I Don’t Have Money for That

Our family tries to buy as much organic produce and sustainably raised meat as possible. Our health may thank us, but our wallets do not. Typically, I only buy organic when it comes to produce on the “dirty dozen” list (12 fruits known to be the most heavily sprayed with pesticides when conventionally grown). The rest of the produce that we buy is a toss up… it all depends on how much money is left in our grocery budget that week.

So when we can’t afford organic, I like to minimize the pesticides we are about to consume by giving our produce a vinegar bath.

If I am washing berries (which I do even when they are organic), I place them in a colander. If I have larger produce like plums or a ton of asparagus, I just throw it all in my plugged sink.

Then I add water and vinegar. If I am using the colander I just add a couple splashes of apple cider vinegar. If I am using my sink I add about a cup of vinegar per gallon of water. I believe I once read a TBS of vinegar to 1 cup of water. But that seems like a lot of measuring to me so I just eyeball it. Then I let the produce sit for 5-20 minutes (depending on how much time I have).


Then dry the produce as best as possible and stick it back in the fridge to keep.

plums in bowl

You can even scrub fruits with peels that aren’t too soft if you want to get them extra clean.

I mentioned before that I wash my organic produce as well sometimes. This is because even organically grown produce may have been sprayed with things that are considered organic but you may not want to ingest in large amounts. Doing a vinegar wash with berries also helps keep them from growing mold so quickly.

I try to make it a habit to wash all my produce. Then I can feel a little better when we need to stretch our budget and just can’t buy organic all the time.

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