A Simple Guide To An Affordable Organic Lifestyle

The adoption of an organic lifestyle is not just a trend for the wealthy and naturally-minded.  It’s an important step we need to take to stay healthy, to increase the quality of our lives, to support our local economy, and to nurture the earth and the animals that roam it.  I have an organic lifestyle guide that can help you make this necessary change!

Many people are starting to understand this, especially here in California where it’s been proven that glyphosate causes cancer and that it’s everywhere in the conventional food chain.

Environmental toxins are polluting our water & soil, are obviously on the food we eat, and are being injected into us in trace amounts through vaccines. The toxic load is being passed on through generations, making children extremely vulnerable. This cumulative effect is one of the main reasons why more children are experiencing learning disabilities & behavior issues like ADD/ADHD, why chronic disease is increasing in the American population, and maybe why infertility is on the rise as well.

So what’s keeping YOU from going organic?

I’m guessing you think…

  1. It’s too expensive
  2. Going 100% organic is not possible and are confused about what you should prioritize as organic purchases.
  3. Everything on store shelves is safe because our government protects us well, this organic thing is all hype, or I simply do not care.

I can’t help much if you’re aligned with #3, but if it’s #1 or #2 that are holding you back, I have a great guide here for you!

Buying organic does not need to be expensive and you don’t need to buy ALL organic, though it is nice to support the movement (thereby decreasing the price because of demand) if you’re able to.

Organic Lifestyle Guide – 10 Simple Changes You Can Start Making Today:

1. Buy organic from EWG’s Dirty Dozen list

Become familiar with the Environmental working group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists that they publish every year. Note, this list has been pretty much the same since I started paying attention to it several years ago.

With the Clean Fifteen, feel free to buy conventional, as there is little to no pesticide residue on these foods. Note that foods with and asterisk * are often grown from genetically modified seeds, so you may want to avoid and buy them organic if GMOs are a concerning to you.

It’s handy to print out these lists and keep them on the refrigerator. You’ll have them memorized in no time!

2. Buy organic animal products and eat less meat

Buying organic animal meat, eggs, and dairy ensures that your food is pesticide, herbicide and antibiotic-free. It also means that you’re supporting better animal welfare standards (than conventional factory farms).

From Whole Food’s article Organic Meat: What Does Organic Really Mean?:

“Here are a few of the key requirements for organic poultry, cattle and pigs:

  • Must be raised organically on certified organic land
  • Must be fed certified organic feed
  • No antibiotics or added growth hormones are allowed*
  • Must have outdoor access

*Federal regulations prohibit the use of hormones in raising pork and poultry.”

My reducing your meat consumption to just a handful of times per week, you can save some money as well.

3. Buy in bulk at health food stores

For cereals, grains, nuts, seeds, and dried fruits, buying in bulk at health food stores is the way to go. Sure, they don’t have the fancy packaging that you might see in prepackaged food, but I’ve noticed time and time again, the price is well below what you buy with prepackaged foods.

Side note here: organic prepackaged foods are often more expensive in mainstream grocery stores than in health food stores, at least in my neighborhood.

4. Buy produce at Farmer’s markets

Going to a nearby Farmer’s Market can be fun for the whole family. It’s a great way to support local farms too!

I like to go with a list of exactly what I need and budget for treats. If you’re trying to save money, you may want to try go close to closing time. You may run the risk of not having many options, but some vendors may give you a discount if they need to sell everything. Some vendors may negotiate with you too.

5. Grow your own fruits and vegetables

Starting an organic garden may sound like a huge endeavor, but it’s really not. All you need is a small spot that gets sun for at least half the day.

My family has a potted lemon tree, raspberry bush, several strawberry plants, and many herbs on our very small townhouse balcony.

We also have a 4′ x 8′ plot in our community garden. This area used to be wasted space until several of us families contacted the homeowners association with our idea to turn it into a community garden. We produce large quantities of leafy green veggies all year round and other seasonal veggies. This year we have beautiful flowers as well.

If you’re saying you want a garden but don’t have enough space, maybe you just need to get creative or go in with a few friends who have a bit more land than you. It’s fun for the family to plan the garden and even more fun when a few families get involved!

6. Find discounts in online stores, warehouses, and CSAs

There are several online resources out there that have organic products like Amazon, Thrive, and Vitacost. You can probably find coupons and occasional discounts there.

Costco Wholesale is gradually increasing their stock of organic products. It’s not my favorite choice for my 3 person family though because I’m concerned about space and overconsumption. I don’t really need to buy 4 dozen eggs at a time!

You may also want to check out Community Supported Agriculture which provides produce and products from local farms. I L-O-V-E our local CSA: Real Food Bay Area. There are some artisan products that are on the pricey side, but the meat, dairy (they have super nutritious RAW goat & cow milk!), and produce are competitively priced.

7. Make homemade meals

Unless restaurants make a point of listing organic foods on their menu, you can best that they are using low-quality, conventional produce and animal products.

So if you’re committed to eating organic, you’ll need to start cooking more at home. You’ll have complete control over your menu and food quality, and of course this can save you some money too.

Sound exhausting? Not really if you plan your meals and get the family involved!

8. Buy organic skin and hair products, or DIY

This organic lifestyle guide would not be complete unless we address personal care toxins.  Anything we put on our skin and scalp is easily absorbed into our body, so we need to look closely at the ingredients in the products we buy.

Just because a product says it’s organic, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe though. From EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database FAQs:

“It’s hard to tell which ingredients are truly “organic” or “natural” because truth-in-marketing rules for food don’t apply in the cosmetics world. An exception – products bearing the USDA organic seal contain ingredients that come from plants grown without artificial pesticides and fertilizers.”

Joining the Do It Yourself movement can make moving to the organic movement much easier when it comes to skin products. Just type in DIY skin or DIY hair on Pinterest and you’ll find recipes to make just about anything.

You can follow my DIY Skin Board too:

9. Buy Organic Cotton, at least with underwear

Did you know that conventional cotton crops use 25% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides? Read more about this and other reasons why buying organic cotton is a better idea here:

Protecting Our Planet and Protecting Ourselves: The Importance of Organic Cotton

Avoiding conventional cotton is a huge endeavor though! It might be hard to buy a whole organic cotton wardrobe and you might not like the styles out there (unless you love the bohemian look!)

You can make wiser choices though, like buying organic underwear and pajamas for your family.

Here are some online resources I love:

Hanna Andersson (underwear for kids, pjs for the whole family)

Soul Flower (yoga & boho)

Blue Canoe (yoga & professional)

You can also find used organic clothing on eBay.

10. Relax, you can always detox

Know that any effort to steer your family toward an organic lifestyle is worthwhile. So try not to worry too much when you veer off course (like the fish tacos I had yesterday when traveling – at least they were wild-caught halibut!).

There are several ways you can detoxify your body from pesticides, through diet, essential oils, baths, and other methods that we discussed in:

The Best Natural Treatments for ADD/ADHD

6 Easy Ways to Detox at Home


Are you ready to take the leap to living organically?  If yes, did this guide help? If no, what’s holding you back?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

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