This post is part of a series based on Laine’s Home Economics: 50 Ways We Paid Off Our House on One Income. Previous posts in the series are listed at the end of this post.
Like Laine, I focus on buying real food and quality ingredients for making food from scratch. We’ve always grown our own vegetables and made a lot of our food from scratch. As our family size grew, I spent some time shopping with coupons to spend less on our groceries. Did our health suffer? I wouldn’t say that necessarily, given that processed food played only a small part in our diet. However, after going through 2 months of various illnesses last winter, I switched my family from drugstore vitamins to Shaklee vitamins which are whole food supplements. We’ve also been reducing our use of conventional meat and conventional fruits and veggies on the Dirty Dozen list.
Our basic diet
Beverages – We all have water bottles and drink lots of water during the day using our filtered refrigerator water. We serve hormone-free whole milk at dinnertime, and the kids have been free to drink the milk at other times. If the milk drinking is more than their daily allowance for calcium, we may limit it to mealtimes. Most of my kids like to drink kombucha, a fermented tea, which provides them probiotics. Pretty soon, I plan to make water kefir, another probiotic drink.
Meat – We eat about 50/50 grassfed and conventional meat. Part of this choice has been based on our budget, and also because buying grassfed has required a bit more work. We’ve also found that our tastebuds have been conditioned by conventional meat, and we haven’t found particular cuts of grassfed meat like sausage that work for us yet.
Fruits and Veggies – We grow a number of our veggies organically – tomatoes, green beans, potatoes, carrots, broccoli, cabbage, pumpkins, acorn squash, and snap peas. We also grow peaches, apples, raspberries, grapes, and blackberries, with grapes being the most prolific. All of these help reduce our food bill and our exposure to pesticides. However, we still buy conventional fruits and vegetables, though I plan on working on this area after the kids go back to school in the fall.
Dairy – We make our own yogurt with the hormone-free whole milk, and we buy conventional cream and butter. I do have access to organic cream to make my own butter; it just isn’t part of my routine yet.
Grains – I make my own bread usually with a combination of bread flour and whole wheat flour. Most of the time I go with conventional flour because of our budget. We also like to have oatmeal occasionally for breakfast, and I like to make my own granola.
Fats and sweeteners – We use a combination of organic sugar, honey, and maple syrup with the exception of white sugar for the kombucha. For the fats, I use extra virgin olive oil, lard, bacon grease, chicken fat, beef tallow, and coconut oil while my husband continues to use vegetable oil to do his deep frying of chicken nuggets. I would like to experiment more with stretching sweeteners and fats, though I try to do this when I have time to play with a recipe.
Processed Food – You’ll still find boxed cake mix and icing and organic honey nut cheerios in my pantry. The boxed cake mix and icing are for cupcakes for school functions. The organic honey nut cheerios is for those mornings when we’re rushed for time.
Previous Posts in the Series:
Give to the Poor
Pay Back All Debts
Save, Save, Save
Make a Budget
More on Electricity
Cooking from Scratch
Make Savings a Bill to Pay
Phone, cable, and internet access
Because I love meeting new people and sharing, this post is linked to:
Frugal Friday, Thrifty Thursday, and Fight Back Friday.