Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Finding Ways to Afford Organic Food

Yesterday, I asked you to change your perception on the amount of money spent on your food. Today, I am going to challenge your perception again, however, not with food dollars but with pretty much anything else you buy.

If there is one connection that is continuous throughout this lifestyle, it's that whatever is healthiest for the planet turns out being the healthiest for humans, too. By reducing and reusing, not only can we keep items out of our increasing toxic landfills but we can also subvert any monies saved towards organic groceries. How can this be done? Thrift shopping.

Places like Good Will, Savers and other small consignment shops have the connotation of being dirty/low-rent and, quite frankly, not the status builder. When I first started shopping at these places, I was horrified that someone I knew might see me. Then I started experiencing, first hand, the type of deals that I could get and then I couldn't shut up about it... to anyone who would listen.

In addition to the original tags still being on clothes, you can find a huge assortment of brand names: Aeropostale, Gap, Baby Gap, White House Black Market, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Children's Place, Brand Jordan, Nike, Hannah Anderson, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Hollister, and a ton more. Obviously not all of the clothes will have the store tags still on them (as in the photo above) but you would be amazed at the great condition of some of the clothes at these stores. By buying a majority of my family's clothes used we save quite a bit of money. The kids and I get to look stylish for a fraction of the cost and if it wasn't for my big mouth no one would know the clothes were second-hand.

The savings don't just stop at clothes. Pampered Chef's stoneware is one of the safest materials to bake and cook in but it is also extremely expensive. The deep baker in the photo above goes for $88 on Pampered Chef online and that doesn't even include the shipping. I bought it for 15 bucks at Savers. Thanks to Savers, I have an entire cabinet of stoneware that is worth around $300 but I only paid $68 for all of it.

Most likely when you buy a new outfit or kitchenware you are washing it before use. It is no different when you buy it second-hand. Just because you buy something in a store new doesn't mean that it was never tried on by other people first, or that an item on the shelf hasn't been handled by half a dozen people before it ends up in your home. Buying items second-hand, however, does keep trash out of the landfills and reduces the waste and environmental damage from the manufacturing of new consumables. Not to mention all the money saved that can go towards your organic foods.

Outside of consignment shops there is also Craigslist and Bookoo that operate as online single-item garage sales. You can find gently used furniture, clothes, toys, bikes, home decor- you name it.

With the exception of the area rug, photos and throw pillows everything in my living room was bought off of Craigslist, Bookoo and Savers. I'll take trashy and turn it into classy any day.

There is room in most peoples' budgets to afford organic food. It just might take thinking a little differently about where your money is spent. Are you up for the challenge?

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