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Let's talk money... - Page 2

post #21 of 56
We are usually under $100 a week for food. I get my raw milk from the farm for $6 per gallon. We just began a coop of 6 families allowing us to purchasing whole pasture chickens & free range beef from local farms at a slight discount for buying large amounts. This should also help our bill. I stock up duing sales & love the bulk bins at the hfs. We also joined a CSA but I'm honestly not finding that to be very cost effective

We also have a Frontier coop which I highly reccomend if you are using hfs detergnets & skincare type stuff to open a Frontier account you just need 10 families & $10 membership fee, so only $1 /family. We order just about every month & when you spend $250 shipping is free! We only order if we have a large enought order for the free shipping. We get Dh's organic, fair-trade coffe from there too, spices, teas. I spend about $50/month on Frontier.
post #22 of 56
I found my sources for raw honey and real eggs just by driving around in the country outside the city I live in. The eggs are 75 cents a dozen if I want to drive 15 minutes or $1 a dozen 3 minutes away. The honey is $8 a quart and about 15 minutes away. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

To me, the eggs are the best NT deal possible. Good, real protein. And it's nice to get to see the chickens the eggs are from.

Overall, yeah, it's a lot of money, but with our health insurance a regular doctor's visit is $100, so it's all relative.:
post #23 of 56
We spend about $100-120 a week at the store, and usually $20-25 at the farmer's market on meat, eggs, and some produce. I usually do ok if I meal plan. I guess it works out to $600 a month on groceries for a family of 3. This month however has been really bad since I am going thru the 1st trimester, and I don't want to cook anymore. I would like to get it down to around $400-500. Then I would be happy!
post #24 of 56
We also spend about $600/month for a family of 3. I pay $4.19/lb for a mix of 80/20 beef/beef liver, $2.50 for a dozen eggs, $10 for a quart of raw honey, $2.50/pound for chickens, $7.00 for a gallon of cow's milk for DH and I am so happy I just found goat's milk for $4/gallon. (All of our meat, eggs and dairy is from pastured animals.) Our grocery bill is our second largest monthly expense.
post #25 of 56
It's so interesting to see what everyone pays for what--there's a real mix out there. Our #s--

$7 for a gallon of organic raw milk
$6/lb for organic pastured beef (would be less if we could buy a side, maybe next year since we're getting a chest freeze)
$4/lb for organic raw milk cheese
$3/doz for pastured eggs

We split a CSA share, and I edit the newsletter to offset the cost, so that's about $200 for the season.
post #26 of 56
I make compromises when I have to. I avoid processed junk and unhealthy oils. I buy organic butter, cream, and yogurt. I don't buy all organic produce, flour, sugar, etc. I have yet to find a source of kosher and organic chickens or beef, so I purchase the "regular" kosher meat and prepare it in NT ways. I buy a lot of bones for broth making, as it's much cheaper than buying "regular" cuts of meat. Frozen raw chicken livers are pretty cheap as well.

ETA I spend about $500-$550 a month for the 4 of us, and $430 of that comes from food stamps. I've sucessfully kept my food budget under $430/month in the past, but that was before discovering NT.
post #27 of 56
We just got our copy of NT and so we haven't really started paying a ton for food yet... we've been in a CSA all summer so that was $400 for fresh organic veggies for five months plus a dozen eggs every other week from the CSA. We have apple trees in our backyard. We get a gallon of raw milk every week for $6 a gallon. We just bought $50 worth of fresh wild Alaskan salmon through the CSA for $6.50 a lb.

I don't know what we're going to do after the CSA is over though. We were lacto-ovo vegetarians partially BECAUSE we couldn't afford meat (and because we don't want to support most of the meat industry with their terrible practices and unhealthy additives and whatnot). So now we'll start back in with meat slowly (so we can get used to it again) and as cheaply as we can possibly find the decent meat for...

We don't splurge on STUFF; we splurge on good, healthy FOOD

love and peace.
post #28 of 56
well before i tell you what i spend, i'll tell you an article i read recently that helps me justify it. it was in natural home magazine--it said that the price of non-organic food is unrealistically low. in 2004 we spent less than 10% or our annual income on food in america, compared with 23% in 1929 and 24% curretly in mexico. the article says we pay twice for food--once at the store and once to the ira. and they government pays farmers not to produce (this pisses me off so much). so i feel like i'm doing some sort or very expensive (and possibly non-effective) activism but not buying conventional. the author also says that organic middlemen "happily take advantage of the laws of capitalism and charge as much as they can get." which is often true--whole foods makes so much more than even a place like walmart per square foot of store. so, as pps have said, buying straight from the farmer is best and cheapest.

tho i pay $7/gallon of raw milk currently, tho i could get it for closer to $5 (plus membership) if i knew i were going to be living here long enough to rejoin a buyer's club. i get p-f ground beef for 5.29/lb at my hfs. sometimes i buy the organic roast beef at whole foods--it's like 16.99/lb!!!! but it's very good. but prices at our farmer's market are so good, and one farmer even lets you email her what you want and come pick it up at her house the next day!!! i'm going to miss that. i get my mom to buy pasture fed eggs in providence for $3.50--they are pricey but the prettiest eggs i have ever seen. sometimes my sil gives me her pastured eggs for free, but she raises them humanely and they're getting pretty old and don't lay as much lately. i so want my own chickens......

last month i spent at leat $1900 for a family of four, plus two dogs who get mostly raw meat. (i just added up the credt acrd biil, so maybe i shopped on the first and last day of the month and the biil is off by $300 or so--plus i stock up during sales--but i didn't include eggs/milk/ farmer'ss market in that). jeez. i don't think i ususally spend THAT much......... we spend more or about as much as we do on our mortgage, we take one vacation to see family a year, drive one car, don't have cable or go see movies or eat out.... i guess we sacrifice toeat this way, but we're happy (used to have issues with depression), so it doesn't feel like we're sacrificing.
post #29 of 56
To kind of go off of what nicolena was saying, we have decided to forgo most all grocery shopping (especially after reading a couple of specific chapters in The Untold Story of Milk). We are seeking out a in-state source of pasture fed beef to buy 1/4 of a steer, in-state pastured whole chickens, and are buying more and more at the local farmer's market. We are also doing a buyer's club for our raw milk, so it will be shipped directly from the dairy to us. Our monthly bill will be about $800/month, which includes the minimal supplements I've been stream-lining for us. Next to our mortgage, that is our largest out-put of money. But, knowing that we will be directly supporting farmers and reducing much of the middleman (not to mention basically giving up completely on anything commercially grown or sold), we feel really good about the money spent.
post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolena View Post
and they government pays farmers not to produce (this pisses me off so much). so i feel like i'm doing some sort or very expensive (and possibly non-effective) activism but not buying conventional.
I like the way I've heard others put it (Michael Pollan?) - one person who stops buying industrial foods may not impact the international agribusiness companies and their processors, but it will make a BIG impact on the local farmer they buy from. At it's heart that's why it's so important, even if it's more expensive in the long run (plus the fact as nicolena mentioned that you are actually paying the REAL cost of the food).

We probably don't spend as much as some do. We tend to prioritize. Since the milk we buy is just about $7 a gallon (organic, pasturized, non-homogonized) that's solely for my 19 mo old ds. Dh and I just drink water. I try to buy the same milk for making yogurt, but sometimes when money is extra tight I'll go with rbgh free conventional milk. I've been trying to make as much as I can from scratch so we tend to shop the perimeter of the store and focus heavily on the bulk section - just call me the bulk queen!!

Lately we've been at around $380 for a family of three. We just started along the NT path, but we're hoping to stick closer to that number (and eat out less). We're looking into a farm share of meat from a local farmer which may make our budget increase slightly, but definitely worth it!

ETA: I should say so far for this week meat wise I've only purchased A 6LB 100% grassfed chicken from a farmer I know at the farmer's market. So far we've had roasted chicken for dinner one night, had chicken salad for lunch today, the bones and other remnants are in a pot making stock, AND I have the remaining roast chicken meat portioned up for two more dinners. $14 for the chicken and it's gone a LOOOOOONNNNG way - much longer than anything we ever had in our veg days!
post #31 of 56
Nicolena, ITA about buying direct from the producer and I would do it if that were even an option where I live, but it so is not for most things. I can get milk, butter, cheese, eggs, chicken and beef all from local sources that don't use synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. However, if I buy fruits and veggies from local sources, they will be conventionally grown. There are no organic growers selling at the pitifully small farmer's market in my tiny city. The nearest place to buy organic produce straight from the grower is two hours away, so not even possible on a regular basis. Hell, I can't even do that once a month, because it just costs too much money to gas up the car for a two hour drive to buy groceries. Plus, if I drive two hours and back to buy food, what net gain is there in terms of the environment, after I've wasted all that gas? None, I imagine, so the planet is better off if I buy the trucked in organics at the HFS, because at least gas is saved when they all come in together. It's frustrating, though, because with USDA organic standards being what they are, you never even know if the produce is *really* organic or not. I look for produce that's been certified by other organizations, but some things only come to my area USDA certified.
post #32 of 56
Well, I'll chime in too since I am in to frugality/voluntairy simplicity AND NT
the first thing that helped me spend less is planning: Before I shop I see what is in the fridge and freezer then plan 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 6 dinners (assuming one dinner will be left overs). I only shop once a week on the same day.
Then I buy in bulk as much as I can without giving up freshness. That means we buy 1/4 grassfed beef every 9-10 months or so ( $550), 1 bucket of raw honey every year or so ($60) and other things when they are on sale ( butter etc). We dont eat huge amount of grains ( I dont tolerate gluten well and we are kindof inbetween paleo diet and NT...) but the ones I buy are alway whole, and organic (I mean, two pounds of oats for $1.20...) I dont get raw milk ( thinking about it, here it means getting a cow share and I run a inhome daycare and it would be againast the rules for me to give the kids raw milk, yogurt, butter etc, so I would end up buying dubble...)but I get the not homogenized, VAT pastuerized amish, grassfed milk at $3 per half gallon, make my own kefir and yogurt.
We eat lots of eggs,(like 4-5 mornings a week and often for dinner once a week, the organic high omega 3 ones) and I reuse bones...roast a chicken, eat the meat then make broth with the bones, eat the steak save bones for broth...)
Not all our fruits and veggies are organic but all the top ones in pesticides are. I buy seasonally as much as possible and eat the healthy but cheap ones ( cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts etc)

We hardly ever eat out, I cook all meals for all family members from scratch ( I plan, plan, plan)

We are a family of 4, I also feed 3 extra kids, 4 days a week, breakfast, lunch, and two snacks and our budget is around $125 per week. But I COULD spend a whole lot more

Tanya
post #33 of 56
i plan, i bargain shop, i source and i make things on my own.

my hsuband eats 3000 cals a day--that's like two people. we still spend just under $200/week or 10 days. are there places that we might be able to cut back a bit? maybe. but so far,we haven't found it.
post #34 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolena View Post
well before i tell you what i spend, i'll tell you an article i read recently that helps me justify it. it was in natural home magazine--it said that the price of non-organic food is unrealistically low. in 2004 we spent less than 10% or our annual income on food in america, compared with 23% in 1929 and 24% curretly in mexico. the article says we pay twice for food--once at the store and once to the ira. and they government pays farmers not to produce (this pisses me off so much). .
I read the same article. It made me think that us Americans are over-spending on things that don't matter and being too cheap when it comes to our bodies.

We are doing the best we can right now. I get local grassfed beef from the very nice butcher. It is actually CHEAPER than Raley's (the major grocery chain here). We only buy free-range eggs. I try and make it to the farmer's market and I am looking into a CSA. My philosphy right now is to focus on whole foods and get local/organic when possible with time and $.

We are hoping to start working our property this spring to get the highest quality for the lowest price.

Jennifer
post #35 of 56
It's so funny, I've been thinking to myself to start a similar thread.

My biggest cost helper is store-hopping. Fred Meyer (I think it's Kroger elsewhere in the country) has a great natural/organics food section and they almost always have something marked down. I don't think things get sold as often as they would like so they mark things down that are close to their experation dates. Nothing makes me happier to get a couple pounds of raw milk cheese at 50% off!

Then I do the hfs's, get their sales, stock up when I can. I'm lucky to have several of them close so I can easily go from one to the other. I also keep an eye on the ads of regular grocery stores, like this week one store has organic bananas .50/lb.

I also like a store called Grocery Outlet, last week I got 12 lbs of organic butter for $2.49 each, not bad! They also have various amounts of other organic products, some better than others. Organic processed food is still processed food.

I also only buy certain things organic, all things that my baby will eat is organic, but meats I only worry about hormone/antiB free. We get raw milk for $5.00/gal and eggs sometimes free, sometimes $3.00/dozen from the farm.
We shop sales and do without a lot of stuff. But then I get my beautiful yellow milk and say, okay, it's worth it.

What about coops like Azure Standard? I've not heard anyone mention it, so I'm wondering if it's worth looking into.

Oh, I got an excellent deal on organic tea for my kombucha and organic vanilla on eBay. If you do that make sure you add shipping into the final cost.

Happy shopping!
post #36 of 56
Been doing the organic/whole food thing as much as possible for about a month now. Feel great physically, and mentally knowing I'm doing the best for my family. I'm new to the threads so please excuse my ignorance, what does NT stand for?
post #37 of 56
We do co-ops, several of them. I end up spending about $200 a week, but we can't at all afford that. I need to figure out how to tone it down. EricaLeigh-I have to know...what are you buying? If I could use your budget we wouldn't be so destitute...
post #38 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by stayinhmma View Post
Been doing the organic/whole food thing as much as possible for about a month now. Feel great physically, and mentally knowing I'm doing the best for my family. I'm new to the threads so please excuse my ignorance, what does NT stand for?
NT= Nourishing Traditions, a cookbook/ book on food philosophy that's inspired many of us to make changes to the way we eat (either directly via the book or indirectly via this website learning from others who were influenced by that book.)
post #39 of 56
nicolena did you really say $1900? That wasn't a typo?
post #40 of 56
Nicolena's expenditures don't seem that outrageous. DH and I are spending $800 to $900 a month on average for just the 2 of us. This includes farmer's markets, mail order items such as raw honey, oils and herbs and any nutritional supplements. I think it varies a lot on location. One of my coworkers who live about 1 1/2 hours away from me in a much more rural area pays a lot less for everything including food and gas; even pet boarding is cheaper -- he paid $9 a day to board his dog, and where I am, it's $16 a day.

I'm in the DC metro area and currently paying $5.50 a dozen for pastured eggs at the farmer's market.
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