Right now for us, money is tight. A couple of years ago we were on our way to paying down our debt but then our lives got turned upside down when we had to suddenly move from the house we were going to buy from my in-laws (which we paid the mortgage on for over 3 years) due to no fault of our own and basically drain our savings to rent a townhouse. We are definitely doing better now but even though my husband got a new job (and since then a promotion), after buying the new house and me quitting my part time job to be able to be home on Saturdays (plus my four year olds expensive preschool) things are tight.
I have finally (and begrudgingly) come to the conclusion that I just cannot continue to buy everything organic and exclusively shop at Whole Foods. I really need to pick the things that are most important to me when it comes to healthy foods and then become more flexible on the things that are not high on my list. And while I love shopping at Whole Foods every week, the gas to get there adds up and I swear when I walk into the store I feel like I'm under a spell where I just want to buy everything in sight- most likely because they have so many options for food that are good for you (unlike conventional grocery stores).
So from now on I am going to be utilizing my local grocery stores and Target. I will even shop at Stop and Shop even though I hate them, but sometimes you have to do things like that to save money. I am also going to be keeping an eye out for coupons on healthy foods and will be meal planning and making grocery lists (no more winging it at the store).
Here are the things that are important to me when shopping for food...
-Antibiotic free meat (if I couldn't afford this then I would stop eating meat- it is that important to me)
-Adhering to the dirty dozen for produce
-No genetically modified ingredients
-No artificial colors, flavors or high fructose corn syrup
The things I just listed are going to be non-negotiable but anything not listed is free game. Yes, I would love to buy all organic because I feel it is best for my family and I like what it stands for. Yes, I would love to only buy from companies that I believe in as to help the healthy food cause. But, sometimes we have to make judgement calls and I would rather skimp on some things so that I can feed my family healthy and still be able to pay our bills.
Tomorrow I plan on heading to the store with the $100 I have left in my grocery budget and hopefully I can pull off not going over budget with my new outlook on buying food.