Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eating Healthy and Organic on a Budget

I get asked all the time. How do you do it? Eat organic on your budget. My answer is always simple and complex at the same time. It has to do with eating less, and yet eating more at the same time.  Less junk, simple carbs, and processed food. More veggies, fruits and whole grains. It's about not always getting what I want to eat at that particular moment. It's about trying not to impulse buy and if I can't make it at home then to not buy it at all. It doesn't mean we never eat out, or never eat non-organic but it does mean I try as much as I can to use the accountants hard earned money (well both of our moneys but he's the one who gets up and leaves the house every day) to buy less food and reserve whatever is left over for fun things like dates and vacations, and necessary things like nicer health insurance.

I used to spend WAY to much on food. I could easily spend 800 dollars to 1000 a month on food for 2 people! Sounds like a lot but it's true. I did it with no budget and without thinking. That amount is now down to less than 200 dollars per month plus an annual meat purchase from the local butchers.
How I have been asked? By slowly but drastically changing our diet, making things from scratch and severely limiting my processed food purchases. My purchases for this week were 2 dozen eggs (pastured organic), organic raisin bran cereal (for the accountant, it's his favorite treat), organic pistachios, organic raisins, 2 loaves of organic whole grain rudi's bread, 1 pint of organic raw cream and a Klesick box of veggies totaling 45 dollars. I already have the whole grains, meat and frozen fruit that I will need for all my planned out recipes. ( planning what to eat is key to conserving money)

What about Olivia? What do you feed the little one? She has never eaten any different than Jason and I so, she doesn't know that she is "supposed" to be eating things like baby food and prepackaged snacks. Instead she lives off of pastured eggs, oatmeal, applesauce, avocado, broths, fresh veggies, fresh fruit, whole grain rice and breads, homemade yogurt, anything (except cherries) that comes her way she will at least try. Her favorite meat is lamb! I didn't do anything special to get her this way, I just never gave her any other option.
Eating more on less has been a gradual process for us, brought on by necessity and now finally by desire. I used to do the budget because I had to, now I do it as a challenge and as a desire. I must give credit to my family (both the accountants and mine) they have graciously supplemented our food budget when we don't have enough to cover the 200 dollars per month with a box of produce from a local organic CSA. Our food budget recently drastically took a dive as we found better health insurance for the delivery of our next little one. It saves us a LOT of money in the long run but cut our food budget down to 150 dollars per month. The difference is being made up with organic produce given to us by my mother in law and my mom. Thanks so much you guys!

So what does our menu for the week look like? (everything is organic, free range, pastured unless otherwise mentioned.)
Monday: Minted Lamb Chops with  brown rice, peas and corn.
Tuesday: Chicken Soup
Wednesday: Breakfast for dinner
Thursday: Garlic Ground Lamb patties with quinoa and broccoli
Friday: Baked potatoes with mushrooms and onions, a side salad.

Breakfasts are oatmeals, homemade granola and eggs in various ways
Lunches are left overs!

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