I am here to dispel the myth that a family cannot feed their family whole, organic foods and keep on their limited budget. I live in a very expensive state to buy food, especially organic and my budget is $500 for a family of three but I feed four (you know, the adult son that has moved out but shows up at mealtime...).
First, I will acknowledge that the organic label is just that a label. I know that it can be manipulated and I also acknowledge that the well intentioned farmer may be growing a contaminated crop. I have to leave that in the hands of the Lord and vote with my money to buy foods that are hopefully closer to what was created for us than the man made junk.
(Confession: We do occasionally buy junk food, especially on road trips and around birthdays and holidays but the goal is to not consume it as a daily part of our diet).
The past couple of days I have taken a picture of everything I ate and offered to my family. It was cheap, healthy and fast. I don't believe I have spent more than 45 minutes a day cooking and cleaning for us.
Breakfast- Homemade (in the crockpot) yogurt with chia seeds, sunflower seeds and rolled oats. The only thing I bought for this meal in August was the milk. This meal is delicious and packed full of probiotics and a great way to eat seeds and nuts that we should be eating everyday.
Eggs on toast and a smear of butter and a sprinkle of pepper flakes. We raise chickens so we have unlimited, fresh eggs. If at all possible I think everyone should raise their own chickens for the fresh eggs. Eggs are so healthy for you and the better life the chickens have, the better eggs you get to eat. Currently our small flock of 8 banty hens give us 6 eggs a day. I also make my own bread in my trusty breadmaker. Total cost of this meal for the month of August is the smear of butter.
Because we have an abundance of eggs, I often eat them for lunch as well. Here is my cheap but satisfying version of a breakfast burrito. Egg fried in butter or coconut oil, wrapped up in a flour tortilla with a sprinkle of cheese and placed back in the pan to brown and crisp up a bit. I usually eat a side of veggies with it. Impact on my budget was a bit more. I did buy the tortillas and cheese earlier in the month to make my hubby smothered burritos for his birthday. I really would not consider the flour tortilla to be a whole food.
Beans on homemade corn tortillas. I made these tortillas a bit thicker because I wanted a tamale taste to my meal. Very easy to make, just some masa, baking soda and water. We always have beans in the fridge and a bit of cheese and hot sauce satisfied my craving for mexican food. Normally I would eat my beans over toast. The only item I bought for this meal was the cheese.
Leftover Pizza - I heart pizza. Pizza is my favorite. I made homemade pizza a couple days ago and saved up this slice for a quick dinner. Again, I already had everything in my food storage and only purchased the cheese this month.
French Toast - I had every intention of eating a bowl of white chili and rice that I had made the day before for my husband but I was having a sweet tooth attack so I whipped up some french toast. So easy to do when you have all the fresh eggs you can eat and homemade bread just sitting there. I covered it with some homemade rhubarb syrup. Please consider making your own syrup. It is as easy as boiling water and sugar together. If you want a flavored syrup, use fruit juice instead of water. You can add your own flavors or extracts as well. I use organic evaporated cane juice for my sugar. The syrup will last for months on your pantry shelf. This meal was essentially free for me to make this month and came entirely out of food storage.
I have been trying to limit my snacking. This week I made an applesauce cake (flour, sugar, applesauce, eggs and spices) and helped to eat the rest of the ice cream, which is junk of course. I don't plan on buying ice cream again until Thanksgiving. I also enjoyed some fresh hot bread with butter. No cost to me this month to snack, aside from the butter that I had to buy.
I am not so great at tracking everything that I drink throughout the day. Typically its espresso, water, my vitamin mix, sparkling water and an occasional Zevia soda. I did buy our coffee this month via Amazon's Subscribe and Save. It's a bit pricey but it is one of the places I will spend a few more dollars for a superior product. The Zevia soda is also a treat and comes via Amazon but I don't believe that I will continue buying it. I enjoy sparkling water just as much and it is cheaper.
So as you can see, I have eaten really well for just a few dollars. It does help that I have a food storage plan. Having food storage really helps on months that you need to save money on. For us, this month we had to pay property taxes. To take the sting out of that cost we simply eat out of our storage and only buy fresh foods such as dairy. We are gathering fresh veggies from the garden but did buy some kale for smoothies. We are also eating fresh berries and rhubarb this month instead of buying fruit. Not much of a sacrifice at all. At the end of the month I will post how much I spent on groceries and what I bought.
If I can do this in the middle of Alaska, I know you can do it too. Whole, organic foods do not have to be expensive but they may require a bit of extra work. In my next post I will share how I cook from scratch for my family, spending as little time as possible in the kitchen and spending very little money.
Lovin life and eating well!