Friday, May 21, 2010

How to Buy Organic Foods on a Tight Budget: Guest Post

 This guest post was written by a dear friend, Daphne. She is a Christian homeschooling mom of three so far. When she's not tending to her children or working on their family homesteading efforts, she supports the family's at-home business as a freelance writer. 

Photo Credit

You may have a desire to buy organic food for your family, but during tough economic times, it may seem impossible. That’s a myth that’s debunked every day, by ordinary families who face many of the same challenges and difficulties that you do. The difference is that God by His grace has revealed a truth in their spirit that you cannot discern in the flesh: Multi-generational faithfulness, which is the calling of all Christian families, can only be achieved in part by the diligence of God’s people to abstain from things that will defile their bodies. You shouldn’t view buying organic food for everyday use or for long term food storage as optional, but as a sacrifice you make to be healthy and to be around long enough to be used of Christ to build His Kingdom. 

Where to Start
The starting point for any decision in life is God’s Word. He’s told us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Christian families are perishing slowly all around us, for lack of vision.  Most churches today don’t share the biblical vision of Christ’s righteousness filling the entire earth in time and in history, and the role of the family to work towards that. The churches that do preach on it don’t make the connection to the need of God’s people to avoid chemicals in the food and water supply. Non-organic foods contain pesticides and harmful chemicals and toxins that weaken the immune system, cause severe gut issues and negatively impact the brain. Organic foods are free of much of those toxins and chemicals, and you’ll be healthier if you consume organic foods. It’s not a savior, only Christ is. However, He commands us to not defile our bodies. Willingly eating non-organic foods when you have a choice is doing just that. 

So, where to start…Prayerfully ask your husband to write a vision statement for the family, that incorporates the physical health of you, you children and their children. Here’s one example:

“Our family is a vessel to be used of the Lord for His glory, and our pledge to Him is not to be gluttons, but to eat and drink the best quality foods and water available. We look to His promise ‘not to put the diseases of those in Egypt upon us’ as a result.”

Once you have a vision based on God’s Word for His people, and their role to “enter the promised land,” you won’t want to eat any other way again. You’ll stop poisoning your family with your cooking, and you’ll make the sacrifices necessary to have the money to pay for it. 

Some of you are already pinching pennies and you’ve given up on finding any more areas. There’s always room for improvement, and making changes to live a more frugal life is an on-going process.  Some of you have not even begun to simplify your life and reduce spending, and you can see big results by making a few changes. No matter where you fall on the spectrum, consider making these sacrifices for the sake of your children, their children and God’s kingdom:

·         Dads who work outside the home: start a family home based business and make a plan to work in your business full-time
·         Dads who work at home: start a second business, one that incorporates your entire family
·         Moms who stay at home: help your husband run the family business
·         Moms who work outside the home : go home and help your husband run the family business
·         Single Moms: start a home based business and seek the help of your church for additional support as needed

Before going further, you may be wondering what starting your own business has to do with making a sacrifice, and getting the money to buy organic foods. Isn’t this the worst time to launch a business because the economy is so bad? Working towards strengthening your family economy with a family enterprise is the biblical way. Moms are to contribute to the household by running a home business (Proverbs 31) and Dads are to lead their families in working together (Deuteronomy 6, Ecclesiastes 11). Your goal should be to build three, four, five, or 11 income households, based on everyone in your family working in the family business. 

More Sacrifices
Here are more sacrifices that you should be making if you aren’t already:
·         Sell the furniture, appliances, electronics, tools, clothing you don’t absolutely need on Craigslist, or have a yard sale.
·         Sell books on Amazon, including theological books that you’re not actually applying in your life.
·         Substitute eating out at restaurants with friends and other Christian families for biblical hospitality.
·         City dwellers: grow an organic container vegetable garden indoors and outdoors
·         Town dwellers: grow an organic container vegetable garden, plus a raised bed garden if possible.
·         Cut your entertainment expenses by 75 percent; find free and low cost ways to entertain your family.
·         Stop overpaying for insurance, including homeowners, car, renters and life insurance. Change to the minimum insurance you need in each category, and not the bells and whistles that an agent sold you.
·         Buy shares in a Christian health sharing ministry as an alternative to health insurance if possible, like Samaritan Ministries. It’s permitted under the new Healthcare laws, and it’s a biblical approach to taking care of the health needs of your family and others.
·         Work towards reducing your electric bill by 10%, then 25%, then 40% and finally 50%. Learn how to conserve energy, and consider the use of portable solar panels to charge smaller appliances, laptops and batteries.
·         Raise your own chickens and goats. Even city dwellers can raise chickens in some areas.
·         Buy clothes from yard sales and moving sales. Thrift stores are charging much more for clothing than they used to, but you can still find some good deals.
·         Learn how to sew. Mending garments saves money, and making your own is cheaper only if you buy materials cheap. Yard sales and moving sales are also a good source for cheap fabric and sewing supplies. Keep your eye out for clothes that you can buy cheap and alter, such as converting a mini skirt into a tiered skirt, or old bed sheets into “new” pillowcases.
·         Get rid of cable and satellite television…period.
·         Prepare meals for your husband to take to work if he works outside of the home, so he doesn’t have to buy meals.
·         Cook as many things as possible from scratch to save money.
·         Buy organic bulk ingredients for immediate use and for long-term food storage. Don’t buy cheap canned food storage that will make you sick in the long run.
·         Stay home more. Don’t go from house to house. You’ll save money on car fuel and you’ll avoid the temptation to gossip.
·         Start a homeschool supplies swap at your church or homeschool co-op to get free materials, if there isn’t already one. Buy used books and supplies to save costs. Find free resources (and there are many) on the Internet, and make your own unit studies.
·         Learn and implement online marketing practices for your business to reduce the costs of traditional marketing methods.
·         Wake up early or stay up late when your children are sleeping to earn money as a freelancer or earn more revenue in your home business.
·         Find out all the local farmers who grow and sell organic foods and products and buy from them. Find leads at the farmer’s market.
·         Make household products from scratch, such as window cleaners, soaps and laundry soaps.
·         Barter with family, friends and neighbors for goods and services. Apply the money you save to buy “real food.”

Everything on this list requires more of your time, energy and a change in lifestyle. That’s why they’re sacrifices. Why do any, some or all of these? You will have the cash you need buy organic foods, live healthier and be used of God for His glory. You’re doing it for Him. Ask Him for the grace and comfort it takes to make these sacrifices and do His will in every area of your life. 

This post is linked to Frugal Fridays at Life as Mom.


  1. Thanks Mary Jo. Great ideas:) I keep my eye out for bargains, and cut back on less healthy foods to have more to spend on organic.

  2. We do almost all of those things that you mentioned; we have cut our electric bill drastically depsite quartely increses in rates for the last 3 years; we spend $0 on entertainment.

    We grow as much as possible of our own food. Today we ate peaches, artichokes, and lettuce from our garden. Growing your own really helps you know what you're getting. We are not zoned for chickens, but we traded garden food for eggs.

    It's interesting to hear that we are not the only place with expensive thrift stores.