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#1 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a question for any of you out there who eat mostly or all organic! On average, how much do you spend on groceries per month, and how big is your family that you're feeding?

 

Before I got pregnant, I was eating a lot of organic foods and other expensive items from our natural foods store that were gluten and casein free, as well as grassfed meats. I was spending heaps of money on this stuff. I haven't been able to afford it throughout the pregnancy since I ended up working less hours and now am not working at all, but I need to get back on the organic bandwagon at least for these last few months of pregnancy and then throughout breastfeeding and beyond (going GFCF again too). I just need to come up with a better way of eating organic that's affordable. Cutting portion sizes would for sure help since hubby and I are notoriously big eaters redface.gif, although that's not entirely realistic while pregnant. And just eliminating the pricier prepackaged items and eating mostly whole foods would save money. I cook all of the time, so I'm not afraid of using more whole foods. I just don't even bother walking into organic stores anymore, though, because I get anxiety over how much I'll end up spending...

 

If anyone has found it really affordable to eat organic, please share what you do and how you make it work! I don't even want to share how much we're spending on food monthly for just the two of us as is because I'm embarrassed by how hard of a time we've had cutting down grocery costs no matter what I try -- and that's while shopping cheaply and NOT organic! We could probably feed several families with the amount we spend. Ugh...


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#2 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 10:08 AM
 
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There are several things you can do to help a bit, but honestly when it comes to making the decision to eating organic and local it is a decision to spend more on food than the average person does.  In the US the general attitude is that we should not be spending a large percentage of our budget on food.  We seem to think that food should be cheap.  But in other countries they spend upwards of 30% of their income on food.  Good food requires money and it may mean sacrificing in other areas of our lives.  But, to me, it's worth it b/c what is more important than what we put into and on our bodies? 

 

That being said, here are some tips...

 

  • Farmers Markets- depending on the food, local is better than certified organic and often you can find farmers that do not spray, but are not certified organic.  Their produce will be cheaper.
  • CSA's
  • Garden and compost!  Even if you have limited space and funds you can still easily grow greens, herbs, and tomatoes
  • Natural Food Co-ops where you get a discount for joining
  • Shop around at several stores- often one store will be having a produce sale in any given week
  • Buy in bulk at places like Costco (which in many areas has great organic products)
  • Trader Joes!
  • Buying Clubs- search for your local UNFI, Frontier, or Azure Standard food buying clubs and join!

 

Plan your meals in advance.  A week will do, but two weeks or a month is even better if you can do it.  Shop for the items that don't perish in one trip then only go to the store for things that perish like produce.  Plan meals that have left overs or meals that use similar ingredients so that you can make different dishes with a large batch of beans or rice for instance.  This way you can buy your beans dried for way cheaper, soak them to maximize their nutritional value and make a huge batch for your recipe needs.  Freeze left overs!!  So much is lost in food waste.

 

I look forward to hearing more tips!


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#3 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 10:13 AM
 
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I could use tips too.  

 

We spend $600 or more a month for the four of us, and we don't even buy all organic produce. There's a cheap fruit stand near our house that has mostly local stuff, but not always organic so we go there first even if it's not perfect.

 

I do make almost everything we eat from scratch. 

 

If I wasn't limited by purchasing only in stores that take SNAP, I'd buy in bulk from Azure Standard, and track down a farmer for my meat.


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#4 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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Oh man, our grocery budget is out of control.  But like Jaimee said, I won't spend less because it's quality stuff and I think it's so important.  We spend a little over 400 on groceries each month, and that is just for me, DH, and our two year old son.  (I shudder to think how much we'll spend with TWO growing boys in the house!)

 

Trader Joe's is so great- as long as you are buying basics and not pre-packaged meals.  Rice, beans, produce, cheese (I think all or at least most of their cheese is rBgh free. even if not organic)  milk, etc.  Basics.  I love getting frozen fruits/veggies there in the winter.  

 

We try to bargain shop but our natural foods market (smaller chain similar to whole foods) is skimpy on coupons and deals.  Also, I never assume that bulk bins (for grains, cereals, beans, etc) are cheaper- I always price-check first.  

 

Meal planning is really clutch- it keeps us from making lots of impulse purchases.  Our bills are ALWAYS lower when we meal plan.  I think we got it down to 75 dollars a week, even... Hmm, maybe we need to start being more strict again (we've gotten a little lax during pregnancy because I crave such weird stuff).  

 

Bulk buying and buying non-perishables when on sale  (even if you don't immediately need them) is a great idea.


We also have a CSA and we garden-share with neighbors, too.

 

You can figure out ways to use up food that will be going bad, too- like if we have lots of extra milk (well, when we used to have lots of extra milk- now we have soymilk and it doesn't go bad before we drink it all) I'd make rice pudding or mac and cheese.  Produce that is ready to turn goes into a veggie soup.  Reducing food waste is so important on a budget.

 

Also, If you can figure out ways to stretch meals, like by adding rice or something (i'm struggling to come up with more ideas) that would help.


 

 

 

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#5 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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Well, you can also eliminate any irrelevant advice, since I forgot you're GFCF.  lol!  But the basic ideas are still there :)

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#6 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. Honestly, if we were able to spend only $400 on groceries a month, I think I could be a SAHM. bigeyes.gif We only have the two of us to feed and I don't think there's been a single month we've spent below $700 on groceries in one month, plus we have dining out costs on top of it (usually Chipotle or Subway for hubby when he's pressed for time to bring food to work, or an actual sit-down date night a few times a month for hubby and I to connect)... I've been to every grocery store in the area to find the best prices on stuff too, not to say that I don't just go to the closest places sometimes out of convenience, though. When I was eating organic and starting out GFCF last year, I think there were a few months there when we spent $1200 on food. Yes, $1200. It's so frustrating! I have actually come home from the grocery store crying because I just had so much anxiety over food costs. I'm a total planner and I usually do plan out meals, which is even more frustrating when I can't get a handle on this! I'm an accountant and it's in my nature to make ridiculously detailed lists with costs and everything. You should see the Excel spreadsheets I've made... lol. But I think since we like to cook a lot, there are just so many ingredients that may go into a complex meal and it bumps up costs, especially if I'm having to use goat dairy products. A half gallon of goat milk is like $3.50-$4.00 alone. Goat cheeses can be $5.00 for mere ounces. (I won't use soy products.) I have only found one gluten-free bread that I enjoy even slightly, and that's super expensive for just a little bitty loaf. I tend to buy gluten-free waffles instead and pretend it's bread to eat with my eggs at breakfast. Still not cost effective, though. I've tried making my own gluten-free bread, but it hasn't come out right, plus the GF flours are so expensive that it's not even worth it in the end. My GF pasta is $2.50-$3.50 per bag. I got so burnt out for several months shopping for DH and I separately and actually cooking two separate meals for us both because it was cheaper. I can never do that again... it was so exhausting. And when I wanted to eat grassfed meats on top of organic and GFCF for a time, our meat costs just went through the roof. We do eat a lot of animal protein around here. That is probably a big reason our grocery bills are high in general. It's rare that we eat a single meal that doesn't have animal protein in it. I am sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations and I feel like crap when I go several meals without much protein. Animal protein seems to be the best. It's just a lot to always balance and a lot of modifications to consider! If we just eat more simple meals, then I'll still be spending quite a bit on produce. I wish things weren't so complicated.

 

If - God forbid - our daughter has food intolerance issues like I do, then it's even more important that I figure out this financial aspect of eating better. Otherwise I hate to think that we won't be able to even afford to feed either of us what we need!


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#7 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 12:28 PM
 
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My budget is $650 a month for 2 adults, a 7yo and a 2yo.  That doesn't include any household items or alcohol.  I probably buy 50% organic produce, 90% organic meat and raw, organic milk ($10 gallon).  Plus my dh is gluten free, so bread products are pretty $$.

 

ETA:  We do have chickens and dairy goats.  We haven't been getting milk from out goats in the last few months, but in about 2 weeks I will be able to replace our $10gal cow milk with nearly free goat milk. 


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#8 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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Can you keep chickens?  We don't buy eggs, and if we did that would add a LOT to our budget....


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#9 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nope, we can't keep chickens, but I'd LOVE to! We looked into that and in our area we have to have I believe at least 3 acres of land in order to house chickens. greensad.gif I tell hubby that it's my 5-year plan to move out more into the country and keep goats (for dairy), chickens (for eggs), and have a huge garden. Then I'd have everything I need! biggrinbounce.gif


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#10 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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Whew, that makes me feel good. lol!  Honestly, we don't make very much money, so we really can't spend more (it's usually between 400-500) or we'd be in the poor house!  LOL!  We live on my husband's Starbucks income, which, as you can imagine, is pretty meager.  (he'll be promoted soon.  $$$$!  Thank God.) 

 

What about trying to eliminate some of the GF substitutes?  Like, just don't eat the pasta or bread or waffles?  Maybe I'm completely off base here, but we are vegetarian (hubby is dairy free as well) and the best thing for us has been to NOT try to recreate meat & potatoes meals, but to just create new stuff with what we have.  So instead of trying to eat cheese pizza (we'd have to buy dairy-free cheese- expensive!) or eating boca burgers all the time (meat subs are expensive!) we just make veggie-centric meals.  Quinoa-veggie bowls, stir-fries, black bean tacos and guac, etc.  Without trying to buy all the substitutes we save a LOT of money.  

 

You could try it (unless I'm missing something here, in that case, sorry!)- just buy lots of fruits and veggies and proteins, then brainstorm ideas for what to do.  You know?


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

Wow. Honestly, if we were able to spend only $400 on groceries a month, I think I could be a SAHM. bigeyes.gif We only have the two of us to feed and I don't think there's been a single month we've spent below $700 on groceries in one month, plus we have dining out costs on top of it (usually Chipotle or Subway for hubby when he's pressed for time to bring food to work, or an actual sit-down date night a few times a month for hubby and I to connect)... I've been to every grocery store in the area to find the best prices on stuff too, not to say that I don't just go to the closest places sometimes out of convenience, though. When I was eating organic and starting out GFCF last year, I think there were a few months there when we spent $1200 on food. Yes, $1200. It's so frustrating! I have actually come home from the grocery store crying because I just had so much anxiety over food costs. I'm a total planner and I usually do plan out meals, which is even more frustrating when I can't get a handle on this! I'm an accountant and it's in my nature to make ridiculously detailed lists with costs and everything. You should see the Excel spreadsheets I've made... lol. But I think since we like to cook a lot, there are just so many ingredients that may go into a complex meal and it bumps up costs, especially if I'm having to use goat dairy products. A half gallon of goat milk is like $3.50-$4.00 alone. Goat cheeses can be $5.00 for mere ounces. (I won't use soy products.) I have only found one gluten-free bread that I enjoy even slightly, and that's super expensive for just a little bitty loaf. I tend to buy gluten-free waffles instead and pretend it's bread to eat with my eggs at breakfast. Still not cost effective, though. I've tried making my own gluten-free bread, but it hasn't come out right, plus the GF flours are so expensive that it's not even worth it in the end. My GF pasta is $2.50-$3.50 per bag. I got so burnt out for several months shopping for DH and I separately and actually cooking two separate meals for us both because it was cheaper. I can never do that again... it was so exhausting. And when I wanted to eat grassfed meats on top of organic and GFCF for a time, our meat costs just went through the roof. We do eat a lot of animal protein around here. That is probably a big reason our grocery bills are high in general. It's rare that we eat a single meal that doesn't have animal protein in it. I am sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations and I feel like crap when I go several meals without much protein. Animal protein seems to be the best. It's just a lot to always balance and a lot of modifications to consider! If we just eat more simple meals, then I'll still be spending quite a bit on produce. I wish things weren't so complicated.

 

If - God forbid - our daughter has food intolerance issues like I do, then it's even more important that I figure out this financial aspect of eating better. Otherwise I hate to think that we won't be able to even afford to feed either of us what we need!



 

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#11 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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I just found this, too http://frugalabundance.com/gfcf/index.htm

 

Maybe that will be helpful?

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#12 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 01:31 PM
 
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A great way that we've cut down on meat costs is to get a freezer and buy a whole animal.  Last year we bought a cow (free-range, grass fed) for about $3.50lb and this year we bought a pig for $4lb.. 

 

My hubby is also GF and he simply can't live without bread products.  It's hard enough for him to be GF..  He is the only one that eats the GF bread though..  Besides that we eat a lot of quinoa, rice and potatoes.. 

 

Also, I don't know how much money you make a year, but I have several friends that go to food-banks and get really high quality food for free.  The poor people don't eat things like organic yogurt, whole wheat bread and kale, so there's always a ton left over.  This is how both my good friend and sister manage to be sahm parents on a very limited budget..  I have almost been tempted to go, but my hubby really does make way over the limit (he said no)..  ;)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

Wow. Honestly, if we were able to spend only $400 on groceries a month, I think I could be a SAHM. bigeyes.gif We only have the two of us to feed and I don't think there's been a single month we've spent below $700 on groceries in one month, plus we have dining out costs on top of it (usually Chipotle or Subway for hubby when he's pressed for time to bring food to work, or an actual sit-down date night a few times a month for hubby and I to connect)... I've been to every grocery store in the area to find the best prices on stuff too, not to say that I don't just go to the closest places sometimes out of convenience, though. When I was eating organic and starting out GFCF last year, I think there were a few months there when we spent $1200 on food. Yes, $1200. It's so frustrating! I have actually come home from the grocery store crying because I just had so much anxiety over food costs. I'm a total planner and I usually do plan out meals, which is even more frustrating when I can't get a handle on this! I'm an accountant and it's in my nature to make ridiculously detailed lists with costs and everything. You should see the Excel spreadsheets I've made... lol. But I think since we like to cook a lot, there are just so many ingredients that may go into a complex meal and it bumps up costs, especially if I'm having to use goat dairy products. A half gallon of goat milk is like $3.50-$4.00 alone. Goat cheeses can be $5.00 for mere ounces. (I won't use soy products.) I have only found one gluten-free bread that I enjoy even slightly, and that's super expensive for just a little bitty loaf. I tend to buy gluten-free waffles instead and pretend it's bread to eat with my eggs at breakfast. Still not cost effective, though. I've tried making my own gluten-free bread, but it hasn't come out right, plus the GF flours are so expensive that it's not even worth it in the end. My GF pasta is $2.50-$3.50 per bag. I got so burnt out for several months shopping for DH and I separately and actually cooking two separate meals for us both because it was cheaper. I can never do that again... it was so exhausting. And when I wanted to eat grassfed meats on top of organic and GFCF for a time, our meat costs just went through the roof. We do eat a lot of animal protein around here. That is probably a big reason our grocery bills are high in general. It's rare that we eat a single meal that doesn't have animal protein in it. I am sensitive to blood sugar fluctuations and I feel like crap when I go several meals without much protein. Animal protein seems to be the best. It's just a lot to always balance and a lot of modifications to consider! If we just eat more simple meals, then I'll still be spending quite a bit on produce. I wish things weren't so complicated.

 

If - God forbid - our daughter has food intolerance issues like I do, then it's even more important that I figure out this financial aspect of eating better. Otherwise I hate to think that we won't be able to even afford to feed either of us what we need!



 


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#13 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah you're right, jbk21, the substitutes are what raise costs a lot. I don't know how to come to terms with being unable to eat any grains except rice, quinoa, GF oats, and corn tortillas... and then potatoes as another starch. And without my dairy substitutes, I get virtually no calcium. It's hard to deal with emotionally. It helps to talk to people on here who eat similarly in some ways. I have nobody in my personal life who has any food restrictions except my brother who is vegetarian but he eats mostly stuff I CAN'T eat so it's not helpful. I think I'm just getting massive anxiety over going back to eating like this. My social life was severely impaired when I had to change my eating... Even get-togethers with families were so stressful because nobody knew how to accommodate me and they wouldn't even bother sometimes. I'd sit there staring at everyone else's food wanting to cry, so I started avoiding social situations altogether. I get panicky when I just imagine going back to that place. greensad.gif Sorry, this is kind of embarrassing how emotional this is for me. I'm tearing up over here. I guess I have a lot of work on myself to do before the baby arrives...

 

I'll take a look at that link you posted. Thanks!

 

Abraisme - Thanks for the suggestion about buying a whole animal. I completely forgot about that! My friend and her husband actually live on a farm where his family raises their grassfed steers for slaughter and I completely forgot that I was going to look into buying one earlier this year. We just never bought a freezer for it and forgot about the whole thing. I should give her a call. I think they might have a long waiting list, but maybe they'd help me out since we're friends.


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#14 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 01:45 PM
 
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Joanie, I know many families dealing with food allergies that are on tight budgets.  The trick is to not buy those pastas and flours at your typical natural grocery store- you're right, you'll go broke.  Where in Wisconsin are you?  Seriously, UNFI or Azure Standard are the food buying clubs you need to find.  That way you can buy large quantities of flour, pasta, beans, rice, etc. at good deals.  You might also be able to find a group running other food co-ops like Arrowhead Mills or Bobs to get better deals on flours.  Then making your own bread will be cheaper.  You can get a bread machine and do it pretty easily.  Plan a weekend where you bake, bake, bake and freeze.  Make hamburger and hotdog buns, make sandwich bread, make waffles, make crackers... and do it before baby is born!  There are also numerous cooking blogs for food allergies that detail how to bake with alternative flours.  The trick seems to be mostly in weighing instead of using volume.  So a food scale might be in order (you can get one for like $5). 

 

As for cheese and milk... are there not any local farmers that would give discounts for large quantities?  It seems Wisconsin would be the  place for that!  Here in Illinois, there is a meat club and an egg/dairy club.  The members share the responsibility of picking up the orders so each member is only driving out to the farm once in a certain period of time (here it's every 6 weeks since there are six families involved).  If you can't find these clubs to join, you can always start your own!

 

It's really awesome that you're an accountant and have a head for all the numbers.  You could make out a plan for yourselves over the next few months, deciding what to invest in when purchasing large quantities, another freezer if necessary, specialty items, etc. that will make everything cheaper in the long run.  I really hate to say this, but since your allergies are as severe as they are, the likelihood that baby has food sensitivities is pretty high. Figuring this all out AND being a new mom will not be easy.  I highly, highly recommend getting started and feeling confident in your baking/shopping plan now. 


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#15 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 01:52 PM
 
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Amazon has some good deals on some bulk staples like organic raisins especially if you join subscribe and save


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#16 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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Oh, that sounds awful!  Fortunately (or unfortunately), there are a lot of people in my family with food issues.  My sister has celiac and her husband is deathly allergic to several foods, including dairy.  I've just been surrounded by special diets for so long that it's part of my life.  There should be groups or clubs for people with special dietary needs.  I imagine that it's very hard if you're the only one and no one cares enough to try to feed you.  :( 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

Yeah you're right, jbk21, the substitutes are what raise costs a lot. I don't know how to come to terms with being unable to eat any grains except rice, quinoa, GF oats, and corn tortillas... and then potatoes as another starch. And without my dairy substitutes, I get virtually no calcium. It's hard to deal with emotionally. It helps to talk to people on here who eat similarly in some ways. I have nobody in my personal life who has any food restrictions except my brother who is vegetarian but he eats mostly stuff I CAN'T eat so it's not helpful. I think I'm just getting massive anxiety over going back to eating like this. My social life was severely impaired when I had to change my eating... Even get-togethers with families were so stressful because nobody knew how to accommodate me and they wouldn't even bother sometimes. I'd sit there staring at everyone else's food wanting to cry, so I started avoiding social situations altogether. I get panicky when I just imagine going back to that place. greensad.gif Sorry, this is kind of embarrassing how emotional this is for me. I'm tearing up over here. I guess I have a lot of work on myself to do before the baby arrives...

 

I'll take a look at that link you posted. Thanks!

 

Abraisme - Thanks for the suggestion about buying a whole animal. I completely forgot about that! My friend and her husband actually live on a farm where his family raises their grassfed steers for slaughter and I completely forgot that I was going to look into buying one earlier this year. We just never bought a freezer for it and forgot about the whole thing. I should give her a call. I think they might have a long waiting list, but maybe they'd help me out since we're friends.



 


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I noticed you're from Wisconsin. We live in the MIlwaukee area and have a great milk/egg delivery through LW Dairy. They don't deliver certified organic products, but they use local famers who state they do not use antibiotics, hormones and their chickens are all free range, etc. The organic label is just too difficult for some small farmers to attain. Anyway, LW delivers in glass bottles (the milk is delicious, btw) at your doorstop weekly and it's cheaper than any store bought organic milk I can find. 


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#18 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 03:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post

 There should be groups or clubs for people with special dietary needs.

There totally are!  There are several national Yahoo Groups (like: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/foodlab), the allergy forum on here is full of wise and supportive mamas, and if you start to look into local natural parenting groups you are very likely to find many parents dealing with food allergies.  I was that mom for a long time.  It was really, really hard.  hug2.gif  But surrounding yourself with like-minded parents is paramount.  Not just for diet issues, but also for parenting issues.  New moms need all the support they can get.  My local AP group in Texas was awesome.  I remember going to my first kid birthday party and the mom had made dairy free icing and vegan cupcakes just for me and my dd.  It was so sweet I wanted to cry.  Now her second baby is dairy intolerant and what she learned from trying to be sensitive to my needs really helped her through the learning process with her own child.  We need to be in this parenting thing together!  All of the parenting groups I've been a part of (and that's a lot) have always welcomed pregnant moms to join.  That way you build up a network before baby is born and can get the support you need.  Check out:

 

API Chapters:  http://www.attachmentparenting.org/groups/webwi.php

LLL Chapters: http://www.llli.org/web/wisconsin.html

Yahoo Groups

Meetup Groups

Google Groups
 

If you need help searching the other groups, try keywords like your city (or nearby cities), natural parenting, parenting, attachment parenting, birth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, family, etc.

 


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#19 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 03:35 PM
 
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I wonder if there would be a goat-share in your area - like a CSA, but for goats and goat products. Maybe your farmer friends would know? So you'd buy your share in a flock of goats and be able to share the milk. If you can, look for a goat-share that makes their cheeses themselves, though making your own chevre is actually really easy. 

 

For people who don't have big deep-freezes, like me, I have also looked into sharing a whole animal with a number of people. Or perhaps find someone who wants to go in on a whole animal who HAS a freezer, and just make their cost slightly lower, as storage fees. Then you just need to go over and "shop" your portion at their house! 

 

With animal products, buying bulk and direct seem to be the best way to save money. 

 


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#20 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 03:52 PM
 
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I don't mean to critique, but since we are veg with a dairy-free person in the house I just wanted to point this out-  Dairy is actually a pretty poor way to get calcium.  It has actually been shown (in many many studies, I can look some up if you'd like) to leech calcium and other nutrients from the body, especially in high animal-protein diets.  The dairy farmer's assoc. has been the main group touting the calcium benefits of milk, etc, but it's really not true and has been debunked (though the idea has been rammed into our heads it's hard to convince folks otherwise!)  In fact, other foods (beans and broccoli come to mind specifically) have MORE calcium per calorie than milk.  

 

Other calcium-rich foods-

 

Almonds 

blackstrap molasses

nettle

broccoli

beans

soybeans 

todu

salmon

leafy greens

fortified OJ

 

Also, most people (even omnivores) aren't getting enough calcium, so a liquid calcium supplement is often highly recommended especially for women.  

 

I hope that helps!  As far as grains go, perhaps you could try just buying less of the subs, like maybe half of what you usually get?  We certainly still get meat subs and dairy subs from time to time, but they are more of a treat or are for instances when we are not at home (like if we're going to a cookout) instead of being used in daily meals.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by birdhappy85 View Post

Yeah you're right, jbk21, the substitutes are what raise costs a lot. I don't know how to come to terms with being unable to eat any grains except rice, quinoa, GF oats, and corn tortillas... and then potatoes as another starch. And without my dairy substitutes, I get virtually no calcium. It's hard to deal with emotionally. It helps to talk to people on here who eat similarly in some ways. I have nobody in my personal life who has any food restrictions except my brother who is vegetarian but he eats mostly stuff I CAN'T eat so it's not helpful. I think I'm just getting massive anxiety over going back to eating like this. My social life was severely impaired when I had to change my eating... Even get-togethers with families were so stressful because nobody knew how to accommodate me and they wouldn't even bother sometimes. I'd sit there staring at everyone else's food wanting to cry, so I started avoiding social situations altogether. I get panicky when I just imagine going back to that place. greensad.gif Sorry, this is kind of embarrassing how emotional this is for me. I'm tearing up over here. I guess I have a lot of work on myself to do before the baby arrives...

 

I'll take a look at that link you posted. Thanks!

 

Abraisme - Thanks for the suggestion about buying a whole animal. I completely forgot about that! My friend and her husband actually live on a farm where his family raises their grassfed steers for slaughter and I completely forgot that I was going to look into buying one earlier this year. We just never bought a freezer for it and forgot about the whole thing. I should give her a call. I think they might have a long waiting list, but maybe they'd help me out since we're friends.



 

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#21 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 04:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbk21 View Post

I don't mean to critique, but since we are veg with a dairy-free person in the house I just wanted to point this out-  Dairy is actually a pretty poor way to get calcium.  It has actually been shown (in many many studies, I can look some up if you'd like) to leech calcium and other nutrients from the body, especially in high animal-protein diets.  The dairy farmer's assoc. has been the main group touting the calcium benefits of milk, etc, but it's really not true and has been debunked (though the idea has been rammed into our heads it's hard to convince folks otherwise!)  In fact, other foods (beans and broccoli come to mind specifically) have MORE calcium per calorie than milk.  

 


 


REALLY glad you brought this up.

 

I was going to say the same thing.  There is a strong positive correlation between dairy consumption and osteoporosis; cultures who don't consume dairy don't really get osteoporosis.  And for the boys out there, the link between low-fat dairy and prostate cancer is as strong as the link between cigarettes and lung cancer.  Dairy really should be avoided, anyway -- so don't worry if you can't afford it!

 

Quinoa has a lot of calcium, too!


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#22 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 05:16 PM
 
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Yup, I was thinking the same thing.  Dark green veggies are another great way to get calcium.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKatie View Post




REALLY glad you brought this up.

 

I was going to say the same thing.  There is a strong positive correlation between dairy consumption and osteoporosis; cultures who don't consume dairy don't really get osteoporosis.  And for the boys out there, the link between low-fat dairy and prostate cancer is as strong as the link between cigarettes and lung cancer.  Dairy really should be avoided, anyway -- so don't worry if you can't afford it!

 

Quinoa has a lot of calcium, too!



 


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#23 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, to my knowledge, raw dairy is still one of the best sources of many nutrients including calcium.... but I, too, have read before that pasteurized dairy products leech calcium from the body rather than add to it. I believe that's an accurate assumption? Although I know we weren't distinguishing between raw and pasteurized earlier.

 

I'm looking into CSA's in the area. I wish there were one really close by. I live in a Milwaukee suburb. The closest I've found posted online is still a half hour away and says that all of its shares are booked up, but I could try to apply for next year. While that's not that far, I am not a big fan of making highway drives frequently, especially when winter comes. I think it'll be too much of a hassle to drive that far to get food when we have the baby to take care of in general. That's the main reason I don't go to my friend's organic farm much at all. It's almost an hour away and I just dread the drive a lot of the time. When I was working, there were only a few hours a week when I wasn't at work that the farm was even open for business, so that kind of made things harder to work around.

 

I looked at that website for LW Dairy that a pp mentioned where they deliver to the Milwaukee area. That's an awesome idea. Unfortunately they don't deliver the kinds of foods I'd be able to eat. But if they ever offered goat milk, I'd be there! lol

 

I talked to my husband about everything tonight. He said he's supportive of me just completely overhauling our diets and cooking whatever I can eat, no matter how simple, and he'll eat it too. Even though he's reassuring, I still feel like I'll be inconveniencing him. I need to start putting myself first and stop caring if I disappoint other people by not eating food they offer me and not going out to eat with them if I can't find acceptable dishes, etc. I keep thinking about my baby shower in a month and how there's going to be so much food and they picked out a cake for me... It's so hard to turn down food in social situations! People at work would put a spotlight on me and question me and want to know all about why I'm not eating what everyone else is eating during company lunches and stuff. Ugh. Sometimes I wish I lived in California or someplace else where it's more common to see this kind of eating because when you live in Wisconsin and can't have dairy (or gluten) it's just pure hell, IMO. It's like you're an outcast. Cheese, beer, and brats. That's what we're all about here. Food is love. Blah blah.

 

Off my vent. I'm going to chill for the rest of the night. Thanks, everyone, for your support and ideas!!!!


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#24 of 29 Old 09-02-2011, 05:42 PM
 
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I totally feel you on the social situations. We're vegetarians, which is a little easier, but it's still tough. I don't know how many times I've been told "Oh, it's ok, we're just having chicken/fish." My MIL offered my DD tuna, and then Chef Boyardee beef ravioli last week. ???

 

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in that Azure Standard is really, really what you're looking for. I'm not sure if they have drop points near you, and if not, I don't know what their UPS costs are, but their GF grains/flours are a whole lot cheaper than anywhere else. We order from them monthly and I love them. We're moving to an area they don't deliver to soon, and I don't know what I'll do. You should really check it out though - azurestandard.com.

 

As far as budget, we spend $500/month for two adults, a 4 yo, and an 18 mo. We get most of our produce at the farmer's market/CSA when we can, order staples through AS, and avoid as many processed foods as possible. We also get our eggs and raw cow's milk locally. Meal planning makes a huge difference in how much we spend, too, as does leaving DH at home when I shop!


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#25 of 29 Old 09-03-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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That's crazy that you need three acres for chickens.  Our lot is 1/10th of an acre and we have three chickens and three more chicks that will be joining them in a few weeks.  We are planting two dwarf apple trees and blueberries this weekend, plus I have a garden in the front and back yard.

 

What about ordering gluten free mixes from Bob's Red Mill or King Arthur Flour?  That way your DH can still have the stuff he likes, it's easier then baking from scratch, but should be cheaper too.

 

We were casein free for a while and it was AWFUL, I totally get how depressing social situations can be.  Sitting there, watching everyone else eat all this yummy stuff that you can't have, and they totally don't get it, like "here just have this root beer, it doesn't have milk"  but um, yeah, caramel coloring....


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#26 of 29 Old 09-03-2011, 10:22 PM
 
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We spend an average of $200 per week on food for just DH and I... so about $800 a month.

 

We shop at Whole Foods for our basics and buy organic primarily. We buy our meat from a local butcher that only sells local, organic and grass fed/free range animals. I have an egg lady that I get our eggs from and I get raw milk from a local organic farm that doesn't feed grain or corn to their cows.

 

We are gluten free by choice, with occasional 'treats'. 

 

I'm not sure how to slim down a food budget - we are of the mind that we can cut our budget in other areas because food is so important. We canceled our cable this year and save $75 a month. We  downgraded our cell phone plan and save $35 a month. DH started taking the company shuttle to work and that saves us about $50 a month in gas. In the last year I've overhauled our household and completely stopped buying commercial cleaning products, I quit using make-up years ago, I make our soap, we don't use hair products, and I've purchased any clothing we need from Goodwill, CL or on super sale at Target and whatnot. Those choices save us TONS. A gallon of white vinegar, a bottle of Dr. Bronner's, a box of baking soda, borax, and some soap nuts are all I need to clean the  house and do laundry - at the cost of about $25 every three or four months to replenish supply. I made some felted wool dryer balls to replace dryer sheets, and we got a clothes line to reduce the dryer use when it's sunny. We also really don't go out to eat much because we care about where our food comes from, so we save money in that area, too - I think we go out to eat once a month or so.

 

As for social situations, I'm getting more and more to the point where I just tell people we are 'gluten free' and let them either say, "Oh, okay." or ask me about it. Neither DH and I have any medical issues that necessitate being GF - but we've chosen this way of eating for better health and to avoid any future health problems associated with eating copious amounts of grains, so really it could be considered 'medical'. Like I said, though, we do allow ourselves to cheat on occasion, and because it's not a medical risk we just deal with some indigestion and grogginess when we do.

 

Also, because we purchase such nutrient dense foods I don't feel like we need to take a bunch of vitamins, so that saves us money, too. I'm just taking vit d.

 

I hope you can find a balance! As Hippocrates said - "Let food be thy medicine". Food is so important love.gif

 

Have you read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon?

 

 

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#27 of 29 Old 09-04-2011, 06:48 AM
 
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Have you read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon?

 

 


Full of great info!  I used it to make yogurt and learn how to sprout beans.

 


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#28 of 29 Old 09-04-2011, 10:02 AM
 
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Full of great info!  I used it to make yogurt and learn how to sprout beans.

 


Yes, it is a lovely read! Very passionate and full of great recipes! I've made the kombucha, ginger beer, lamb musaka, meatloaf, kraut, ketchup, mayo, and cesear dressing (OMG, soOOOOOooo good!!!). It really changed my whole food philosophy when I read it!

 

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#29 of 29 Old 09-04-2011, 10:22 PM
 
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I havent read the other posts, but I order my non-perishables from vitacost.com for the most part.  There is also azurestandard.com that delivers monthly to certain areas, I know it delivers to the north west USA for sure, and in to north dakota, just email them to ask if they deliver to your area and they will give you a contact person in your area.   They sell perishables and non-perishables.  I also grow a garden during the summer and can tomatoes, pumpkin, freeze zuccini, etc.  I dont go to hardly any health food stores because they are very expensive in my area but in other areas they are more reasonable.  I go to Albertsons and they have a lot of reasonable priced organics.  They have drastically expanded their organic produce section on my request, and I ask them to order in the fruits and veggies that I want and they usually can get it.  I also write to organic companies and ask for coupons.  Look for local eggs and local grass fed meat, which around here is way cheaper than buying it in the store.  You said you are dairy free, but the private farmers here sell the raw milk cheaper than the cheapest store brand non-organic milk too.  BUY IN BULK, and make sure you get at least a 10% discount, but always ask for a bigger discount.  I buy cases of organic butter and freeze it, and get about an 18% discount off the shelf price, I pay $4 a pound for it.

Processed and prepackaged organic food does seem to be the most expensive so I do stick to whole foods for the most part.  Buy half a beef or something instead of a few steaks or pounds of ground burger.  I ended up paying $3.53 a pound for a half a beef, that includes processing and everything.  I got lots of steaks, roasts, burger, etc.

I eat ALL organic, I do not feed my family anything that is not organic.  I really dont know how much I spend on food in a month because so much of my groceries I buy in bulk, so I pay a higher price one time, but then it lasts me months or even a year.

I also get cases of Newmans Own organic prunes from Amazon, but I have found that Amazon tends to charge way too much for even their cases of food. 

Definitely go to farmers markets, ask if they treat their gardens with anything, and buy from people who dont.  I live in MT and some people go to WA and get truck loads of organic peaches, pears, nectarines, etc and bring them to the farmers markets to sell.  If they are unmarked, ask them if they are organic, if they dont know then they can call the farm where they got them from to ask.

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