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Going Organic. The Beginning.

Just over a month ago now I decided to go almost completely organic. I did this mainly for health reasons that I will not go over now. At first I was terrified of how my bills would increase and how challenging eating out with friends would become. I was overwhelmed with people talking about how expensive organic food was for most of my life, so I just assumed that was how it was. What I am slowly discovering is there are a lot of myths about an organic lifestyle that non-organic people tend to spread. So, is it easier than I thought it would be? Yes. Is it cheaper than I expected? I am actually saving money. Is it sustainable? Most of the time.

IS IT EASY?

I have been blessed with a very supportive significant other who has (for the most part) hopped along for this crazy ride with me. Our apartment is stocked with mainly organic food so that makes it very challenging to stray, unless I am out and about. What also makes this whole thing easier, I work from home! I don't have to worry about packing an all-organic lunch or finding organic lunch spots because when I am feeling hungry I can just grab something from the kitchen, a whole 30 steps from my desk.

MONEY TALKS

Surprisingly I am spending less money than I was before going organic. The main reason being, I eat out SIGNIFICANTLY less! The average home cooked meal is slightly more expensive, but overall you do save money, which is a huge plus to going organic. The longer you're doing it too, the more you pick up on tricks to saving money.

We buy groceries from Trader Joe's, Sprouts, Albertsons and Target. I was shocked, but yes, they all have organic products! Now planning well is where you can save money, however it may take up more of your time. Before going organic I would just run to Target and get everything from bobby pins to cauliflower in one stop. Now, I make lists for each store based on pricing and organic availability. Bulk dry food products like nuts and grains are usually best bought at Sprouts. You pay by the pound and overall, save money because of it. In buying Organic veggies and fruits, I have found the most bang for my buck and Trader Joe's and Albertsons. Take the time to browse all your local markets and determine what is the best for you! We generally just go to Target for convenience and lack of time. However, we do give up variety in choice by doing this.

What makes going organic the most expensive is proteins! I never thought I would spend so much on a chicken breast. I usually spend upwards of $7.99 per pound for chicken. Because of this, I now generally only use meat for one meal a day, if I use it at all. So how do I get my protein? Very easily from veggies, hummus and protein powder. Protein powder (as long as its organic and low on the sugar) is a god-send!

All in, the money you save is worth it, but you will have to be willing to give up some of your guilty pleasures and cut eating out to no more than once per week! On average, my meals in one day cost about $9-14; breaking it down to $2-3 for breakfast and lunch and $5-8 for dinner. All things considered, averaging $86 a week on food is not bad, especially when a Friday night dinner with drinks in Southern California can run you that high anyways!

IS IT SUSTAINABLE?

Going organic is fairly sustainable. What makes it challenging for me is my social life. I am fairly extroverted and do enjoy a night out with friends once or twice a week. I have to be very careful about where we go and make note of whether or not it is somewhere I can eat. If the menu doesn't offer organic, I look for the options that aren't fried, do not have sauces and contain little to no complex carbs.

So, I am almost a month and a half into my 'Go Organic' craze and so far it's going fairly well. I am saving in food costs, I feel better and I have lost body fat! Would I recommend it? Yes! Without hesitation. If you have any questions about going organic or would like tips, e-mail me at kaylajdahl@gmail.com.