Those of us who thrive on plant food have two options in the grocery store – buy organic and pay more, or buy the less expensive conventionally grown products and hope that the pesticides won't kill us. If you have a generous food budget, it's a no-brainer – organic is clearly the way to go.
But for veggie lovers who must stick to a strict budget (mine is about $40 per week), a great option is to grow as much of your own food as possible. Seeds are cheap, your labor is free exercise, but having your own home-grown food is priceless. Since most of us don't have the space, time or energy to care for acres of organic vegetables, the most practical way to do this is to list the foods that you eat most often and concentrate on growing only those. If you eat salads at every meal, like I do, it makes sense to grow as much lettuce and other greens as you can. My garden last year was mostly Buttercrunch and Red Sails lettuce, romaine and green beans. I had enough lettuce during the growing season to stop buying it for several months, which was a great feeling! To have it year-round here in western Pennsylvania would require using cold frames, hot beds, hoop houses and/or a greenhouse -- all of which are on my wish list!
By growing the plants you most often eat, you can be sure of getting plenty of pesticide-free and herbicide-free vegetables in your diet. That way, you can use your grocery money to buy organic versions of the things you eat less often. If you still buy the conventionally grown veggies, you can eat less of them and will therefore be ingesting fewer chemicals overall.
Growing your own takes time and effort, and it may or may not save you money in the long run, but isn't your health worth it?