Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The balance

Since this past summer and now with shopping at Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, I've been thinking of a balance when purchasing that I'm trying to settle in my mind.

I'm finding that it's a weird balance of saving money and supporting companies that are wonderful in so many ways.  It's been great the last couple of weeks shopping at TJ's and WF and sticking to our budget.  We've eaten great and I know I'm supporting 2 great companies too!

Where I am thinking through this balance (mostly) is with coffee and diapers.

With coffee, I can get some that we like for approximately $5/lb.  It's good stuff and I just haven't looked into the company yet (but that's really what I should do next :)).  Then, at Whole Foods I can get coffee for approximately $12-13/lb. and support a guy who is helping coffee farmers start and be successful.  He is local and sometimes does tastings at the store.  He brings pictures of the farmers he has helped get started (before and after pictures of their farms).

So, do I save money to help others (i.e. buy cheaper coffee and put that money toward supporting a compassion kid) or spend a bit more and help this guy help others?

With diapers...in Evee's 2+ years we have gone back and forth between cloth and disposables.  The first question in this balancing act is, shouldn't I just be so committed to cloth?  But, we spend $2/load (to wash and dry) and it definitely takes more time.  Plus I'm hoping to potty training soon (which I've been saying for about a year now!).  But, it would be environmentally better and help the earth.

With disposables...I can get a very workable diaper at Target (I'm loving their new brand of stuff, by the way) or I could go with a company that strives to be more environmentally friendly (like Seventh Generation) or the 365 brand at Whole Foods. 

Anyway, stuff I've been thinking about.  More so with coffee than diapers.


  1. Hi Jamie,

    We tried the diapers at Whole Foods and had to stop after 3 uses. We found that they didn't absorb well and that stuff would literally roll of the side of the diaper even though it wasn't full (hopefully that makes sense). Anyway, we've had to cross that brand off our list. :(


  2. Good to know! Thanks Mandy. That is the other side of it all - is the product good :).

  3. I just wanted to let you know that I recently discovered both your blogs and they impress me much. I am now reading the Extending the Table and the More-for-less cookbooks, thanks to you. It all seems so simple while I'm holding the book in my hand and reading, living it is proving much harder. Just wanted to tell you, Thank You.

    Blessings, Beth Ann

  4. Difficult questions. Not to muddy the water, but one thing that plagued me by the thought of most disposable diapers is the amount of chemicals that are used in them and how that may play out in the long run. Not only environmentally, but for the health of the child also.

    Although we used cloth diapers about 99% of the time there were times when we used disposables for long trips or things like that. During those times, I made sure to buy ones that did not have any of that absorbent gel in them and were not chlorine bleached.

    We've been out of the diaper stage for a long time, but I still feel compassion for those still trying to make the best decision!

  5. I think the biggest plus to using cloth diapers is the motivation to toilet train one's child. Kids and moms are more likely to get it done when diapers aren't so convenient. If I weren't always SO far behind on laundry, I'd be done with disposables in a hearbeat!