I am a stickler for a grocery budget. I buy what’s on special most weeks, and stock up on sale items. I will go to multiple stores because I know that almond milk is fifty cents cheaper at Trader Joe’s instead of Harris Teeter. I really like to save money.
So for most of my life, buying organic has honestly seemed almost laughable. Why would I buy the same exact thing and pay $2.00 more for it? Then I got pregnant, and everything changed.
Literally overnight, I suddenly had a completely different attitude toward my diet and my choices. I was already a vegetarian, worked out regularly, and made healthy food choices. But I realized quickly that healthy goes beyond nutritional makeup and calorie content. Suddenly I found myself standing in the produce aisle, with a loudly nagging voice in my head telling me to think twice about my choices.
From that point on and up to today, I buy organic 90% of the time. There are certain items I still buy conventional – bananas, avocados, and a few other thick-skinned items, but for the most part I shell out the extra dollar or two for the peace of mind that I’m choosing what’s best for me and my son.
Once I started buying organic, I also realized that it doesn’t have to be all that much more expensive. Certain items like bell peppers have a huge markup, so I just avoid them and don’t buy peppers very often (or I buy them frozen!). Others, like leafy greens, are only fifty cents more per bunch. Now that I buy organic, I simply look for the items with the lowest markup from conventional, and plan my meals based on what works with our budget.
Even though it’s been almost a year since I switched to organic, I still feel tempted from time to time when I see a great deal on conventional produce in the grocery store. But as good as saving money feels, knowing that my food is as chemical-free and as natural as possible feels even better.