Organic Foods and Budgeting

I get that organic is better for you. For the purposes of this blog post, I’m referencing produce only. It’s better for you and for the environment. I think at this point most people would agree with that statement. If you live in California for any length of time, the idea will be shoved down your throat (usually accompanied by a “I eat organic and you don’t” superiority complex).
But let’s be honest, that shiz is expensive. I have a debate every week as I look at the conventional apples. At $1.79/lb., an apple a day fits nicely into my budget and allotted breakfast prep time (0 minutes). I wash it well and pray that the benefits of eating an apple outweigh the chance of getting colon cancer from the pesticides.
When I look at the organic apples at $2.49/lb. and I just can’t justify the cost. And the few times that the organic apples have been on sale, I’ve found them quite mealy. I’ve read a few articles (like this one)about what you should and should not buy organic. They suggest that if you shop in this organic/conventional hybrid manner, you will save some money. The list looks like this:
Organic: Peaches, Apples, Peppers, Strawberries, Pears, any kind of Lettuce
Conventional: Mangoes, Bananas, Asparagus, corn, Broccoli, Avocado
Unfortunately, my local grocery store has limited and very pricey organic options. To head to Whole Foods is about a 20 minute drive each way (making the total cost of the food even more expensive). Additionally, I almost completely consume fruits and veggies that fall into the “buy organic” list.
So for now, my view has been that eating organic is a choice that you get to make once you have the extra income. Is it worth putting $40 less into my savings each month? I’m just not sure. I certainly plan to eat organic produce when makes sense for me financially.
So what should I do? Tell me, do you eat organic only? Do you think it’s worth the cost?

Note: I wrote this post over the weekend. On Sunday I went to a different grocery store and they had organic apples for $1.49/lb. Now THAT is a bargain I can get on board with.

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  • I’ll be honest, I almost NEVER buy organic unless there’s some sort of sick sale going down. At the end of the day, I think that my budget friendly non-organic apples are probably better for me than not eating apples at all. And I just look at $2.99/lb items, give them a solid eye roll, and grab my cheapy grapes.

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