Money Talks: Part One


2015-05-23 15.38.48 (1)I can’t eat that way.  It’s too expensive.

I’m going to tell you.  Anything that really hits you over the head and makes you think it’s important, I mean really important, you’ll get it done.  You’ll overcome your excuses and slap them down flat.  They’ll pop up and knock you down again, but you’ll stay at it till you find success.  You just will.  If it’s that important.

A lot of us say things are important.  We think things are important to us.   But our actions clearly indicate that they’re just not.  Barriers exist and we just can’t make the effort to overcome them.

People tell me all the time that money was not the barrier they thought it was going to be to eating whole, real food.  They skipped the soda pop and snack purchases.  They ate at home.

The barriers that really pulled them back into the abyss?  Socialization.  Time.  And self.

Today, let’s look at money.  The barrier that most people find they can tear down or walk around when it comes to eating real food.  Where will you save money, or at least break even, to make eating for a fully nourished body sustainable?


Two little boxes of plants and seeds will feed my family of six for five months.  With plenty to spare for friends.  Even if you can’t garden, two pots on the patio or front step can get you lettuce and tomatoes.  If you don’t have them planted yet, it’s not too late.  There’s time left!  In fact, you’ll get an even better deal since garden plants are going on sale right now.  Even the scraggliest plant in the greenhouse can make a comeback when plopped in a pot with soil and water.  Growing your own saves money.

Buy bulk nuts and dried fruit

I never had stuck my hand in one of those bulk bins at grocery stores until we switched our eating a few years ago.  Strangely, I was a bit intimidated by them.  Now, I’m shocked at myself!  I know I’m not the only one who wasn’t aware of the savings of these little nut cases.  When I made pre-school snacks for my pre-school daughter’s school, I’d ask parents to bring in sunflower seeds, almonds, raisins, dates, and dried cranberries.  Nearly every time, a pre-packed item was sent in, like Sun-Maid raisins or Planter’s nuts.  Buying bulk nuts and fruits for snacks saves money.

Buy non-organic if it’s a deal breaker

Some organic things give me sticker shock, like organic grapes.  We don’t eat grapes very often, but if my kids needed grapes to stay on this path because it’s their favorite fruit, then I’d buy non-organic.  The goal is to eat whole foods.  There’s still more nutrients to help the body nourish and detoxify itself in those grapes than in those fruit snacks.  Organic or non-organic should not be the cost that sends Dad to a second job.  Buying non-organic saves money; do it if it’s a deal-breaker.

Ease into “perfect” slowly

Some people who do it, dang it, they’re going to knock it out, bang it up right!  They buy only organic, only grass-fed meat; only on-GMO produce; only non-BPA cans; only glass containers; only wild caught fish; and only free-range eggs.  You get the idea. They’re a nightmare and probably have nightmares.  You’ll figure out the best olive oil and where to get it eventually if you want to.  You’ll figure out the egg thing.  But the number one idea, bar none, is to get started eating real, whole food.  Day in.  Day out.  Meal in.  Meal out.  Let the experts figure out whether grass-fed butter is better for you.  Right now, you’re still wrapping your head around the idea that butter is even okay to eat.  Figure out exactly what whole, real food is first.  Then, you can iron out the details that are important to you later.

Buy meat on sale and freeze

When I see meat that we eat go on sale, I buy it and freeze it.  Sometimes I may have to divide it into suitable portions at home, but the savings are impossibly incredible.  A time to be thankful for living in the age of freezers.  Don’t pass up meat on sale just because your meals are already planned for the week.  You can save a fortune buying meat when it goes on sale and freezing it.

Deep freeze 

If I had to pick one thing that saves money for us, it would have to be our deep-freezer.  It is money up-front and costs a bit to run, but buying food at its peak season and then freezing it, well, I can’t even begin to tell you how much money that has saved us.  Summer fruit is a dime a dozen.  When fruit is free from the tree or 99 cents a pound, it freezes.  Going in on a whole cow or lamb really trims the budget.  So much freezes!  Avocados on sale freeze:  Scoop, mash and freeze.  Milk and butter freezes.  Bones for broth freeze.  Buying food at its peak nutrition, which is usually its cheapest price, and freezing it becomes is not only frugal, but nourishing!

Don’t be afraid to ask a health nut where they get such and such

Who cares if you think they’re crazy or over-the-top?  They’ll know usually where to get some of the best prices if they’ve been doing this long enough.  Muster up the effort to track down their phone number or pull them aside at church.  Don’t do this alone!  Drawing on the experience of those who have gone before you is down-right brilliant.  Sometimes they’ll tell you Wal-Mart and sometimes they’ll send you on-line.  Save yourself money by asking where the best place is to buy what you need.


Oh, there will be barriers.  There will be excuses.  But with persistence, there will be SUCCESS.  So tell the bread-earner and the budgeter in your house, tell them–It can be done!  Because if it’s that important to you, it can be.  I hope that someday, not too far off, that it will be THAT important to you.  Is there anything I can say to put you closer to that realization?  Any question I can answer?  Any doubts you have?

Tune in next time for more on how to save money and eat real, whole foods.


28 thoughts on “Money Talks: Part One

  1. Simple Days Making for Exciting Adventures

    What about co-ops? We are part of a food co-op that sends us a TON of fresh, organic and local(if possible)veggies and fruits. I find that this saves us ALOT of money and it gets me to cook at home (and get creative with cooking sometimes) and to cook seasonally. We also look for local farms that sell their produce, eggs and meat. They are usually less than the market. I totally thought of you this week as I shopped! I made it through the entire store only purchasing cheese (which we use sparingly), almond milk, bread (because I didn’t get to making it this week) and rice cakes. We are trying to get out of the processed foods. It is going fairly well. Thankfully, the kids enjoy cooking so they are helping out!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Yes! My sister loves her co-op basket! And that’s what we do, too, try to find the local farms. FYI, not necessarily for you, but for anyone reading…

      We learn about these through word of mouth (by approaching whoever seems to be the biggest health nut–problem is I’m approaching the top of the rung and now I’m getting asked…uh oh…) Another place to learn is the 4-H fair! Those farm kids put their chickens, cow, goats, and sheep in them. So when we go to the fair, I always ask the kids and parents standing there about their farms and if they sell anything.

      I hope you all are feeling great and finding it all worth the effort. We do, but I like to hear when others do too! Happy summer!


  2. EmilyMaine

    What a helpful post, especially for those just starting out. I find I have actually done something like this without even realising it. First, I just wanted to eat whole foods so I bought everything at the supermarket as that was the easiest transition for me. Now I buy my fruit and veg from a grocer who has mostly local and in season produce and I try to buy meat from the butcher. I have started to buy the odd organic thing and I now pay extra for the guaranteed hormone free chicken. My free range eggs and honey are local and farm fresh (get those from the grocer too). In fact, my honey is RAW, LOCAL and far CHEAPER than anything my health food store or supermarket sells. I simply do the best I can do each week. My goal is as few packets/bottles as possible and if I can achieve that then the rest is gravy. 😉 I’m feeling very excited at the moment as my neighbour has a deep freeze she isn’t using so I’m about to take it on. AND we are taking about going halves in a lamb. Woooot.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      What you said, yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Kind of an evolution over time. And it somehow just gets easier, just a part of what you do!—-You get to have a deep freeze! That is awesome! It significantly helps us out a lot! Do you eat a lot of lamb? My husband likes lamb a lot and has “switched” us from beef to lamb. So I’m learning to cook with it (and learning it like it). Any favorites? The ground lamb is what I have trouble using, even though I loved ground beef. Bon appetit!

      1. EmilyMaine

        We don’t eat a lot of lamb as it is usually so expensive but I do enjoy it. I actually really like lamb mince. I have a yummy healthy recipe for it I will track down for you if you like. X

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I’d love it! When you have time. No hurry…the ground lamb just sits there awhile. We can’t even really find lamb here where we’re at except to buy from the farmer, so bulk pricing and the deep freeze come in play.

  3. mommytrainingwheels

    It’s amazing all you can make happen when you put your mind to it, isn’t it! We get together with friends every month or two to make freezable communal meals. It cuts down the costs of eating well even more.

  4. Boundless

    re: I can’t eat that way. It’s too expensive.

    It’s doable, even on food stamps (although if you’re a movie star, you might have trouble).

    The other thing often overlooked is what’s saved against the hidden costs of eating poorly – lost time, medical appointment travel, co-pays … and in some saner health insurance future, being able to switch to a cheaper policy with a higher deductible, because you rarely need to file a claim. The way to get the most out of universal health care rationing is to not need it.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Boundless, Happy June! Hope it’s treating you well. Goats yet?

      Thanks for the read. I liked it. That was quite a difference in grocery baskets! On a sad, serious note, I think it is very true what was mentioned at the end (and what will be presented briefly in my second post of ideas on this matter), one needs to know how to cook and put things together. BUT–this is where our schools are letting us as a society down! If our parents are working, they don’t have time to cook much, and even less time to teach to cook—if they even know how! However, there are paid health and home ec teachers who should be presenting these very things! I know one who is, over at Fit Moms/Full Plates blog (a health teacher who teaches her kids good nutrition), but most aren’t. There may or may not be reasons, I’m not sure. Anyhow, those two classes are considered “wastes of time.” But they shouldn’t be. If a student has home ec, they should know the names of a huge number of vegetables, fruits, and meats/fish/eggs, nuts and seeds, and yes even a presentation on beans, lentils, and potatoes. Oh and oils/fats. Then how to use them, the heating points, different cooking methods. Etc. Five hours a week in home ec should get you a lot of knowledge. Our schools are letting us down just like our health care system is. As someone comes in and tells bright people how and when and what order to do things in, you lose creativity. You lose incentive. Society loses. Society loses.

      Good, true point on the hidden costs. We save a lot on what we don’t need now.

      May all be well there with you and yours.


      1. Boundless

        re: Goats yet?

        Two moms back in milk so far. Cheese experiments in work.

        re: … one needs to know how to cook and put things together.

        And that’s only after you’ve figured whats safe to buy. In his Wheat Belly Total Health (p141) last year, Davis made the point that over 97% of what passes as food in modern markets is unfit for routine human consumption. There may be only 1 food product in modern stores that is unchanged from 150 years ago: Perrier spring water in glass bottles, and I’m not so sure about that plastic cap liner.

        Anyone who wants to eat healthy faces enormous hurdles:
        • the official advice is all fatally flawed
        • ancestral cultural dietary knowledge is all deceased
        • modern food product descriptions are misleading at best
        • the dissenting diets often don’t agree with one another
        “Can I eat xyzzy?” is perhaps the most common question on Davis’ blog.

        re: BUT–this is where our schools are letting us as a society down!

        Starting during the tragic Vietnam war, the mission of government schools shifted from producing independent citizens with critical thinking skills, to indoctrinating compliant politically correct sheep. The health of those sheep, should they accidentally survive to adulthood, is now irrelevant, as long as they vote to maintain and expand the school system. On the subject of food specifically, the schools are under the thumb of the USDA, and their actual mission is promoting agriculture, principally grains. Even if the school, or a rogue teacher, were inclined to tackle healthy eating, they’d quickly get persecuted for contravening the deadly dogma.

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Boundless, That is so cool about the goats and cheese! Maybe one day I’d like to do that.—Didn’t know about the Perrier water being same old, same old. But yes, even the stuff I buy, I can tell you a reason why I shouldn’t. (Olive oil from multiple places; apricots with sulfur; maple syrup in plastic jug, etc, etc.)—I think it sounds like you’ve got your diet nailed and running well. But if I could get adults to know one thing, it’d be there is no perfect diet. Start with a good, solid framework that you want (Wheat Belly, GAPS, Wahls, Whole 30, even vegetarian but take out grains and dairy to start) and then take notes on what you eat and how you feel and function on all things (nose/breathing/digestion/skin/mental/energy/joints/etc). Be willing to take things out and put them in. Be willing to play with macronutrients too. But listen, listen, observe, be honest. Well, I could go on and on here. But, yes, I can see that the most common question would be “Can I eat xyzzy?” because people want and think there’s one right way.—On school. Sigh.

        But it’s a great day and it’s summer! So have a good one!


  5. Pingback: Money Talks: Part Two | The HSD

  6. JL

    Eating whole foods is definitely cheaper! I watch the total at the grocery store add up when they ring up the fruit and veggies and its relatively cheap and I feel good. Then, I watch the other products add up (the boxes of food, the meat, etc.) and I start to cry a little inside. Where I live in Alaska one single apple can cost $2 (where a Totinos freezer pizza is still $1.49), a tiny little container of blueberries is $5.99, and an avocado can be $3! Gluten free and dairy free substitute products are ridiculously expensive and usually come in teeny tiny little packages! So sometimes I feel like it’s win/lose and never win/win up here. I’m constantly surprised when I travel at how cheap food is in the lower 48! And I live in the big city, Anchorage. Some of the villages and smaller cities pay $10+ for a gallon of milk and don’t have the option of buying from a farmers market (which we only have for a month or two). Costco can be slightly cheaper but for a household of 2 without a pantry or spare freezer it’s not very practical.
    Thanks for your tips on eating healthier and cheaper. I love your blog! And will keep coming back to see what you have to say next.

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Ha! I just mentioned in another reply the apple prices!! My kids love apples, and in late winter/spring they’re so expensive. So small. So bruised. (I buy organic apples because they eat SO many of them.) But usually there’s something that my kids will eat at a good price. What a wake-up your comment was on price variation based on produce proximity. I feel lucky to live down here (but I’ll bet Alaska is a great place for different reasons). I hope my posts can be applicable even in the extra challenging Alaska. Living even as far north as South Dakota has been hard for me to get used to, with its much shorter growing season. I grew melons the last two years, but they didn’t really have time to ripen as they should. And bell peppers, which grew like weeds in the last state (South Carolina) we lived in, aren’t really happy to be here either! Thanks for your nice words. I’m due for some homeschooling curriculum post(s). Then my husband wants me to post up on iodine and the prostate, but that’s like work. 🙂 So, we’ll see.

      Have a wonderful Sunday!


  7. andthreetogo

    I am loving this series! Hooray! I feel encouraged. 🙂 You obviously knew just what I needed to read today. 🙂 i am faltering with eating whole foods over here… the sugar in my coffee seems to have set me off wrong today.. I really wanted it, I didnt succumb, but now all day I am just feeling cranky and cravings…so, yes, I needed to read this post and remember that I can do it! Thanks Terri!

    1. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

      Think of your cells…think of your cells…sugar coated cells make us age faster–glycosylated end products, they’re called. (Insert evil grin.)

      Or try switching to something that carries value in your coffee is a step, like local honey. Sugar is sugar, but the body tolerates some and even better when it comes with nutritional properties. You’ll find your way! I know you can, and I know it makes a difference.

      I’m curious to know what fruit is in season there. Do they sell it at markets? I seem to remember you saying you didn’t see so much as you thought you would?


      1. andthreetogo

        There are mangoes, pineapple, apples, guava and quite a few others… I have also been trying to eat more veggies than fruit so that is probably why my sweet tooth is triggering too. I have Thai honey, so I will try that in my coffee 🙂

      2. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        Add a little Saigon cinnamon too (or Thai cinnamon if there is such a thing 🙂 ). Apples! Cool! I’d love to try some truly fresh guava! Well, better fruit than a cave. (As in caving in. Ha!) The fruit here is about to pop and go crazy. I can’t wait!

      3. andthreetogo

        I love the fruit here, but I have to admit that the selection in California is truly amazing. I miss peaches and nectarines something fierce!

      4. thehomeschoolingdoctor Post author

        I will eat some for you. There’s a fruit truck that brings it in from the West coast to South Dakota each month according to what’s ripe. We always get peaches and nectarines (and freeze some).

      5. Boundless

        re: Add a little Saigon cinnamon too …

        Saigon is cassia. Consider ceylon cinnamon (and check for credible claims on that). These two cins have a different taste. The coumarin difference may be important to some people. The proanthocyanadin issue can be googled.

  8. Pingback: Money Talks: Part Three (And Final) | The HSD

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