The Meaning of “O”
We associate the “O” word with many things, well maybe just a few! I found the next two paragraphs on the metabolic me website. And since I’m a Chek Holistic Lifestyle Coach I wanted to share some of the things I have learned from Paul Chek before we get to all the tips!
The science connection between humans and soil is equally as interesting. The common word of note here is hum-, shared by both the soil (humus) and humans. In science, the word Humus refers to any organic matter within the soil that is critical to the soil retaining moisture and nutrients.
I find it curious that the word Human shares this same root hum- for we too depend on moisture (hydration) and nutrients for survival. Combine human with being (having sentience, reality, and existence), and now you essentially have “Thinking Dirt.” Yeah, that’s pretty sexy, isn’t it?
So seeing how we are all just walking sacks of sexy thinking dirt, how can we better embrace our inner-
All life and nutrition on the planet begins in the soil. The soil is literally the Root Cause of health for every organism. Plants absorb their nutrition from the soil. Animals absorb their nutrition from the plants. And we absorb our nutrients from both. We are only as healthy as the soil, as the Earth.
But poor farming practices have stripped and depleted the soil. And as a result, the over-reliance of pesticides, herbicides, and now Genetically Modified crops have become the norm.
And so now, as shown here in Paul Chek’s Wheel of Death, we have sick plants eaten by sick animals, and humans eat both, and we wonder why our world-wide healthcare system is in shambles. How much longer can we medicate the planet? When will we realize that these synthetic, unnatural band-aids aren’t working any more? After all, at this rate we may have to start modeling China’s efforts to be more green by painting the hillsides instead.
Becoming More Brown
Organic farmers have seen the writing on the wall for decades now and are on the front line trying to stop the Wheel of Death cycle and bring the Earth back to its natural Circle of Life.
Organic farming’s #1 tenet is “Take care of the soil.” Keep the soil healthy, and everything else will follow. And then the plants will be healthy without synthetic sprays or genetic altering (a.k.a. Playing God, which is finally happening to humans too).
The one tried and true worry I get about living an organic lifestyle is the cost. It’s likely the only immediate downside because everything else about living organically is pretty magical. Remember, non-organic food often contains cancer-causing hormones, immunity destroying anti-biotics and dangerous pesticides. Pesticides by nature are designed to kill, they are poison. So when given the choice, I don’t know why anyone could logically buy food with poison sprayed on it? Pesticides can cause neurological problems, cancer, infertility, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, allergies and asthma, wheezing, rashes and other skin problems, ADHD, birth defects and more. That’s why buying quality organic food and eating the most nutritious foods on the planet will save you BIG BUCKS down the road in medical costs, prescription drugs and doctor visits
Over 75 Tips On How to Eat Organic On A Budget
In hopes to mitigate the initial money pains of buying organic, I want to share the top organic money saving ideas that I’ve gathered from my friends and family members. And, let me tell you, I learned a lot myself while putting together this list and combining everyone’s tips into one cohesive guide. I can’t wait to put some of these new ideas into practice. Let the savings begin!
FIND AND USE ORGANIC COUPONS
- Check the websites of your favorite companies for coupons and special promotions, almost all of them have some.
- Join your favorite company’s social media pages for special coupons and deals. For example, if you join Nutiva’s facebook page, they will give you access to a $10 dollar off coupon. This is perfect for stocking up on chia seeds, coconut sugar, coconut oil, etc. (They also run huge discount specials every Tuesday.)
- Join and take GoodBelly Probiotics 12 Day Challenge your digestive problems will be solved! Good belly will send you discount coupons via email. One of my favorite adult and kid friendly probiotics…period. (I use the “straight shots” fyi, they are the lowest in sugar content 5 grams per serving)
- Join Shop at Home Organics “I never order anything online without going to ShopAtHome.com first. They have great coupons, coupon codes and promotions for almost any store you can think of. In addition to that, you earn rebates on most of the orders you place. What a great way to shop; not only do you save money on your order you also receive a rebate check in the mail. It’s almost like getting paid to shop!
- Check out various organic online coupon sites. Some of my favorite examples include Mambo Sprouts, Saving Naturally, Organic Deals, Organicfoodcoupons, Healthesavers, Organic Deals and Steals for organic food/natural living coupons, and money savings ideas.
- Simply Organic who makes spices, seasoning mixes and baking mixes always have coupons on their website here – sometimes more than a dollar off.
- Sprouts Markets has coupons here every week for all kinds of goodies
- Whole Foods has coupons here every week for various products throughout the store.
- Earth Fare has coupons here every week for various products throughout the store.
- Most stores take each others coupons, so don’t be afraid to use them all in one shopping trip at your most convenient or favorite store.
AT HOME AND IN THE KITCHEN
- Have a Prep Party Each Sunday and Stay organized. Plan out your meals for the week according to organic foods that are on sale and/or that you have coupons for.
- Budget. Write out a weekly and monthly budget to help you keep track of both erratic spending and responsible spending. This will allow you to see your spending habits and help you prioritize purchasing organic food within your budget.
- Do it yourself, rather than buy it. Make your own organic protein bars, gluten free bars, kale chips, smoothies, juices to replaced store-bought with more overhead. By using your Vitamix. Don’t have one yet? Purchase one through me here and get $75 in bonus gifts.
- Learn how to portion and prioritize – it is a necessity to always buy organic meats and dairy products, and, therefore, learn to portion your consumption of these products each week. For example, keep meat to 4 ounces or less per serving.
- Please Pleas Please Invest in a water filter system installed directly on top of or your sink. My research has found that the Multipure counter top seen here (that’s the one we use) or under the sink here are the best. This will help you to avoid having to buy bottled water and you’ll save the environment and $$ as well. These are the best filters for the price in my expert opinion as you will see with their nearly perfect 5 star rating on Amazon. (using my affiliate links to purchase your unit gets me a little credit) so THANK YOU!
- No more plastic waste! Put your clean water or smoothie in this stay cold for 36 hours Eco Vessel (I have 3 of these)
- Read and Use… this cool little book “Wildly Affordable Organic” for organic menu planning on just a measly $5 bucks a day or less.
USE YOUR FREEZER IT HELPS…. ALLOT!
- 9 times out of 10 the organic frozen produce at the store is cheaper than fresh, especially if the fruit or vegetable is out of season.
- Freeze all left overs using inexpensive mason glass jars or silicone ice molds for smaller portions.
- Freeze homemade cookie dough and other treats like my super food protein balls, so you can have a treat ready to go in the appropriate portion size.
- Buy local produce when in season and freeze to save for out of season, for example in the spring and summer spread berries on a sheet pan and freeze overnight and then store in jars for the fall and winter.
- Double recipes and freeze leftovers, this works great with soups and stews.
- Freeze core kitchen staples like butter, cheese and bread scraps for bread crumbs or homemade croutons.
MAKE BETTER CHOICES & THANK ME LATER
- Meat & dairy (animals products like chicken, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, milk, etc.) are the most important to buy organic and preferably 100% grass fed, wild caught and free range (that means out doors) because of the combined risk of pesticide, anti-biotic and cancer causing growth hormone exposure. Whatever you do, do not skimp here.
- Reduce meat and dairy consumption if you cannot afford organic and just do wild caught fish – One way to do this is to be week day veg… like Graham Hill at Tree Hugger explains it in the video below
- For example, have the best Grass Fed Whey I’ve found called, FIT 365 or Vegan Sun Warrior pea hemp and cranberry protein drink or my Get up and Go green smoothie for breakfast (try and use less fruit and more greens, Kale, Swiss Chard, Spinach, Celery and then a large veggie salad with lentils or black beans at lunch or a wrap made with hummus and then at night choose high quality meat in small portions.
- Reduce amount of organic meat used by substituting half the portion with organic beans.
- Buy a whole organic chicken for less per pound, vs. just the breast, legs or wings which are more expensive per pound. You can use the carcass to make your own chicken broth.
- Use the “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen” lists available on ewg.org to help you navigate which products to buy organic (or take with you when you travel). For example, if you have a choice between more expensive organic red peppers and less expensive conventional asparagus – choose the asparagus. Asparagus naturally repel pests allowing it to be grown with minimal pesticides. Include red pepper in your diet when it is in season or you can find it cheaper at another grocery store.
- Do not buy pre-washed and ready to eat fruits and veggies, as they can cost twice as much.
- Skip Starbucks (and other coffee shops). Buy organic coffee and tea such as: Larry’s Beans Organic Coffee and Numi and make it yourself. This will actually save you time in the morning too.
- Eat out only twice a week – eating organic at home is significantly less expensive than eating at organic restaurants.
Enjoy a Short & Quite Suprising Insight Into Soil Organics from One of My Teachers Paul Chek
BUY IN BULK
- Take advantage of the ‘buy one get one free’ sales or buy one get the other for a discounted price. You never know when it will go on sale again, so make sure to take advantage of it and store for later use. (This trick only works if you really love the product and it is a staple at your home – otherwise this could lead to wasted food)
- Always buy packaged staples on sale
- Buy un-packaged foods from bulk dispensers – I personally save a ton of cash by doing this, I buy everything from oat groats, to nuts, to dried fruit and lentils.
- Bring measuring cups with you to the grocery store if you are buying from bulk containers. That way you can get exactly the amount you need for a specific recipe and you won’t be paying for extra.
- Buy smaller organic spice packets or jars, old spices lose their medicinal qualities so it is smarter to buy in smaller quantities.
- Buy the whole animal and freeze the portions you don’t use. I personally know someone who is on a budget and does this all the time. You can also do this by contacting your local farmer and then splitting the cost with a group.
- To satisfy a sweet tooth by dark organic 70% cacao and above chocolate (
- Find out what foods are in season and buy those in bulk, as they are significantly cheaper.
- Join a buying club with your neighbors, friends or family and buy large quantities at a discount. For example, United Buying Clubs (unitedbuyingclubs.com) serves more than 3,000 clubs in 34 states through its website.
- Green PolkaDot Box – This service delivers organic and non-GMO food directly to your door step. It is membership club like Costco and Sam’s Club with some of the lowest prices available for organic staples, meat, dairy and other goods. .
- Amazon Prime – One of my favorite shopping sites, because they basically have every brand available and ship in 2 days if you are a prime member.. so worth it!
- VitaCost – Another low cost website that has a wide variety of organic and healthy foods, vitamins, etc.
- Herbs Pro – Another low cost website that has a wide variety of organic and healthy foods, vitamins, etc.
- Before you check out online, visit Retail Me Not for online promotional codes and discounts for all your favorite online stores and sources.
CHOOSE ORGANIC BRANDS THAT SAVE YOU MONEY
- Choose more inexpensive grocery store brand products like Trader Joe’s, Sprouts, Safeway, Ralphs, t Earth Fare, Whole Foods 365 brand, ShopRite, Wegman’s, Kroger, Publix, Harris Teeter. Regardless of the brand, they are all required to follow the same guidelines set forth by the USDA organic certification program if they contain the USDA organic seal and chances are that you won’t be able to tell the difference between a brand name and store brand.
- Join grocery store loyalty programs for discounts. For example, if you live back east, join Earth Fare’s tomato bank program, you get a dollar back for every 100 points you earn.
- Use your rewards cards always. Most convenient stores, grocery stores, and drug stores allow you to sign-up for a rewards or savings card that will help you save money on a few of your items at the checkout counter. Even if this time of purchase does not contain organic food, the extra money that you are saving on your items can be put towards buying it when need be.
- Always remember that if you are not satisfied with your organic product, most grocery stores and organic food companies offer you money back guarantee. This also works for companies you bought in the past that you are now boycotting like Kraft’s Back to Nature
- he wave of organic food and beverage popularity enables supermarket chains to capitalize on private label opportunities within the sector.
Organic food and nonfood dollar sales jumped 9.5% in 2011 to $31.5 billion, reported the 2012 Organic Industry Survey by the Organic Trade Association. Of that figure, food and beverage sales were up 9.4% to $29.22 billion—a growth pace twice the 4.7% sales rise of conventionally produced items. Organic food sales now account for 4.2% of all U.S. food sales, up from 4.0% in 2010.
The self-limiting nature of organic food production (costly processes, limited land) will keep organic food prices high, especially as demand increases, in our estimation at The Lempert Report. Therefore, organics will remain largely unaffordable to the average consumer.
People who aspire to buy organics will continue to look to private label for budget-friendly access. Yet price-comparison checks we conducted in East and West Coast supermarkets suggest these consumers will score spotty success because:
• As expected, both branded and PL choices are priced well above conventionally produced products.
• On some organic items checked, the price differentials between brands and PL are insignificant. This suggests retailers use brand prices as a high umbrella and push their already high PL margins to the limit where they feel they can, rather than aiming to keep a consistent savings percentage between brands and PL.
• PL organic prices at most of the mainstream chains we checked were higher than those of Trader Joe’s, which typically sells its own brands.
• Retailers don’t yet have a full range of PL organic choices.
We compared organic brand and PL prices on ten items—one gallon of milk, one box of snack bars, one pint of salad dressing, one pound of spaghetti, one dozen large eggs, 5 ounces of pre-cut salad, one pound of frozen peas, one loaf of fresh wheat bread, 12 ounces of salsa, and one pint of olive oil.
We visited Whole Foods, Safeway, Ralphs and Sprouts and Trader Joe’s stores on the West Coast, and Acme and ShopRite stores on the East Coast. Our aim was to discern some general trends, rather than call out specific item prices at individual retailers.
A few examples:
• Only Trader Joe’s had PL organic choices of every item. Whole Foods had nine. The rest of the chains had between two and seven items.
• Price differentials varied widely—
Narrow gap: One chain priced a dozen large eggs (brand) at $4.69 and PL at $4.49; another priced 12 ounces of salsa (brand) at $3.79 and PL at $3.59.
Wide gap: One chain priced a pint of salad dressing (brand) at $5.99 and PL at $3.49, and a loaf of fresh wheat bread (brand) at $4.99 with PL at $2.99.
• Trader Joe’s was priced the lowest of all the chains on eight of the ten PL organic foods we examined; three chains beat Trader Joe’s prices on PL organic milk, and one chain beat it on salad dressing.
• Whole Foods PL organic prices were the same as Trader Joe’s on milk and wheat bread, and were within 30 cents or less on eggs, snack bars and frozen peas.
Check Ebay‘s section for food and beverages, prices are really cheap!
- Local food can be significantly cheaper than food shipped from miles away.
- Find a farmers market near you through LocalHarvest.org or the USDA – get to know your local farmers, create a personal relationship and negotiate prices.
- Ask your farmer about his farming practices. Some farmers do not spray pesticides on their crops but do not seek USDA certification to keep prices lower.
- Be the last person to leave the farmer’s market. Farmers will likely cut their prices at the end of the day, so they do not have to take their produce back to the farm.
- Buy a share in a community-supported agriculture CSA program. It’s nice to contribute to a local farm’s operating expenses while getting a weekly box of fresh fruits and vegetables.
GROW YOUR OWN FOOD
- Plant an herb pot in your kitchen or somewhere convenient so you can always have fresh herbs on hand. Organic herbs are one of the most overpriced items at the grocery store.
- Follow these tips from The Organic Consumers Association to grow organic food inside your home year round.
- Check this amazing guide that details out all the options and information you need to start urban farming at your home regardless of how much space you have.
- Once you start growing produce, give herbs, fruits and vegetables as gifts to family and friends (saving money on other material objects they might otherwise not use or collect).
- Remember to buy non-GMO seeds, check out Sow True Seed for lots of options.
- Check out growing lessons learned from 100 Days of Real Food.
- Learn how to can the produce you grow, here’s a how-to-guide for strawberry jam.
- Get a couple of chickens and hatch your own eggs. One friend of mine has so many eggs she doesn’t know what to do with them. You could also sell them to your neighbors or give them as hostess gifts.
TRAVEL WITH ORGANIC FOOD
- On a road trip use EatWellGuide.org to find out where to buy local, organic and sustainable foods from point to the other.
- Remember, a pricey restaurant doesn’t equal organic or quality food – going to a grocery store and picking up some organic food will save you money and your health.
- Bring your food with you in a cooler – even if you are flying. Did you know you can check a cooler?
- Bring organic tea with you and ask for hot water. A cup of tea can cost up to $5 dollars, vs. $1 dollar you would tip the barista or server.
- Bring filtered water with you wherever you go in a reusable safe water bottle so you never have to buy expensive bottled water.
- Always carry snacks like homemade trail mix in your purse or bag for emergencies.
- At the movies, bring your own organic popcorn and snacks if they do not offer them. There is no reason to pay a premium for conventional food.
STOP WASTING FOOD
Quick fact: Americans waste an estimated 1,400 calories of food per person EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- Raw nuts and flours should be kept in the refrigerator to last longer without going rancid.
- Line your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with paper towels to absorb excess moisture. They’ll absorb excess moisture which will help keep produce longer.
- Purchase Debbie Meyer Green Boxes food lasts way longer in these babies!
- To repel bugs, place a bay leaf in containers of rice, flour and pastas.
- Buy and keep bananas separated from one another, they spoil slower.
- Turn almond butter, yogurt, sour cream, tahini and cottage cheese containers upside down when stored in the fridge – this creates a vacuum seal, keeping them fresh longer
- Do not throw away nut meal from homemade nut milk – use it for smoothies, baked goods like biscotti or to make nut flours by placing the pulp on a baking sheet and drying it out in a 250 degree oven or dehydrator.
- Repurpose vegetable pulp from juicing to add fiber to soups, smoothies or make crackers or bread.
- Placed limp celery, baby carrots and radishes in water with a slice of potato to make them crunchy again.
- Keep all organic citrus fruits in the fridge – they will last up to 1-2 weeks longer.
- Do not wash organic dark leafy greens or berries until they are ready to consume.
- Store herbs, spring onions, asparagus upright in a large glass filled with an inch of water
- Learn tips and recipes on how to use over the edge food. For examples, panzanella with stale bread, and banana bread with overripe bananas.
- If you know you will not have a chance to eat it, freeze food before it goes bad.
- Choose to eat less, use a smaller plate to help you control the amount of food you might eat or end up wasting.
- Compost all food waste to put nutrients back in your garden (you will spend less on fertilizer).