Monday, April 26, 2010

The NEW Spring Organization

There is nothing like the sun coming out and the weather warming up to make you want to gut your entire house, sort what’s left and put it in a bin (I guess that is just me!). Though, for us this month, we are finding new daily challenges that seem to make that organization job move to the back burner. With spring also come spring sports. We are in our first season of sports for our kids and we are trying to figure out how to live a normal life without living it on the field or in the bleachers.

We need to make some changes to my son’s diet, which is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I am having to rework ALL of my recipes, and of course, my groceries. This is also changing my grocery budget – so I guess the question remains – WHY is it so expensive to get food that is nitrate, sugar & dye free? Growing your own veggies can be SUCH an inexpensive hobby. Why would adding MORE junk to your food make it cost less? Standing in the aisle of the store, reading all of the labels makes me feel like I am completely ignorant. Why do you have to be a rocket scientist to know what is ACTUALLY in your food? Apparently I need to spend weeks studying it all but, lets be honest, and WHO has the time for that? I know I don’t! What this also means is that I will not be able to do the: run to the store with four kids after school thing anymore. They barely hang in there for a three-item dinner pick up – if I have to stop and read every time they won’t make it.

Happily, this thought brought me back to organization! How can I get the groceries that I need without making the two-hour trip to Wal-Mart at midnight once a month?Research seemed to be the answer. Knowing WHAT foods is on our “can eat” list. So I am setting a personal goal – every time I go to the store, find 5 things to put on the list of the foods that we can eat. My husband has started to do the same.

Part of that research also means what stores to shop at. Trader Joe's has a GREAT selection of organic and preservative free foods at reasonable prices. It is no ALDI (though, i have found several things to put on my list) however; it is a good alternative to grocery stores. Other places to hit with a wide variety (at least in our area of the US) are Whole Foods and Giant Eagle Marketplace.

Even if you do not have these stores near you, MOST grocery stores will have an organic section within the store. Some store brands even have an organic line of foods like Safeway. The organic section of our Kroger store always intimidated me. I thought that it was WAY too pricey for us and it didn't matter if we had a few extra things in our food. BOY was I wrong! I found cereals that were cheaper than the regular aisle and if you just scan it every time you are there, you will find some great alternatives and reasonable prices.

This change in the way my family eats cannot happen overnight but at least we are learning A LOT along the way. In the mean time, I am going to get cracking on my veggie garden – it is MUCH MORE budget friendly and a fun hobby to get into.

Happy Eating!!

Here are just a couple sites I have found interesting or helpful. If you have any other helpful info, please share!


  1. Do you guys eat Kashi or Cascadian Farms?
    Search online-you can get a lot of their free samples. (Wal-Mart, search "free samples", and they often have some for these brands). Best part is the sample often comes with a $1 off coupon.

  2. we get the cascadian farms cereal - it is usually at our Ollies outlet for $1.49 a box!

  3. The laundry list of things to watch out for can be intimidating. I try to stick with the rule that if you can't pronounce it you shouldn't be eating it. Also always buy organic dairy, peanut butter and oils and the "dirty dozen" should always be organic.