Posted by: whimsigal | August 19, 2007

An Experiment in Organic Living

So, tonight we went to Earthfare our local offering of the best organic shopping and we spent $118 and I didn’t even buy any milk or meat. Well, I bought hot dogs but they were on sale. Anyway, I’m torn about the whole thing. I want to buy natural and organic products and from what I saw tonight, my grocery store offers organic products at the same price (sometimes cheaper) as the health food store. The problem is, at the grocery store, the temptation to buy conventional food will always be present and I will probably have to fight a battle with the kids over junky snacks. At Earthfare there aren’t any chemical-laden snacks to buy and the snack foods are so freakin’ expensive that I will have to seriously consider whether or not I’m going to buy them. They had an M&M-type candy that the boys wanted to get and I figured, what the heck? Why not? Sean got a bag and put it under the bin and filled it. Well, it was $7.99/lb and we ended up with a pound and a half. Expensive candy…but as I said, we’ll be more mindful of how we eat because they’re so expensive that we won’t feel like we can gobble them up and run out for more. Hey, maybe this organic thing isn’t really that expensive. Maybe I will lose weight from not eating the junky snacky things. I can save money by not paying for Weight Watchers or e-diets and I can feel good about the things we do eat because they’re not full of crappy ingredients. I think for the most part, I can benefit just as much from making a lot of things on my own. When I want Cream of Mushroom soup, I can buy cream, mushrooms, chicken stock, and then make my own. It’s not hard it’s just a little more time consuming. Maybe the bill wouldn’t be as expensive either. Again, a rambling post. Sorry about that. Just trying to work all these thoughts out and get some input from people who already live this way.

Help me out, people. My budget for a family of four every month is $400 on groceries. That includes TP, papertowels, and dog food. What do you do? What is your budget? What kinds of things do you eat? I’m looking for a change. I’m looking for advice from my green friends out there. I know you are legion in the unschooling community. What advice can you offer a recovering wasteful consumer? Seriously, I believe that we should respect the planet we live on and respect the people who will live on it after us. Are there some good sites out there that talk about how to make this conversion easier?

I thank you in advance for your most kind assistance!



  1. It’s cool that you’re trying to go more green. It will save money in the long run, but I found that initially it was more expensive. Remember that slow and steady is much better than something speedy that you get overwhelmed by and give up. 😉 We started using cloth towels and napkins, drying our clothes on the line (which works great in the south!), walking to our favorite places, turning off lights etc. As for food, well you could always go veg. 😉 Or at least eat less of the meat and dairy that is so expensive to buy. I applaud you, it’s a tough thing to take on. I have a homemade clothes detergent that I could email you if you like.

  2. hmmm. don’t know why steph deleted her comment…now I’m curious.


    Thanks for the encouragement and for reminding me to take it slow! I’m the kind of person who likes to jump in with both feet so Many times I forget to go one step at a time.

    I was flirting with the idea of going vegetarian but I really don’t like soy or tofu products and just love a good steak too much to give up meat.

    We have switched over to the “good” light bulbs and I don’t like them. They changed the way my paint colors looked!! But we’re trying to live more responsibly so I just have to deal with it. Recently we began recycling and I have to tell you, I’m amazed at how much less garbage we have in the “regular” can. We used to have our can overflowing and now we don’t have it more than halfway full. THAT was an eye-opener.

    Please email me anything you like! I’d love additional “green” info.

    Thanks, Sheri!


  3. Sorry about removing my comment – it was because I went off on a tangent that I removed it…. 🙂
    What I was trying to say was that we do what we can. I use bleach on rare occasion. I don’t buy organic chicken – I don’t want to spend that much money on chicken!($8 a pound, and we go through a lot of chicken.)
    My son likes candy – detests sundrops, so we visit our store that’s a block away for a lot of our stuff = though it carries organics, too, so we get some stuff from them.
    We aren’t 100%, but probably 80-85% organic. (all veggies, but not all cheese and candy)
    Make my own cleaners, as you know.
    I’m very particular when it comes to food. I don’t like cooked veggies – so that leaves out loads of stuff! I also detest rice! And soy beans! ANd tofu!
    I’m a taco, enchiladas, fried chicken, chicken and dumplins, hamburgers and shrimp, and salad/salad/salad sort girl! (In walks my chef husband to my life and moans and walks away shaking his head.)

  4. GIRL! $8/lb for chicken?! Hmmm. I think I might have to skip that one, too. For the moment I have decided to continue to shop at my grocery store and buy as much organic/natural as I can. Hormel is making nitrite/nitrate free lunchmeats and bacon, as is Oscar Mayer and the bacon is pretty good. We love bacon around here. I buy cage free eggs and organic yogurt. Also, I had read a book a while back about eating whole foods called, “The Fat Fallacy” and I highly recommend it to everyone. I’m going to do a post on this later today I think because there are so man thoughts swirling around in my head that I can’t fit them all here.

    Thank you for posting a new comment on the subject!


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