If you want to eliminate the amount of foods with pesticide residue you feed yourself and your family, you probably already buy organic. However, as we all know, organic tends to be a little pricier than the regular ol’ grocery shopping list items. Instead of buying everything organic, buy the top list of contaminated crops organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, simply following this list could reduce your exposure to pesticides by 80%.
Foods That You Should Always Buy Organic
Apples: Apples are the dirtiest of them all, raking number one for pesticides. When you buy your apples organic, make sure to get apple juice and applesauce organic, too!
Celery: Celery is often ranked number two for pesticide residue, which may be difficult to wash away because there’s no protective layer of skin.
Strawberries: Always buy your strawberries, including strawberry jam or dried strawberries, organic.
Blueberries: While frozen bags of blueberries have less pesticides, blueberries, like strawberries, carry about 50 pesticides.
Peaches: During the summer, shop at your local farmers’ market for organic peaches. Peaches that aren’t organic have been found with about 50 different pesticides on them, however canned peaches have fewer pesticides, generally speaking.
Spinach, Kale, and Lettuce: Buy all of your leafy greens organic to avoid about 50 different kinds of pesticides.
Nectarines: While domestic nectarines aren’t that bad, nectarines from imported farms are loaded with chemicals.
Grapes: Like nectarines, grapes are imported to the US with countless pesticides. Don’t forget to buy your raisins organic, too!
Sweet Bell Peppers: Bell peppers may look colorful and appealing in the aisles but make sure you’re buying these veggies organic.
Potatoes: It shouldn’t be a shock that potatoes are pesticide magnets, considering the pests that have historically threatened the vegetable. Sweet potatoes, however, have lower amounts of pesticide residue.
If you follow this list, you pesticide intake will be greatly reduced, making for a healthy happy household. Just buy these organic and you can rest easy buying the rest of your produce in the less expensive produce section.
According to the latest government figures, the consumer price index for food at home increased by 60 basis points year-over-year to 6% versus the 10 basis point gain in food away from home CPI inflation to 2.7%. In other words, prices are wavering up, up, up and we expect that they’ll keep rising. With grocery store inflation, prices are in constant flux. Instead of gasping at your receipt with shock, manage your budget by creating a grocery list with prices.
How can a grocery list with prices help me?
While you may have grown accustomed to your plain ol’ grocery list, there are plenty of ways that a grocery list with prices can help you become a more informed consumer:
Manage seasonal prices: With prices listed alongside each product, you can better understand seasonal prices, especially with seasonal products like produce and fruit.
Look at inflation of certain goods: With economic turns or business changes, certain brands may rise or fall in price. With a grocery list with prices, you can better gauge how much a certain brand or product is inflating and find a less expensive alternative until it falls back to its normal price.
Identify sales: Gimmicky “manger’s picks” and other faux-sales are really just a bunch of big yellow signs, targeting uninformed shoppers. Instead of falling for these “deals,” track the real deals with your grocery list. Do the math: is that 3 for 1 really a great deal? If needed, bring a calculator to the grocery store, too, to do the necessary calculations.
Survey prices: The best part about a grocery list with prices is that you can survey prices of different stores to know where and when to buy each grocery list item for the best deal. While one grocery store may have low prices on ultra-fresh produce, another might give you the most bang for your buck on bulk goods. Do the math and shop accordingly.
How do I make and manage my grocery list with prices?
Finding and/or making a grocery list with prices is easy, once you get started:
Find a grocery list online: If you don’t particularly care for your own hand writing, find a free grocery list with prices online that you can print, nice and neat.
Make an excel sheet: You can also make an excel spreadsheet to survey each item and their price fluctuations. You may need a basic knowledge of excel for this one, so if you don’t know your way around the program, try finding a pre-made excel spreadsheet online that you can plug in with your own numbers.
Compile receipts: Always save your receipts and use them to understand where your money is really going. You may need them when you’re trying to calculate data for an excel spreadsheet of your grocery list prices.
Compile grocery lists: Save your old grocery lists with prices to, again, see how much you spend on each item or compare them with your receipts to see how well you stuck to your grocery list.
Grocery lists can greatly aid you in tracking market trends, making informed decisions about your purchases, and, ultimately, following your grocery store budget. All it takes is a grocery list with prices and you’ll be well on your way to saving big.