We are not an organic family. The term I like to use for the way we try to eat is whole foods. We do not want to be deprived of nutrients by eating processed foods that have been stripped of must of their nutritional content. What this means is we avoid eating whole wheat, raw sugar, raw honey, drink raw milk, eat our farm eggs and try to avoid processed foods at every turn. In some areas I am much better then in others we are still working on a less processed lunch menu for during the week. Needless to say we have not arrived at eating perfection 🙂
So on to the topic I wanted to write about, which is eating whole foods on a budget. One of two reasons we are not die hard organic Nourishing Traditions/Food Rebels kind of family is the cost! Simply put when we tried it last year we were hungry and our food budget was nearly 30-50% more then it had been previously.
So I became a Compromise Eater (a term from Nourishing Traditions(NT)) but even to do this we had to find ways to reduce the overall cost of whole foods. I have heard many people say that it is less expensive or it costs about the same to eat food of poor quality as it is to eat healthy. That my dear is a lie from the devil! It is more expensive to eat healthy food!
So here are a couple of things we have done to stay within our grocery budget.
- One thing I have done is to slowly buy many of our staples in bulk. We buy our foods from Village Foods and we receive a 10% discount on the bin price when you buy an entire bag/box of an item. So for example our whole wheat pastry flour is .89/# and I pay about .80/# by buying in bulk. I buy about 25# at a time and I buy flour once a month for $20.05. We do the same with steel cut oats, brown rice, raw sugar, Redmonds natural sea salt all of these items we usually only buy 2-5 times each year.
- Another thing I do is buy items we use a lot of such as Olive Oil in bulk at Sam’s Club. I already know I cannot afford to pay for the Raw Natural Olive Oil. But since Olive Oil is by far the oil I choose to put into our food the most. Other things we buy at Sam’s: yeast, baking powder, baking soda, corn starch, maple syrup, nuts & pices. So don’t give up if you cannot afford ‘Raw’ just move on to the next best choice you can afford. It is, however, rather annoying that raw things cost more. One would think since you do not have to process an item it would be cheaper but apparently not! Oh well, maybe one day the price will come down!
- The final thing we have done is look for ways to buy things you want at a more economical price for instance we are going to be buying some cocunut oil from Mountian Rose Herbs in the next two weeks. It’s much cheaper to buy it in bulk then it is to buy the dinky little containers most stores have.
The Lord knows how much money we is on our grocery budget and he has streched my money on more then one occasion! My prayer is that you would leave this post encouraged and more able to cook whole foods for your family, (if that’s God’s will for you) on your budget.
Here is a hearty recipe we like around here utilizing left over rice :
Rooster Hill’s Whole Wheat Rice Pancakes (serves 6)
- 2 cups leftover Cooked Rice, white or brown
- 3 cups buttermilk (or yogurt or soy yogurt)
- 3 cups white or whole wheat flour or half each
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice(optional)
Put the rice in a large bowl and mash it with a potato masher. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Then pour onto griddle and make pancakes. This recipes doubles and triples well.