It is hard to know what effects GMO foods have on us. There is no real long term studies. That said, there are enough studies to know that GMO foods and highly sprayed foods are probably not good for us! Eating on a budget and trying to be as healthy as possible eating little to no GM foods is tough since the price tag can be REALLY high! For ex. I usually buy apples, green granny smiths. A month ago, my bag of organic (so not GM) was $4.98 regular price at big box store (at little local market, same size bag, organic, but grown closer to home was $5.99). Last weekend…my apples…big box price $6.98 and local market, $9.99! Now, I know they are out of season…but seriously! wow!
Since we are under a tight budget at the moment…finally trying to pay off some debt and save for an actual vacation, I put together a list of what I am doing in order to cut costs overall, and specifically for buying produce.
As for the produce…here is my plan.
- Non-organic: broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, avocado, garlic, plantains, bananas **WASH all very well in vinegar and water solution**
- Organic: carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, lettuce, leeks, zuc, summer squash, peppers, strawberries, any berry actually, apples, cucumbers **WASH these too…vinegar/water solution**
- Frozen: peas, broccoli, cauliflower, berries are usually cheaper frozen,
- What veggies I don’t use up for a meal, if I have no need for it, I will chop it up, bag and label it, freeze it for later use in soups.
- What friuts I do not use up before their time…I either chop and freeze for smoothies OR make applesauce with other friuts and freeze them. We do not keep much fruit in the house other than green apples, usually one type of berry and banana. (I consider plantains more a veg!)
So, the last few months I have noticed my grocery bill almost double! This is crazy because I literally buy almost the same things each week. I have been cutting corners and trying to find every little way to shop on a budget. Yikes…hard to do. I have come up with a list for you to help try and keep costs of buying healthy food down.
- PLAN YOUR MEALS…like for a month at a time…then
- Order grassfed meats locally and only buy what you need.
- Find a local source for your eggs. You may not save money because you will probably have a bit of a drive to get them, but they will be better quality.
- Talk to your local health food store about ordering things you always keep on hand in bulk. They may be able to help you out.
- Costco is good for some things…but watch out because it is tempting to over spend. Good things there…Mary’s best crackers, coconut flour, unsweetened coconut, wheat free oats, coconut oil, avocado oil and baking soda. I would love to see our Costco bring in BPA free cans of coconut milk…yeah, in my dreams!
- Grocery shop on a Thursday…I have NO CLUE why, but every time I shop on a Thursday, everything is in stock AND my bill is cheaper.
- Know what to buy organic and what you can pass on.
- Buy local is sometimes cheaper, sometimes not. Factor in the drive and your time! Remember too, just because it is at your local farmers market DOES NOT mean it is locally produced. At my farmers market they import the same organic peppers from mexico as superstore BUT charge double the price at the farmers market.
- Buying frozen isn’t always bad…if its on sale, organic AND frozen…do it! And stock up. Frozen is great for adding to soups.
- Make more soups. They are filling, esp with good fats from the ground beef or lamb, AND you can throw in as many veg as you want. They seem to last and last so it stretches your budget and can be frozen for later.
- Grow your own food. I am the worst gardener, ask my hubby! But I can grow kale, tomatoes, carrots, basil and mint all in pots in my yard. I make my own tomato sauce with the tomatoes and basil that I can and freeze for use during the year.