Simple Tips and Tricks

It's not the easiest thing in the world to stay healthy and organic on budget. It's just not. Add being gluten free into the mix and you can see your money just floating away in the wind. 
But, if you are like me and know that the pro's outweigh the con's when it come to eating healthy and organic, you know spending the money is worth it. 

Here are some of my simple tips and trick's for eating and shopping healthy, organic, and gluten free. 
Even if you are just starting! 

Shop Around
Many different store's are going to have different organic and gluten free products. For example, my normal shopping trip includes Walmart, Publix, and my local health food store. I do this because I know if Walmart doesn't have it, Publix will, and if Publix doesn't have it, my health food store definitely will. Learn what stores carry your organic and GF needs and shop accordingly. 

Order Together
I am very blessed to have a mom who has shaped the way I eat for the better and shares a similar healthy lifestyle. In order to get some products cheeper, we combined our online orders on sites like Vitacost. It saves both of us money and we get products we enjoy.
So, find a shopping buddy and order your favorite products together!

Be Careful
Because gluten free products are big money makers now, a lot of your local stores are going to start selling their own brands. My local Walmart is a big culprit of this. While I like Walmarts organic line (Wild Oats), their Gluten Free line is not very healthy at all. While they may be good for the family just trying to stay gluten free, they are not friendly to the GF peep's who are also trying to stay healthy and organic.
Always pay attention to the ingredients. Along with the gluten free label, make sure a product is also non-gmo or organic. 

It doesn't always have to be organic
I know how hard it is to find decently priced organic goodies sometimes.
 My rule is if its not organic, go for the next best thing,
 Non-GMO
When it comes to produce, if you can't find it organic, see if it is listed in the Dirty Dozen or the Clean Fifteen (list by EWG). I also ask myself if I'm just using it for one meal or more. 
For example, My husband and I LOVE asparagus. However, it is SO expensive organic and hard to find. It is thankfully one of the clean fifteen and I only use it for one meal so I give myself a little break and buy it. 
Now when it comes to lettuce, I will always buy organic because it is on the dirty dozen and I will use it for more then one meal. I am a salad "connoisseur" and have one for lunch almost every day.

Feeding Friends
When cooking for friends, I don't tend to buy organic food. I do this because I know the people I am cooking for are not usually as concerned as I am with eating organic so why am I going to spend the extra money? I don't mean that to sound harsh at all and I've actually explained this to my friends and they agree with me. 
So when cooking for others, don't put the pressure on yourself to make a glorious organic meal. Keep it simple and easy.  

Don't be to hard on yourself
And speaking on not putting pressure on yourself.
Its gonna take some time to become fully organic and gluten free. And even so, you are still going to have those conventional products that you can NEVER find organic, non-gmo, or gluten free.
I wouldn't even say I am fully organic. I still buy regular cheese (even though I wish I had better and cheeper choices), my spice cabinet is still filed with basic non-organic spices, and sometimes its hard to just find ONE organic lemon and I end up buying a conventional. 
Don't be hard on yourself. 

Ask around
Find out through friends, family, and or social media friends where to find awesome gluten free, organic, or healthy products. My mom and I are always sharing our finds with each other. The more people share the more the community of healthy organic and GF eaters grow!

Hope some of these trips and tricks helped you! My biggest tip for beginners that are making the change to organic and or gluten free eating is make simple changes and don't put pressure on yourself to change your pantry to an organic heaven all in one shopping trip. It takes time (and money).

I wrote a similar post about a year ago. You can check that out here 

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