More!

Other organic stores that my friends enjoy (stores are not in my area):

:: Sprouts
:: Earth Fare
:: + More!

One of my absolute favorite websites is Organic Deals. She posts the latest and greatest organic deals, coupons, store matchups, and more.

It might just take a little more time, but searching for organic deals and planning organic shopping trips do not have to be a hassle!

I really enjoy making homemade foods. Where do I start organically?

I am also new to homemaking with organics, and so I rely on others’ experiences and ideas!

Some of my new favorites are:

:: Kitchen Stewardship

:: SortaCrunchy

:: Live Renewed

:: Simple Organic

:: Food for My Family

I am still learning and researching. I invite you to join me on this journey of “Living Better in 2011.” Just a few simple {baby!} steps can help you on your way.

1. Commit to purchasing your family’s favorite fruit/veggie organic.

2. Seek out organic alternatives to your family’s favorite food (e.g. yogurt).

3. Keep the “Dirty Dozen” cheat sheet with your grocery list, in your purse, or with your coupons so you will be reminded of the most important foods to eat organically.

4. Don’t over-think this. Believe me, it is a process! And the process at our house is not moving at a high rate of speed. Just do your best, and focus on one thing at a time. It does become more natural with time!

Are you trying to go more organic with your food? What are your favorite ideas/tips for doing so?

:: photo credit :: {2nd picture}
:: photo credit :: {3rd picture}

Comments

  1. says

    We are trying to go organic in our food. Like you I’ve put the primary focus on the dirty dozen and have really made an effort to find those organic. Meijers gives out a lot of coupons for Stonyfield yogurt (which I love!). I’ve found some great deals on Mary’s Organic crackers, and Annie’s Macaroni and Cheese (which my sister eats by the boxful) at Costco.

    In the summer time I make jam from local organic produce. I also freeze the fruits in ziploc bags for the winter so we can have smoothies and pie. I’ve become a bit of a local food nut but it’s for our health so I think that’s okay.

    I’m so glad you posted this article! As we’ve started the coupon journey it’s been difficult because of our commitment to organic produce.

    P.S. – if any of you are Canadian (like me) and shop at Loblaws/Superstore you’ll often find coupons for organic president’s choice produce at the front of the store. This has saved us a lot of money.
    Becky´s last blog post ..Prayer

    • says

      Becky – Thank you for your insight! Unfortunately (for me!) Meijers is not in this area, but I hear GREAT things about that store. How awesome that they give out organic coupons! My three girls also eat Annie’s mac-n-cheese by the boxful, lol. I usually have to wait until it is on special at Kroger to stock up.

      I want to start making jam myself… what a wonderful idea. I, too, freeze fruits for winter use. Thanks for including that (I forgot, ha!).

      I do have several Canadian readers, so thank you for including your store!

      -Amy

  2. says

    We are slowly making the switch as well. I have been amazed to find that there are so many coupons for organic products available. My favorite place to shop organic is Kroger – they have a good variety here. We’ve got a Sprouts opening this month that I am excited to try out too.

    • says

      Keri, I {heart} my Kroger as you probably already know :D I have never been in a Sprouts, but a friend of mine loves it. I’m itching to check it out! Thanks for stopping by :) Amy

  3. jane norton says

    Amy, are you familiar with Zaycon foods. Their meat isn’t certified organic, but it is 100% natural with no added hormones, additives or artificial ingredients and very fresh. http://www.zayconfoods.com/refer/zf8447 We have only had the chicken, my family loved it. They came to McKinney last month and I think I read they came to OKC, so it may be a drive for you, but if you have a large freezer it may be worth it. Also. I get alot of my produce from bountiful baskets, you may want to check if you have anything like this in your area.

    • says

      Hey Jane!
      No, I am not familiar with Zaycon foods. I will definitely check it out :) Thanks! Luckily, I am blessed with a large freezer and tend to do a lot of bulk buying. Thanks again, girl! -Amy

  4. Anni says

    Thank you, Amy! I find your website really helpful out of all the related websites I’ve researched and can’t wait to check in on the coupon links.

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