Tag Archives: save money

Money Talks: Part Two

The garden

You can use money as an excuse to choose cheap, processed foods, but when you’re really ready to dive in I want you to know, it is simply an excuse.  Clear heads, energy, regular bowels, and pain-free joints–they do not come from a box.  I know I have lurkers who wonder if they can do this.  They wonder if they can commit.  Their spouse wants to know, “Can we do it on the same budget?”

You can.  You won’t break the bank.  Read on for more ways to make eating fresh, real food more economical.  Read yesterday’s post for more.  And tomorrow’s post for even more.  NO excuses.  Effort?  Yes.  Excuses?  That’s what they are:  excuses that enable bad eating.

Learn to cook

Let’s face it.  Four years ago, I was just a crummy cook who knew how to boil pasta and mix white flour, butter, and sugar.  Since then, I’ve learned how to use most all vegetables and spices.  My fear of fish and lamb are gone.  My fear of the grill is gone.  I’ve learned how to combine what’s left in my kitchen to something my family loves.  By learning to cook, you can buy sale items with confidence.  You can use cheaper cuts of meat and spices and transform a table to gourmet, although it costs less than steak and chicken breasts.  You’ll be able to eye a recipe quickly to decide if it’s a good fit for your family or not.  Find a friend and don’t be embarrassed to ask them to help you learn how to cook.  It will save you from ill-health and save you money.

Make homemade broth

Never spend money on packaged broth again!  Homemade broth just requires leftover scraps of meat, bones, and water (or leftover scraps of vegetables for you vegetarians).  Recycling at its finest!  You’re making something awesome out of food you’d normally just throw in the trash.  How’s that for saving money AND being quite the cook?  Make broth to add nutrition, flavor, and save money.

Count the cost of what you don’t buy:  soda pop, junk food, breakfast cereal, and meals out

Spend the next two months adding up the price of all the drinks, processed/packaged food, cereals, and meals you eat out.  Count it all up.  Every stinking penny of it.  Every quick run through the drive-through for a latte or Diet Coke.  What you tally up may surprise you!  Marketers want your money.  They’re probably getting it.  Especially if you use coupons.  Don’t see many coupons for kale.  Poor kale farmer.  Save money by not buying processed foods and meals out.

Start using the fat skimmed off of meat in place of oil:  bacon, lard, tallow

I used to drain all the fat and set it aside to trash when it cooled.  Now, I’m much more likely to save it in the pan to sauté some onions and broccoli in or store it in the fridge to use to sauté chicken in later.  The fats that we can save from cooking our meats, those are the fats that allow us to better absorb vitamin D and other “fat-soluble” vitamins that we need and are known to be deficient in.  I avoid vegetable oil, corn oil, Crisco, and margarine because they incorporate into our cells in “broken” forms which need fixed.  Using left-over drippings saves money, saves waste, and avoids use of rancid (spoiled) vegetable-derived oils.

Learn to can.  Do it with friends. 

It’s fun and creates good memories.  I have tons of memories of my mom, Aunt, and Grandma canning together.  Happy memories.  I have good memories of canning with good friends too.  Canning vegetables and fruits picked at peak nutrition saves money and creates lasting bonds with friends and families.

Buy lots of fruit in season. 

Then can it.  Cook it.  Freeze it.  Just get it when it’s cheap.  99 cents per pound.

Use co-ops and CSA baskets

Sometimes it takes a knowing a person to get you the information, but most communities now have co-ops and produce baskets where you get fresh-from-the-farm produce at a good price.  Amazingly, instead of complaining, most people I know love it when they get something they haven’t had before because they like to “figure it out.”  So if you’re willing to learn and experiment, these are great!  Ask around, getting fresh produce from a co-op or CSA basket saves significantly.

Drive to the farm

Straight from the source saves money.  And many like to chat.  I’ve learned so much from our 83 year-old farm woman about chickens, eggs, cows, and canning.  She is amazing.  Many farmers are talkers and love to share.  Buying food from the farm saves money.

Ask a friend to pledge to eat 90% whole, real foods with you

Having a comrade shares the joy, the pain, and the cost.  You can split bulk orders.  You can get together once a month and cook casseroles to freeze.  You can can together.  You can share good recipes.  Going in with a partner can save money.

Make soup so nothing goes to waste

Learning to use up everything in the kitchen saves money.  Soup is a great, economical way to stretch a budget.  Of course, you’ll need to learn to cook so you can figure out how to meld all those ingredients together.   But with the homemade broth, vegetables you froze from in season, and what’s going south in the fridge, you can make some very taste concoctions.  Soups are economical.

Skip those froo-froo drinks

Strangely, this one gets people!  Water just doesn’t do it for them.  Crazy how far we’ve come when water doesn’t sound good.  All purchased drinks seem to cost so much money, even bottled water (which is teeming with plastic run-off).  Save money and your health by sticking with water in a glass cup.

There are more

Oh, yes!  There are more tips tomorrow.  Have you been reading?  If so, which tip, in your mind may be the most important?  I’m almost bordering on the “Learn to cook” one.  Probably second is “Buy it in season.”  And probably the most important concept is gathering the drive and effort.  With drive and effort, nearly all barriers can be navigated.

 

~~Terri

 

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?

Garden

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.

Closing

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.

~~Terri