Saturday, January 14, 2012

Our Real Foods Budget

Image by Allie's.Dad via Flickr
BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 10:  Organic chicken...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife
When the accountant and I made the commitment to eat a whole foods diet we knew our budget would have to change to accommodate the more expensive but more nutritious food. In the long run we will be saving money health wise but in the short run it takes a bite out of our monthly expenses. Right now for a family of 3 we are spending $300 per month although I can cut it to $200 for a short period of time if other expenses come up. I want to share with you where I have found the best prices (surprisingly mostly online) and how much I spend in each category currently. I have discovered the secret to eating well on  a budget is

  • buying in bulk, 
  • keeping a well stocked pantry,
  •  making use of a freezer 
  • and meal planning.

Meat: $60 per month
Our first big money saver is our once a year purchase of a 1/4 of beef for $389 (includes butcher cost). We eat beef about twice a week on this purchase. This year my mom also bought 1 pig which I will be paying  her per pound for at cost, as I need it (5.99 per pound).  I buy and cook 1-2 whole chickens per month $20.(If I need to cut back on cost, the chicken is the first thing to go) Out of one chicken I get three meals and chicken stock. Our weekly dinner menus usually involve beef twice, chicken twice, lamb once and one vegetarian or fish meal. For seafood I buy whatever is wild and on sale at the local grocery store.

Veggies and Fruit: $80 per month
Our mother in law spends $50 of this 80 dollars for us by sending us a Klesick Family Farm delivery box every other week. I supplement the rest of the veggies by buying whatever is on sale at the local grocery store. Which means we are usually eating greens, onions, garlic, apples, oranges, bananas, potatoes and lettuce. Plus whatever else is on sale. Keep in mind this is all organic produce. I will occasionally buy non organic yellow onions and avocados if they are on sale.

Costco: $50 per month
Here I have found some great reliable deals. I buy frozen organic peas and corn in 5 pound bags every three months, Organic Peanut Butter (2 32 ounce tubs) every 6 months, Organic Dave's Killer Bread (4 loaves per month), Organic chicken thighs (one package per month), Organic Olive Oil every 3 months,
Organic coffee 2 pounds per month, Organic brown rice 15 pounds every 6 months, White Vinegar for cleaning every 2 months, Baking soda for cleaning every 9 months (very large bag), Hydrogen peroxide two large containers every 4 months, organic carrots monthly, organic sugar every 6 months and Toilet Paper every 4 months, Organic tortilla chips or Kettle brand potato chips once a month, Organic Salsa once every two months, Canned Tuna every three months, Large jar of pickles every 6 months.

Milk and Eggs:  $50 per month
We buy about 1.5 gallons of raw milk every week from a local dairy at 3.75 per gallon. We "grow" our own eggs in our backyard but the feed does cost us money. Some I make back by selling, which goes toward our feed for that month. The eggs are pastured, all organic fed, soy free.( Much better for you than the "organic" eggs you would find at say Costco.) We have really healthy chickens and very yummy eggs with lots of Omega 3. $40 per month
I love amazon! All my pantry staples pretty much come from them. I have found they are hard to beat in price especially if you make use of the subscribe and save option. Depending on our need at the time I get a variety of things through them. The great thing is it all comes in bulk so I don't need the same things every month. Here are some of the things I order through them Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk, 13.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54-Ounce Containers (Pack of 2)Charlie's Soap Powder - 2.64 lb  (80 Loads),  (although a project for this month is making my own laundry soap,  I already make my own dishwasher soap, I will share that recipe later)  Simply Organic Cilantro Certified Organic, 0.78-Ounce Containers (Pack of 3)Bob's Red Mill All-Natural Sun-Dried Raisins Unsulphured Nat, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)Simply Organic Pure Vanilla Extract Certified Organic, 4-Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 2)Coombs Family Farms 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup Grade B, 32-Ounce JugEnjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips, Gluten, Dairy & Soy Free,  10-Ounce Bags (Pack of 6)

$20 left over for treats like sliced meat (applegate brand) and or bacon and sausage (organic valley), flour for baked goods when on sale at Fred Meyers and mayo when needed. I am looking into placing an order through Azure for organic nuts and dried beans. I currently buy my beans and nuts when they are on sale at the local coop. So once every few months.

I make my own  :
lotions with ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs. I don't include this in our food and cleaning costs
muffins, cookies, jam (with berries from my mom's yard every summer), cakes, breakfast is always oatmeal or eggs or homemade pancakes, often make bread in the bread maker, make juice in our juicer, homemade ice cream and butter, chicken and beef stock, nutella, caramel.

Really I save the most money by not going to the grocery store that often. I go twice a month at the most now that I am home with two little ones. I used to love each trip to the store now it is more of a dread taking two little one's along, just not as much time to peruse and think so it's easier to go with a short list after daddy gets home a few times a month and have the rest delivered right to my door! My ideal food budget is $400 dollars but we aren't there so we make do with what we have. I have currently cut our food budget by living out of our pantry and freezer for the next month while we find room in our budget for more food money. I have found good but cheaper health insurance that will save us 400 dollars a month! I can hardly wait for it to start in February!!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the organic eggs!! If you ever have more, we will buy from you. Take care! Marci



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