If saving money and avoiding poisons in your food are the top two priorities in your grocery shopping life, you need to be able to organize a game plan. You won't be able to buy everything organic unless you own a small island in the Bahamas, so you need to know what to buy, what you can skip, and how to avoid other everyday poisons you come across.

1. Go Organic for the Dirty Dozen

When you buy the dirty dozen without spending extra for organic, you are getting the most filthy fruits and vegetables, laden with lots of bad things you don't want to serve grandma at dinner. The dirty dozen are:

  • Peaches
  • Apples
  • Sweet bell peppers
  • Celery
  • Nectarines
  • Strawberries
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Grapes (imported)
  • Spinach
  • Lettuce
  • Potatoes

2. Save Money on the Clean 15

The clean 15 are the least filthy fruits and vegetables, due to the way they grow, are processed, handled, or how their skins protect them. You can rest (relatively) easy and buy these non-organic:

  • Asparagus
  • Mango
  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Bananas
  • Papaya
  • Blueberries
  • Pineapple
  • Broccoli
  • Peas
  • Cabbage
  • Sweet corn
  • Garlic
  • Watermelon
  • Kiwi

3. Buy Frozen in Bulk

This time of year, it's difficult to find vegetables that are fresh and local. The next best thing is to buy frozen. I've purchased large bags of frozen organic spinach for a steal, and it's lasted forever. I've thrown it in as many things as my husband will let me without threatening a junk food coup. Costco, Cash and Carry, Sam's, or any other wholesale or restaurant food supplier are great sources for frozen produce as well.

4. Cook With Fresh Ingredients When Possible

Cooking fresh actually saves you money. It also saves you the residual plastic poisons that leak into packaged foods, additives that increase shelf life and shorten human life, and ridiculously high sodium content in canned goods. Who needs sodium in green beans?

5. Avoid White Sugar

The bleaching process that makes sugar gleaming white is bad for our bodies. If you can substitute honey or agave in baking, try those ingredients. They can be pricey, so if if doesn't fit your budget, purchase organic raw sugar from your local grocery store.

You know going organic is important. Pesticides have been linked to ADHD. But, feeding your family the healthiest you can within the budget is always a challenge. Next season, you can join a CSA. As for now, with organization and information, you can make a difference in what gets put on their plate without having to raid the Christmas fund to do it.

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