I’ve been on a journey – an organic living journey. It all began with the conception of our first son. I wanted to be healthier for him. And then when he got here, I wanted his nutrition and environment to be the healthiest I could offer. And from that point, my knowledge of organic living has grown into a way of life!
Our nutrition has changed drastically! The environment Hubby and I have created in our home is very different from what I had originally pictured. Organic living is going back to the basics. It encompasses topics like these: food, nutrition, cleaning products, home environment, cloth diapers, etc.
And one area of our lives that has changed the most is what we eat. I make healthier meals now than ever before. The foods I buy are organic foods – without pesticides or GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). The places I buy my food is not traditional.
Here are 15 food and cleaning products that I don’t buy at the grocery store or any kind of store anymore. Why? I list each reason for the things I don’t buy anymore.
I could write an entire blog post on this topic alone! There’s so much information! But to keep it simple I buy raw cow’s milk from a local dairy farm through a co-op on Facebook. This milk has not been pasteurized or homogenized. It is straight from the cow to my cup! I don’t buy milk from the store – not even organic milk. Right now I pay $8 for a gallon of raw milk! Yes, that’s a lot, but the health of my family is worth it. I buy 4 gallons every 2 weeks and I store what we don’t use in our freezer.
Why don’t I buy this? Raw milk is healthier than pasteurized, homogenized, store-bought milk. Raw milk retains all nutrients and vitamins it is meant to have. Raw milk doesn’t have aspartame added to it like all store-bought milk does. If you’re interested in learning more read HERE, HERE & HERE. You can read why our family chooses to drink raw milk despite the general consensus.
All dairy products bought in traditional grocery stores have been pasteurized, homogenized and have added ingredients to it (like aspartame) that are not listed on the label. So I buy as much dairy as I can raw.
I buy my butter from a local dairy farm through a co-op on Facebook. This butter hasn’t been pasteurized or homogenized and no aspartame has been added to it. I use butter in lots of my cooking and because it’s a staple, I want to make sure it’s healthy.
Why don’t I buy this? Raw butter is healthier than pasteurized, homogenized, store-bought butter- even organic butter! It retains all nutrients and vitamins it is meant to have.
It’s pretty much the same story with the yogurt I buy. I buy it from the same local dairy farm through a co-op on Facebook every 2 weeks. I buy a gallon and that will usually last Hubby, Baby Boy and I for 2 weeks. It’s $10 for a gallon. And that’s a great deal! I spend $4.50 on 32 ounces of organic yogurt in the store – and that isn’t half as healthy!
Why don’t I buy this? Raw yogurt is healthier than pasteurized, homogenized, store-bought butter – even organic butter!
4. Cream of chicken soup
Have you looked at the back of the label on the cream of ___ soups at the store? They’re terrible for you! I began making my own cream of ___ soup and it’s great! It’s more work because I’m not just pouring it out of a can. But it’s totally worth it because it’s healthier and cheaper! Take a look at THIS POST to see the savings on it!
Why don’t I buy this? Store-bought cream of chicken soup is so unhealthy and expensive! I can make it myself for much less and know exactly what’s in it!
5. Headache medicine
Tylenol, Aleve, Advil, Ibuprofen – we don’t have any of these in our house. Crazy right?!? I would’ve thought so a year ago! But now I use essential oils and they’re just as good!
Don’t think I’m crazy for jumping on the oils fad with everyone else. (It’s not a fad!) In fact, I wrote a whole post about why I even began using them!
I’ve learned that most headaches are caused by dehydration and/or stress. I can easily remedy that with drinking lots of water and meditating. But if that doesn’t work, I use peppermint oil and rub it along my forehead or I use my roller ball of doTerra’s Past Tense multi-oil. It works!
Why don’t I buy this? Essential oils are healthier and cheaper to use!
We eat lots of Mexican food in our house. And I’ve found that making my own salsa is cheaper than buying it at the store. Also, when I make my own salsa, I know exactly what’s in it! And it’s easy to make organic, non-GMO salsa. Check out my homemade salsa recipe and check out the savings in cost on every bottle I make!
Why don’t I buy this? It’s cheaper and healthier to make my own!
Breadcrumbs are just bread crumbled up! Why would you ever buy these? I always have oldish bread laying around. And I can easily pop it into my food processor and have breadcrumbs in a few minutes!
Why don’t I buy this? I can make this from day old bread much easier than going to the store to buy it! AND when I make my own, I know exactly what’s in it! They add too much junk to store-bought breadcrumbs.
This may seem like a funny thing not to buy, but it makes sense to me! I love to bake! And I have some really good, tried and true cookie recipes! Whenever I want cookies, I bake them! They taste better than store-bought (unless you’re talking about Byrd’s Key Lime Cookies from Savannah, GA) and they’re healthier! I can choose what ingredients I want.
Why don’t’ I buy this? I can make tastier cookies than Keebler can! And because I only buy organic foods, I can definitely make these cheaper than I can to buy them! Organic food is always more expensive than GMO-filled food.
Try these yummy cookies recipes:
9. Hamburger Helper (or the like)
I used to buy lots of Hamburger Helper and Velveeta skillet dinners in a box. They’re easy and tasty! But unfortunately they’re also so unhealthy! Health trumps ease and cost in my family. So I figured out how to make my own “hamburger helper” version with organic foods. If you’re not into eating organically, you can still create these recipes without organic foods.
Try my Velveeta Salsa Mac N’ Cheese dinner! It’s not the healthiest thing you will eat but it beats Hamburger Helper! A healthier version of hamburger helper is my homemade crock pot cheeseburger hamburger helper recipe. I also just recently discovered this recipe: Southwest Skillet Chicken & Rice Casserole. It IS healthy and actually very tasty!
Why don’t I buy this? It’s unhealthy because of all of the additives and preservatives they include. It’s also not organic, filled with GMO’s which is pouring toxins into your body.
One rule of thumb for eating organically: Your meat, dairy and foods you eat a lot of should be bought organic. So I buy all of my meat organically. But not just organically. There are a few rules for different animals I follow:
- I make sure that the beef I buy is farm-raised (not in factories where cows live their whole life in a stall, are fed GMO-filled grain and never see the light of day).
- I make sure that any of the grain they get is organic and non-GMO.
- I make sure that the quality of the cow is good: that they are permitted to graze in a field, not pumped with antibiotics and hormones.
- I make sure that the chickens are farm-raised (not in factories where they live their whole life in a pen, are fed GMO-filled grain and never see the light of day).
- I make sure that the chicken are free-range – that they’re allowed to graze and eat in an area outside. That ensures that they’re getting protein they need from bugs that they eat.
- I make sure that they’re fed organic, non-GMO filled grain.
There’s a lot to consider when buying meat! I buy my meat from 2 different co-ops on Facebook. Each co-op buys from local farms. Unless I’m in a bind I don’t buy organic meats from grocery stores because I don’t know the treatment of the animals.
If you’re interested in buying healthier meats, try Zaycon foods! I used to buy from them, and they are the closest thing you will get to organic as you can without being labeled “organic” by the FDA. It’s pretty cheap! Chicken at $1.89 a pound and beef at $3.99 a pound.
Why don’t I buy this? It’s healthier to buy organic meats! Unfortunately it’s more expensive to buy organically. Chicken can be $5.99 a pound and beef can be $6.99 a pound. But it’s something we eat all of the time, so it’s worth it to us to the spend the money.
I’m sad to report that most candles have toxins that are burned off of them when lit. This isn’t good for the respiratory system and can lead to health problems. There is, however, one brand that I know of that doesn’t include parrafin in their candle: Bath & Body Works. 😉
Anyway, I use essential oils in my home with a diffuser as substitute for a candle. A diffuser diffuses water and your essential oil of choice into the air. Essential oils aren’t just nice-smelling. Some are anti-microbial, antibiotic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, etc. They can be used to kill germs and bacteria in the air while making your home smell nice!
Why don’t’ I buy this? Candles are often made with ingredients that when burned off are toxic to the human body. Essential oils are healthier to use!
12. Laundry Detergent
Spending so much on laundry detergent every month left me dissatisfied with my budget. There must be a cheaper alternative! Making my own laundry detergent was the answer!
It’s honestly hundreds of times cheaper! My $30 dollar recipe will last a family of four 6 months! It seems crazy, but it’s the truth! Try it for yourself! Not only is it cheaper, but it makes my clothes and towels smell much more fresh.
Why don’t I buy this? It’s cheaper to make your own detergent. And it’s healthier because you know exactly what you’re putting in it!
13. Dish-washing liquid
I choose to make my own dish washing detergent because of the financial and health factor. It’s WAY cheaper to make your own in bulk as my recipe calls for.
And it doesn’t have those harsh chemicals that leading brands have. With that in mind, it also isn’t as abrasive against buildup of food. Sp I pre-clean or wash my dishes before I put them in my washer. And oftentimes on the 3rd or 4th load, I’ll use regular store-bought detergent to get them squeaky clean.
Why don’t I buy this? I can make my own for much cheaper. And I’m not using harsh chemicals to clean the dishes that I eat from.
14. Foaming Hand Soap
Foaming hand soap is more expensive than regular soap. “So don’t buy it!” you may say. But that would be pretty foolish of me! Not only is foaming soap more fun, it’s cheaper than using up regular soap. How? You dilute regular soap with 2 parts water and 1 parts soap. In the end you’re not using as much soap! HERE is how I do it!
Why don’t I buy this? It’s cheaper for me to make my own foaming hand soap. And it stretches the life of my soap bottle because I’m not using as much soap each time I wash my hands!
15. Drain cleaner
We used to live in a 3rd story apartment and for some reason the drain was always getting clogged! I began making this cleaner because it was much cheaper than buying a bottle of Drano every month. Now I can use my homemade drain cleaner and it will last six months as opposed to using Drano every month! This way is also natural and healthy!
Why don’t I buy this? I can make it for much cheaper than buying Drano!
A note in closing:
As you can see, some products are all about health and others are about the savings. It’s been a slow, long journey and this is where I am now. Next year I might add to this list and make it 25 things I don’t buy! Don’t be discouraged in your own journey! Take it one product at a time and slowly add to your arsenal healthy and inexpensive ways to live!