Almost 6 years ago, when I found out I was pregnant with Jeffrey, we decided I would stay home with our children. On one hand, this was not an easy decision, as we were giving up the larger salary (like most executives, I was overpaid for not much hard work)- but on the other hand, it was easy, because we inherently understood the importance of raising our own children. For the record, a dad staying home is just as good as a mom, but in our case, I wanted to be the one home, and my husband supported my desire.
There were trade-off’s. We no longer had much disposable income. We had to live on a budget, and sometimes, making ends meet was more than just a stretch. We haven’t taken a family vacation since before Jeffrey was born. We drive older cars and don’t go out to eat often. In order to buy a home, we had to move away from family to a more reasonabley priced area. All of these things we accept as consequences of our choices.
But there is one thing that has consistently bothered me about budgeting: the quality of food and goods available to families living on a budget. Back when we had double incomes, I did all of our grocery shopping in organic and natural markets- I love the idea of supporting local growers and pesticide free farming. The problem is, when your income is reduced in half, those sweet, green markets become outrageously expensive and out of your reach. But I still want to provide good, quality foods and renewable goods for my family. What do you do?
There is a certain snobery of sorts in the green-foods markets. They seems to like being elite and set apart from the everyday markets- but I have to wonder if that snobery is really furthering the aims of making organic and natural products available, at an affordable cost, to everyone.
So last night, when I ran into Waldemort (Yes, I go there sometimes- see the aforementioned “living on a budget”) to grab a few things for our upcoming airplane trip, I was pleased to see that Waldemort, the big, evil empire that it is, is embracing Organic. Not only in the produce section, but in the clothing department, too. There were many things to choose from, including a large selection of very cute, very stylish and trendy tee’s that teens and young women tend to like. All 100% organic. And made in Canada. For $10.
This seems like an important step; like it or not, Waldemort has the big-bucks bargaining power to help drive the organic market even more, and if they get the ball rolling, other big retailers are bound to follow suit. So even if you hate Wal-Mart and the things it stands for, you have to love that organics might be getting a big boost. If you still insist on being a snob and saying you should only buy your organics from small local markets and independents, well, you don’t have three kids and one income. Or, you really aren’t about organics at all, but about elite consumerism as opposed to an open market.
I for one, am tickled pink that I can buy organic t-shirts, socks and even bedding for my kids without having to sell a kidney to do so. This seems like a good thing to this mama.