Grocery series part II: What to buy organic

20 Jun

In part I of my grocery series I talked about some of the groceries I regularly buy. I’m very conscious if what I put in my body, but I don’t buy everything organic, we’re on a budget! And organic doesn’t necessarily always mean better.

I prioritize when deciding what to buy organic. First are my non-negotiables:


Ever since informing myself about industrial farming, I choose not to support the practice and buy meat from the grocery store. As said before, we buy grass fed meat and chicken from a farm whenever we can. Sometimes I buy the whole circle chicken from Tops when it’s on sale.


We picked up this chicken was KILLED TODAY! How’s that for fresh? Yes, we paid for the freshness too. But I just think about what I’m supporting and it’s alright. I don’t buy it that often. Like I said I settle for the natural raised at Tops a lot.

Organic or grass fed meat is pricey but in my eyes worth it. I’m not going to get into the disgustingness of industrial farming. If you’re interested the book Omnivore’s Dilemma is a good place to start. Besides, I save money other ways (more on that next in the series).

I also don’t really buy dairy for myself. I buy organic whole milk when it’s on sale or I have a coupon for Austin. I rarely get yogurt anymore since I follow a mostly Paleo diet. Everyone loves their Chobes…..but it can add up! Eggs are a must. I know $3.50 seems like a lot but I think about it like this: where else can you get four servings of protein for 3.50?

Next for the always organic is lettuce and greens like kale. They are easily contaminated.

Tier two includes fruits and veggies I may not regularly buy but try to get organic when I can

buy organic most of the time

If I feel like it’s too much and/or they don’t have it available organic,I’ll make a decision. Either get the regular or just find a different recipe.

And that’s pretty much it. Anything else,including anything on the ‘clean 15’ list I get conventional. Unless it’s cheaper/the same amount. Whole 9 has a nice little list I like to follow.

As you can see I don’t buy a whole lot organic. There have been a number of conflicting studies regarding organic and whether or not it’s even better for you, so I don’t sweat it. And no I don’t need to spend 7.00 on organic toilet paper to wipe my behind with or organic shampoo or any of that mess. Priorities!! I know for a FACT though the practices that go on in order to produce industrial meat so I’m willing to prioritize the money. Next post I will talk about saving money on organic/local food.


8 Responses to “Grocery series part II: What to buy organic”

  1. di @ life of di. June 20, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    I really like how you prioritize what you’ll buy organic. I will sometimes buy something organic and the next time, I won’t. I like how you stick to your guns and spend on what you think is important as opposed to only sometimes doing so 🙂

    • Andrea @Pencils and Pancakes June 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

      Well, for the second group of produce I kind of go back and forth like you said. But meat, eggs, dairy and lettuce is always consistent.

  2. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats June 20, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    Great article thanks for sharing. I need to remember to try and buy more organic and prioritize those that are known for being unclean.

  3. cleaneatingveggiegirl June 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

    I definitely want to start purchasing organic eggs. I think that the extra cost is definitely worth it for health.

  4. lifesarunner June 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I completely about eggs and dairy – not only do organic eggs make you question if the store bought ones are even real (jokes), but the health and taste is SO much better! This is pretty much in line with Jillian Michael’s recommendations to buy the “Dirty Dozen”, meat + dairy organic.

  5. Alex @ Brain, Body, Because June 21, 2013 at 10:06 am #

    It’s so hard to decide! It’s like, ideally, my food would be cheap AND healthy AND sustainably produced AND accessible AND delicious…but you have to pick and choose what’s important. I try to balance everything as much as I can – sometimes I eat food that’s cheap and delicious, but unhealthy or food that was sustainably produced, but expensive.

    I never before did the math about the eggs, but you’re totally right! Thanks for that!

  6. cookingfortheotherhalf June 21, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    This was a really good post! Sometimes it feels like there’s an omnipresent pressure to ALWAYS buy organic, but I think that prioritizing is important, as there are definitely some organic products that are more important than others. Thanks for writing this!

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