Thursday, January 22, 2009

cost of going dye free

I've had a few people ask about how much it costs to go dye free. The cost is not really in the food. A few items may cost more, such as the candies like Sundrops that I mentioned in a previous post. But for the most part, it really involved looking closely at products and picking the natural one. Kroger generic white mac and cheese is cheaper than the name brand. Plain chips and pretzels don't usually cost more than Doritos. Natural microwave popcorn goes on sale just like the fake butter ones with yellow dye. The organic cereals I buy may be a little more costly, but watching the sales I seem to do OK on those too.

The cost is more in the initial time involved in reading every ingredient label when you shop. That takes a long time at first. But for me, the worst cost was watching my kids' behavior "bottom out" and having to spend a couple hours dealing with a tantrum or some broken toy when impulsive actions made things break.

The cost of not going dye free seemed huge in comparison. So I spend a little more on some things, a little less on others. It takes a lot of energy and diligence to keep up with it all. But the reward is seeing my children at their best more often: more peaceful morning routines, calmer meals, more enjoyable outings, better quality of life. How can you put a price on things like that?

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