Nutritious and Cheap??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I love to buy organic fruits, veggies, milk, eggs, etc etc. but I find my grocery bills are ASTRONOMICAL. Has anyone discovered the cheapest way to get the most nutritious foods? Please share.

Mom to Elena 5/08 & George 8/09.
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#2 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 01:46 AM
 
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I think there are threads on this topic in the Frugality forum, so you should find some help there.

Meal planning around mostly vegetarian meals to minimize costly meat and poultry meals helps with the grocery bill.

Buying older veggies at a marked down price and use them in soups, casseroles etc., where you don't need the freshest items, is another helpful tactic.
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#3 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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I'm so bad at meal planning, but food is something that we value greatly (in terms of health, environment, nutrition) and enjoy greatly (you could call it my hobby, I guess), so we've decided that we're not going to stress about what we spend on food and have adjusted to the "new normal" of our grocery bills, which means we spend about $175 a week for our family of three, buying mostly organics, including meats at Whole Foods.

That being said, I understand that not everyone can make this decision! One site I found when I was trying to be frugal was Cook for Good. She seems to have a lot of good guidance on there.

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#4 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 10:23 AM
 
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Always, always buy fruits and veggies in season. I mean, I occasionally splurge on a pineapple off-season but it's not a regular thing ya know? We eat a lot of the cheaper produce simply *because* it's cheaper. We go through a lot of bananas and carrots. They tend to stay cheap year-round. Look for discounted stuff. I can occasionally find packages of organic spinach half off if they are within a day or two of their date and honestly, I stretch them to almost a week past the date. It's still good, if not quite as pretty.

I'd say go easy on the milk and eggs. I've seen the prices of them for organic and/or free range and it's kind of crazy. I don't drink cow's milk but we buy almond milk which can also get pricey. I just don't drink it as a regular part of my diet. I don't expect it to lend a lot to my nutrition. I put it on cereal, in smoothies, and use it for cooking. DS is allowed one glass a day (aside from the cost we also have issues with him filling up on liquid calories and not eating food). We get calcium from other sources.

Like one pp said, look at vegetarian options. Dry beans and lentils are incredibly inexpensive. A $1.50 1 lb bag can last through 2 meals for a family of 4. Meat (especially organic) is going to cost much, much more.
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#5 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 10:41 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staceychev View Post
I'm so bad at meal planning, but food is something that we value greatly (in terms of health, environment, nutrition) and enjoy greatly (you could call it my hobby, I guess), so we've decided that we're not going to stress about what we spend on food and have adjusted to the "new normal" of our grocery bills, which means we spend about $175 a week for our family of three, buying mostly organics, including meats at Whole Foods.
I really appreciate hearing about this decision. I think it's something I need to do. I feel like I'm always trying to reduce our very expensive grocery bill, but since I'm not willing to compromise on food quality, and I cook from scratch, and I reduce costs every way I know how and have done everything I can to learn more ways to reduce costs, maybe it's time to just accept my high grocery budget!
There was a post on MDC recently in F&F about costs of food, and I realized that many of our staple items cost double what others pay, especially in the USA. And that we do not have coupons like they do down there.
So comparing my grocery budget to theirs is an exercise in futility.

Thanks for the insight.

4 kids under 10
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#6 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 04:19 PM
 
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We do alot of pick-your-own and farmer's market produce. We also have found a source of pastured egg and meat that sometimes beat the prices in the grocery store. For instance, our pastured eggs are $2.50 per dozen--cheaper than the organic version at the grocery store. The pastured meat varies--the chicken is many times more expensive than what is at the store, but beef, pork, and bones for broth are about the same price or cheaper.
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#7 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 07:21 PM
 
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Form a buying club. Get a group of friends together and cut out the middleman.

Buy in season

Buy entire sides of animals. I pay $3 lb for pastured, sustainably raised beef. This includes ground, roasts, and steaks. I bought a whole tuna and canned it myself.
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#8 of 8 Old 09-26-2010, 11:35 PM
 
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realize that as expensive as eggs are, 2 eggs are still not going to cost more than 1.50 or so (and we pay up to 8 dollars a dozen here), which is plenty of protein for dinner for an adult. and a LOT cheaper than meat.

We eat a lot of eggs, beans and grains, and veggies, and good fats. We eat meat sparingly (stretching a pound of ground beef over at least two dinners plus a lunch, or a chicken over 3-5 dinners), with stock.

Caroline, partner to J, post partum doula, kitchen manager, aspiring midwife, soon to be nursing student, mama to my furbaby, someday a mama to not so furry munchkins, G-d willing
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