Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Organic on a Budget? Part 3

Well, another week has past. I really thought we would go over the $220 a week budget for food for two adults. We spent about $88 dollars for two adults and about $30 for the little one.

I am surprised. Next week will be interesting.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Organic on a Budget? Part 2

A week ago I posted about buying organic on a budget. Kiwi magazine helped one woman stay under a $100 per week and still managed to have 25% of the foods organic. And they were able to feed two adults and two children.

This past week we attempted to lower our household food budget to as far as we could get it. Considering we were out of a lot of products and had plenty of other items, the first week would not be representative of a practical budget. So, I will work on this budget idea for 4 weeks and take the average.

Our total for two adults on a 90% organic diet was $193.43. Mind you I am a vegetarian and my partner is a meat eater. The meat he purchased was grass feed & free range as always.

I also was able to buy bulk products for, made from scratch, oatmeal bread and 2 dozen fluffy biscuits. We made stir fry, soup, tacos, baritos, pasta, and roasted root stew. And still have left over ingredients for week 2.

The example family in Kiwi had two little kids also. We have one baby. So there is not much of a comparison there. But we are tracking baby's expenses.

Baby has a milk allergy so baby is on soy products. Baby also eats mostly homemade food and some jarred. We spent a rough estimate of $24.00-28.00 for the week.

The grand total is $221.43...

I think as I get back into the swing of baking more often This will lower the cost of baked goods. And now that our pantry is restocked those products will be used throughout the month.

I believe winter will be an issue when it comes to lower cost vegetables and fruits. Though, we are buying dried fruits again. I have also been leaning towards introducing more "root" foods into our diet like parsnips, turnips, beets...etc. These are winter friendly veggies.

Originally I think we were spending close to 250-300 per week at times.

I believe the adult allotment can be lowered by at least another $20.00. We will see. $195 may be right where we should be spending and still maintaining a wide variety and 90% organic diet.

Monday, January 14, 2008


Last year I decided to rip out my backyard and plant the whole thing with a garden. It will included a stone path and a figure eight stone patio.

Our Victorian home was built in 1900 in an urban setting. The houses are 5-10 feet apart. The backyard is 35 wide by about 65 feet long. The ground is pounded in and floods in the spring and fall. Two neighbors have cemented in their whole yard without proper drainage. There is wild red onions and garlic spread all over the yard. Some shade plants like Joseph's tears and Jack In The Pulpits too. And a mass of Tiger Lilies and Ivy.

This is a fabulous challenge. Many of the homes on my street participate in the City Garden Walk. I will be the first to have a fully dedicated "to be eaten" garden.

A memory just came to me. My mom while standing at the stove, asked us kids, "What would you like stuffed zucchini or fried (on a skillet) eggplant for dinner?" We said eggplant...her response was, "Well... go pick one from the yard."

Talk about fresh !

I want my family to have all the great things I did...like a huge garden and fresh veggies. They are luxuries you know.

Do you like gardening? Or have a few plants in a pot? Are you considering a vegetable garden? These are great ways to GREEN a home. Even if it is having a few pots of herbs on a window shelf.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Organic on a Budget?

Can it be done? Can you buy organic on a budget?

According to Kiwi Magazine, May/June 2007, it can be done. They had a volunteer, woman from New Jersey, who had to feed 2 kids and two adults on $90 a week. She needed to provide for three meals a day using organic whenever possible.

The volunteer in the article already had a few tricks such as making all the meals from scratch and making extra portions for lunch the next day. She also shops at a local farmer's market.

Kiwi brought in organic chef, Akasha Richmond owner of Akasha's Visionary Cuisine, an organic catering company in Los Angeles. She used the goal of "10% organic", a "goal set by Mission Organic 2010" as a guide.

The Chef was able to expand the families food variety including more soups and stir-fry, switch them over to organic dairy, added new recipes and increased the amount of expandable foods (like beans & rice). That is only part of the story. Instead of 10% organic they hit 29%.

The budget..? They went $6 over the $90. limit.

It can be done.

We are going to attempt setting a new budget. This coming week we will see how low we can get our household food budget. We do buy about 90% organic and insist on a very wide variety of food. We have a three season farmers market, who's produce is also sold at the grocery co-op near my home.

There is one less child in my house compared to the volunteer's family. On the other hand we do have a once a week grilling through out the summer and fall when friends visit. Somewhat of a trade off.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Poisonous Plants

Cornell University lists the most common poisonous plants. Small children and animals may snack on plant leaves and get sick. Or if you are planning a new adventure like camping, hiking or a vacation where you will come in contact with the great outdoors take a peek at the
Cornell list.