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Living Simply in the Kitchen: When the Budget Says You Can’t Do It All

One of the most frequent questions I hear from readers is “what do I do if I can’t do it all?” That’s a tough one, isn’t it? Ever wondered any of these as you plan your family’s grocery list for the week?budget

  • Organic or grassfed?
  • Vegetarian-fed or grain-free?
  • Local or organic?
  • Raw or low-pasteurization?

First, I’d like to answer that none of us can do it all. No, it’s true. There are a bazillion ways each of us has to negotiate within our circumstances. And that’s ok. Some of us don’t live near co-op drop-offs. We just had a new baby. The hubby lost his job. There are numerous reasons why we “can’t do it all.”

We need to recognize that the pressure we feel is often generated by our own desire to do it all. This is borne out of a good, God-given desire to serve our families well, I think. However, it can easily consume us until we find ourselves defeated and discouraged by what we aren’t doing. Or making. Etc.

Second, we have to pick what is most important to us and concentrate on doing that well. And then add in more things as there is time. (Remember my “Baby Steps to Natural Living?” Take a quick peek for a refresher!) There’s no rush or hurry. Take things one at a time – research well. And enjoy your successes!

What to Skip?

But my direct answer to this particular question? Ok, you twisted my arm. That would be, “skip the organic produce.”

Now before you pass out from shock, let me explain.

What I know about meat and dairy has convinced me that these two are non-negotiables. However, the information on produce, while daunting and frustrating, doesn’t concern me quite as much. Don’t get me wrong, I do buy organic produce. And I appreciate the difference in quality and knowing my food has not been genetically modified!

But, if I had to make a choice for my budget? I would drop organic produce.

Eat Well on a Budget

That doesn’t mean you would have to eat GMO produce, though! (The Difference Between Non-GMO and Organic) Find a local farmer’s market and get to know the farmers. Find those whose growing methods closely reflect your desires. Chances are, they’ll want to work with you and answer any questions you have! And typically their produce will be closer to what you are looking for than buying from the store’s massive suppliers.

I’ve recommended the EWG before and, while I typically purchase organic from the Dirty Dozen+, I will also occasionally get a non-organic treat for the fam…especially if it’s locally grown and in season. 

So if the budget has taken a hit recently (as ours did) and you’re looking for areas you can cut back on, you may want to consider buying less organic produce and buying more local, non-organic produce. (Are you feelin’ the farmer-love yet?)

What is most important to your family?

This post linked up at Wellness Wednesday on Intoxicated on Life.


  1. Becky Marie says

    You make some really great points here! We are just beginning the process of changing over to healthier options (like grass fed meat), and it still shocks me how hard good ingredients can be to find.

  2. We definitely can’t do it all on a teacher’s salary with soon-to-be 5 children! Your tips are very similar to what we do, and I don’t feel bad about it at all. We pray over our food and trust God to bless our best efforts!

  3. I love the farmers market in our nearest city! Even though we use grain feed beef I know from talking to the farmers that the meat is raised without extras like chemicals and hormones. This helps keep our teeny tiny budget in check and makes me feel better about what my family eats and not sad about what we can’t afford.


  1. […] what your budget allows you to do and find ways to save money while still eating real […]

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