Healthy & Environmentally-Friendly Shopping in the Recession: What gives?
It was almost a year ago when we started talking about our weekly grocery bill, finding ways to trim. Now, with our local unemployment as one of the nation's highest and with many of our families in the throes of the recession, cutting costs is more important than ever.
With the economic downturn, I'm wondering how mamas and families are weighing shopping for healthy and sustainable food on a budget. I used to buy the organic milk, no question. However, our family often can't drink a half-gallon before it goes bad, and I haven't found organic milk in half-gallons. So now that I'm on a budget, I'm buying the quarts of local, hormone-free but non-organic milk. Same with eggs. The enviro side of me says go for the organic, but the thrifty side says the cage-free eggs are a good compromise. (Yes, backyard chickens are a good solution, and we're working on it, but that isn't for everyone.)
Do others have the same conflict? And if anyone has good leads where the two meet I'd love to hear. For example, I found the whole-wheat organic bread made at New Seasons is good stuff for $2.99 a loaf, cheaper than other organic breads and locally made. And if they happen to have some cooling in the back before they put it in bags, I can reuse the bag from the last loaf (if I remembered to bring it). You have to keep it in the freezer or it gets moldy fast.
Are you buying less organics due to the cost? Are you finding organic products are increasingly available as affordable options? Or, is the point moot because you find yourself shopping at discount supermarkets anyway, where organic goods are hard to find? Are there economical ways to find healthful, minimally-processed food options?