Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Eating Healthfully For Less

Let's face it, eating healthfully can be expensive! Add organic to that list and your grocery budget goes out the window! I admit that it is easy to fall into grabbing the cheap stuff when you're trying to keep within a small grocery budget. I used to. But now I just can't bring myself to. On the other hand, I hate seeing hubby's hard-earned money slip through my fingers at the checkout line while I walk out with only two bags of groceries! Still, it's better to spend the money on good quality food, getting bang for your buck so to speak, than to waste it on worthless foods.

Here's what I'm doing to feed my family better for less:

Oatmeal for breakfast every other day. Soaked oatmeal, to be precise. On the other days, I make eggs. Sunday is for special treats like pancakes or french toast.
I'm back to making homemade yogurt.
Simple lunches of a good bread, cheese, and fruits and veggies, or peanut butter and local honey, or leftovers.
More soups and stir fry dinners (I'm not a casserole fan)
Eliminate snacking. Our waistlines don't need it and our kids tend to ignore dinner if allowed to snack. If we're truly hungry, it's fruit or veggies, air-popped organic popcorn I buy in bulk, or a homemade bread of some sort with a hearty, good butter (at $4.00 a pound!!)

Pasta is a quick, cheap and easy grab, but isn't that healthful. We still eat it, but I try not to eat it too often. I get potatoes at a local farm for a REALLY good price, and I grow some of my own. Also, we LOVE rice in this family. Brown, basmati, jasmine, wild.... I also like other cereals and grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, barley, and bulgar. Otherwise, simple homemade buttermilk or sour milk biscuits make a nice side dish.

I try to buy whole chickens or bone-in rather than boneless, skinless breasts and cutlets. I still get the meat, but I also get bones and skin that make great broths for soups and gravies for meals in and of themselves.

Befriend farmers and hunters. They often have extra meat cluttering up their freezers they're willing to part with for cheap or free to make room for the next butchering. We've been given beef, chicken, lobsters, bear and venison. Of course, we're not friends with them just to get free meat. We're friends because we love them and help them out in return any way we can.

GARDEN and befriend gardeners! I love to garden. My neighbor loves to garden. She's got much more space to garden than I do and much more produce than she knows what to do with, so when she leaves for the county fair every year she tells me to pick it clean!

What are some of your tricks for eating healthfully for less? Please share, even casserole recipes so long as they don't include canned soups.


Sherry @ Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Great tips!

I'm hoping when we move that we can find a CSA and some farmers to buy meat from. :)

Plain and Joyful Living said...

Great ideas. We do very much of the same. With a family of 8 and another on the way, food is our number one expense. Each year we grow more of our own (including eggs and fruits and veggies).
I also make everything from scratch.

Warm wishes,