For Those of You who buy only WHOLE/ORGANIC foods - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 04:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you do it? I guess what I'm asking is.. How do you afford it? Grace was on organic baby food but now as a toddler (well, since dh and I got married) we don't buy organic anymore because of the price. Ethan will definitely be on organic baby food also but I really want the whole family to be eating organic all together. I don't mind if the ketchup isn't, but you know what I mean!

Tabitha happily married to Steven - Mama to 4 little ones and another on the way!
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#2 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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I cook a lot so we only buy basics most of the time: bulk whole (non-gluten) grains, various types of rice, nuts, etc. We live in the California so organic produce is probably cheaper than the national average prices. I only eat chicken and turkey for meat. The fish I buy is wild and not organic. We dont eat dairy except for organic butter.

Our biggest expense is organic chicken, nuts and various oils. I haven’t learned to make kombucha or fermented veggies so I still buy that already made and that cost a lot. SO love his various dressings and sauces. He eats tofu (not good for him) and its pretty cheap.

We dont like beans so we never buy that.

Our monthly grocery bill (I left a few out) come out to be hundreds of dollars a month, but there is only so much we can cut back on.

Do you plan on making all of your babyfood?
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#3 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I tried making my own baby food w/Grace and it was just nasty... I don't know what I did wrong... I got a book and everything! I just couldn't get it to taste right. So we bought the "Earth's Best" baby food.

My biggest challenge is buying organic and still pleasing DH. He's a meat and potatoes type of guy and I don't know how to incorporate healthy meals. It's too expensive to buy two seperate things of groceries. But I want him to like the food and be happy too! :

Tabitha happily married to Steven - Mama to 4 little ones and another on the way!
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#4 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 05:02 PM
 
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Try again with the homemade babyfood. It's really so easy, once you get into the swing of it. I steam some veggies on the stovetop, puree it in the food processor, freeze them in ice cube trays, and then transfer them to baggies. I usually do 2 - 4 ice cube trays worth of food in one batch, so it lasts a while.

We buy in bulk from a local organic coop. Find yourself a coop! I buy bulk grains, dried beans, I make my own bread and baked goods, no cold cereals. The only 'processed' things we buy are pretzels, tortillas, and condiments. Only buy seasonally (don't buy organic raspberries in January!) or buy frozen from Trader Joe's. Organic milk gets me, though. That adds up quickly. But we don't drink much. 1 cup/day for my toddler, and then some for cooking.

Buy cheaper produce. Rely heavily on onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, apples, bananas, butternut squash, etc. Buy the 'fancy stuff' only when it's in season.

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#5 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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Buy cheaper produce. Rely heavily on onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, apples, bananas, butternut squash, etc. Buy the 'fancy stuff' only when it's in season.
I usually buy things in season, since they are always the cheapest and freshest (I'm not into buying stuff shipped from Argentina, even if they're organic). If you don't have access to a coop or a CSA farm, how about a farmer's market?

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#6 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 05:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by huskermommy View Post
I tried making my own baby food w/Grace and it was just nasty... I don't know what I did wrong... I got a book and everything! I just couldn't get it to taste right. So we bought the "Earth's Best" baby food.

My biggest challenge is buying organic and still pleasing DH. He's a meat and potatoes type of guy and I don't know how to incorporate healthy meals. It's too expensive to buy two seperate things of groceries. But I want him to like the food and be happy too! :
We shop together and separately for things we both eat together and on our own. My SO is a tofu type of guy so I usually make my protein, large salad and cooked veggie and grain of some sort and he will have the veggies and grains and fix is own part of the meal.
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#7 of 28 Old 01-03-2007, 06:54 PM
 
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I just answered a similar question on another forum, so I'm just going to copy and paste what I said there. Please forgive me if I repeat anything that's already been said.

For produce, our biggest money saver was participating in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Basically, at the beginning of the year, we pledged a certain amount (every CSA is different), which meant that we owned share in the farm. Every other week (we also could have done weekly), we got a box of fresh, in season, organic produce, and it was always in excellent condition. The quality of supermarket produce doesn't even compare to the quality of what came in our box. When we pledged last year, we payed for the whole year up front; it seemed like a ton of money, but when I broke it all down weekly and compared it to what we normally spent on produce, it was much, much cheaper. You can find a local CSA here: www.localharvest.com

I would definitely agree that buying the things that are the scariest in non-organic form is very important. Eggs, dairy, certain fruits and veggies...hmm..what else...I have read that oils and vinegars should be organic. We use a lot of red and white wine vinegar, and I always buy those organic, because grapes are one of the most highly pesticized fruits.

You can find info on the biggies here: http://www.organicconsumers.org/. Off hand, I can tell you that a few of the most important ones are grapes, strawberries, potatoes, apples, bell peppers, greens, and peaches. Some of the less important ones are bananas, avocadoes, and citrus fruits; apparently they are safer from pesticides because of their thick skins. I also found some info here: http://www.deliciousorganics.com/Con...optobuyorg.htm.

Once in a while, I'll buy organic meat. I try to whenever I can, but it's not a regular thing. After I saw this, http://themeatrix.com/, it really opened my eyes to why it so important. If meat from cloned animals truly becomes a reality : , you can bet that my family will only be eating organic meat, even if it means that we become borderline vegitarians!

If you do go with just "natural", make sure that you check the ingredients carefully. "Natural" can be stretched pretty far, and there is no goverment regulation for things that say natural, free-range, grain fed, etc. Unfortunately, the only total assurance is organic.

Joining a co-op can save you tons! We have quite a large playgroup, and we do a lot of co-ops with the other families in the group (it's a pretty cruchy AP playgroup!).

One we do is Azure Standard, which is where I tend to order meats, breads, and some other things. Not everything is cheaper, but a lot of it is. I get Wild Alaskan Salmon for around $6/lb, which I could NEVER find in a store here. And it comes frozen, which is great. You can never freeze wild salmon from the grocery store because it's already been frozen once before. If you can get enough interest in a co-op with others in your area, it's definitely worth it. I think Azure only delivers as far east as Montana, but I'm sure those of you further east can find something similar.

If you do check out the Azure site, be aware that for some reason, when you're not signed in, the prices shown are much higher than when you are signed in. I'm not really sure why that is...

We also do a Frontier co-op, which is where I get a lot of our dry goods. We use a lot of Burt's Bees in our house (not organic, but still great, mostly natural stuff), and it's 1/2 price through Frontier. We get a lot of other products there too.

HTH!

Crunchy wife to my high-school sweetheart, mama to DS (10/23/05) , DS (11/22/07) , DD (3/9/10) , and DS (5/26/12),  and three babies in Heaven.
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#8 of 28 Old 01-04-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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We only buy organic whole foods, and we do it on the USDA "Thrifty" Budget for a family of 2 adults and a 1-yr old.

We don't buy any convenience foods, we rely heavily on our co-op/buying club, in the summer we buy only local organic produce and in the winter we rely on seasonal organic produce. About half of our money goes to the co-op for dry goods and some dairy (cheese), and the other half we use to buy produce, milk and eggs. We eat primarily vegetarian, and are slowly reintroducing occasional meats.

We eat a lot of legumes, eggs, cheese, home-made yogurt and seasonal fruits and veggies.

I blog about eating whole/organic on a budget if you wanna check it out for ideas or recipes.

I blog traditional foods and Weston A Price at Nourished Kitchen. See my healthy recipes.
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#9 of 28 Old 01-04-2007, 03:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow! This is great. So much info mamas! I will try the baby food again! When it's time!

I need to go through these posts tomorrow thoroughly and take some : !

Tabitha happily married to Steven - Mama to 4 little ones and another on the way!
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#10 of 28 Old 01-04-2007, 04:39 AM
 
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This is great. Sorry to hijack - but in planning meals using organics/wholefoods - what do people use as a general staple list of pantry supplies? I want to get my pantry re-stocked so that I only have to buy fresh produce for the week, and do the pantry shop about once a month. Is this a good way to do it? (please tell me if I should repost this elsewhere - sorry huskermommy if I derailed !)
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#11 of 28 Old 01-04-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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Your list is going to be different than mine because I don’t eat gluten, dairy (intolerant) or beef (dont like). Well, actually I don’t know what you don’t eat

Pantry staples doesn’t include other misc grocery items, supplements (hemp seed powder, etc) and produce. I buy more than this list on occasion, but this is what I always have in my house (almost)

Rice
  • Brown
  • Red
  • Black

Other grains (organic)
  • Corn meal (corse and fine)
  • Brown rice flour
  • Potato starch (used rarely)
  • Tapioka starch
  • Qunoa
  • Millet
  • Wild rice
  • popcorn seeds

Spices
  • Sea, kosher or Celtic salt
  • (gourmet salts: black, red, smoked)
  • Pepercorns
  • Cayenne
  • Papricka
  • Indian spices (various)
  • Thai spices (various)
  • Herbs (fresh and dried)
  • Vanilla beans
  • Vanilla extract
  • Amond extract

Baking
  • Baking soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Yeast
  • (grains and spices from above)

Sweetners
  • Raw honey
  • Agave nectar
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Maple Syrup

Nuts and seeds(all raw and organic)
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Walnuts
  • Sesame seed (black and beige)

Butters
  • Raw almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Coconut butter
Oils
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Toasted Sesame oil
  • Grape seed oil
  • Ghee

Dairy
  • Organic and/or grass fed butter

Tea
  • Various types of loose green teas
  • Chai tea (loose)
  • Black teas (loose)
Misc
  • (Sugar - only for feeding yeast and making Kombucha - eventually)
  • Sprouted tortillas
  • Kombucha
  • Sour kraut
  • Various sauces
  • Ketchup (fruit juice sweetened)
  • Wine – all types
  • Coffee (mostly for SO)
  • Tofu (for SO)
  • Dried sea vegetables
  • vinegars

Meat and Fish
  • Chicken
  • Salmon (only buy the same day I will eat)
  • Other types of fish when I get in the mood
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#12 of 28 Old 01-04-2007, 04:41 PM
 
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You've gotten lots of great tips so far! Depending on your current eating habits, you should try to make slow but incremental changes toward whole foods, otherwise your family might rebel!

Re: meat, we eat organic meat for the price of regular meat. My grocery store has an about-to-expire meat bin, and I always buy from that and plan meals accordingly. They are marked down to conventional meat prices, and as long as you put them in the freezer right away they are fine!

Re: baby food, you don't actually have to make baby food. I did that for dd and it was fine, but with ds I realized it was unnecessary. We just gave him whatever was around that was soft - avocados, pears, bananas, applesauce, oatmeal (at first ground up in a coffee grinder), etc. We did have one of those baby food grinders for the brief stage where they need things more pureed, which I used occasionally but not a lot.

When he got to the chunky fod stage, things got even easier because he could eat a lot of our food. My grocery store also sells bags of organic frozen cubed squash and sweet potato, which he liked a lot.

Seriously, I can probably count on two hands the number of times I cooked up something special for him or gave him an actual jar of baby food!

~ Meredith, mom to dd(Jan '02), ds1(May '04) and ds2 (June '07) ~ :
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#13 of 28 Old 01-05-2007, 03:22 AM
 
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I make my own organic babyfood and find that it is very easy. I steam fruits veggies using a steamer/colander in my saucepan then puree them with our immersion blender (I used the food processor attachement) see here for a picture http://www.amazon.com/Braun-MR430HC-AC/dp/B00004S9GX
I use baby cubes to freeze and also put some in the fridge in old babyfood jars

Nurse and mother to two beautiful boys, William 06/07/06, George 08/27/08, and our newest addition John Bear, born 9/20/10! Married to my lovely dh for 10 years on 06/04/10!
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#14 of 28 Old 01-05-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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just subbing, great advice!
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#15 of 28 Old 01-05-2007, 12:38 PM
 
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For the baby food, I overcook a small portion of the food we're having and mash it with a fork. When I say overcook, I just mean I cook it enough to be mashable while we mostly like crispy al-dente food.
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#16 of 28 Old 01-05-2007, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little-g View Post
:

This is great. Sorry to hijack - but in planning meals using organics/wholefoods - what do people use as a general staple list of pantry supplies? I want to get my pantry re-stocked so that I only have to buy fresh produce for the week, and do the pantry shop about once a month. Is this a good way to do it? (please tell me if I should repost this elsewhere - sorry huskermommy if I derailed !)
OH! Don't be silly!! I need the info too!!

Tabitha happily married to Steven - Mama to 4 little ones and another on the way!
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#17 of 28 Old 01-05-2007, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is great!! I'm taking lots and lots of notes!

Good idea about doing it gradually! DH would def. rebel!!

How do you get into the groove of grains? I have no idea how to cook them or even if I'll like 'em.

Tabitha happily married to Steven - Mama to 4 little ones and another on the way!
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#18 of 28 Old 01-05-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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I haven't read all the posts (they look informative though and I will be back!), but do you have a Trader Joe's nearby? They have lots of organic stuff and the price is SOOOO much better than the regular grocery store or the health food store.
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#19 of 28 Old 01-06-2007, 01:31 AM
 
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We eat an all organic whole foods vegan diet on my husband's public school teaching salary. We feel very strongly in eating/buying organic and so this is our biggest and mostly our only splurge. We rarely eat out and don't spend on other things so that we can be stocked up in the kitchen- because we love to eat.

We spend about 150-200 dollars a week in groceries for a family of 3. We buy lots of bulk grains, rice, and nuts but spend most of our money on oils, nut butters, and vegan bars. We are lucky because we live in an area that has 3 natural foods stores and farmers markets (although these are not carrying as much organic fruits and veggies as in the past).

I think that it is important that if you can't go all organic due to money or location buying organic items that you use frequently is good and also buying organic for the worst pesticide laden foods.

Good luck.
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#20 of 28 Old 01-06-2007, 02:55 AM
 
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I didn't read this whole thread, but thought I'd pop in. I've been trying to buy more organic produce lately. If you go to: http://www.foodnews.org/walletguide.php
they tell you which produce has the most pesticides. So I avoid the top 12 or try to buy those items organic. I also try to get free-range/organic meat and dairy as much as my budget allows. The rest just depends on the price. It's weird. Some items there isnt' much of a price difference. On others I just can't afford it.

~Kaiya~

 

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#21 of 28 Old 01-06-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that if you are exclusively breastfeeding you can wait to introduce foods untill they are able to "feed themselves". I rarely made baby foods that involved mashing and straining and waited till the baby could just eat chopped, cooked veggies. Then you may be able to afford organic produce for your whole family instead of just baby sorry if someone already mentioned this, I scrolled through the post quickly.

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#22 of 28 Old 01-06-2007, 05:44 PM
 
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Tabitha - I made my own baby food using the book Super Baby Food as a guide. I didn't use organic, because in our area, it is difficult to find even if you can afford it.

I talked to someone from Omaha a few years ago and I swear she said she got her beef from someone in that area. I haven't been able to find that info, but I did find this link that might be useful to you. Here's another that includes vegetable and grain growers.

If you can go into Omaha in the warmer months, you could shop the Farmers Market. I feel better about buying produce from our local farmers market than organic from the big grocery store. You might make a contact at that market who ships or could arrange a midway drop off so you don't have to drive in all the time. If nothing else, a trip to the Old Market can include a walk to the Gene Leahy Mall where you can play on the slide.
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#23 of 28 Old 01-06-2007, 07:02 PM
 
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I just wanted to add that if you are exclusively breastfeeding you can wait to introduce foods untill they are able to "feed themselves". I rarely made baby foods that involved mashing and straining and waited till the baby could just eat chopped, cooked veggies. Then you may be able to afford organic produce for your whole family instead of just baby sorry if someone already mentioned this, I scrolled through the post quickly.
ditto this. just BF on demand and then the little squished foods they get at the dinner table are just something to keep them busy while you eat your food. i got one of those little hand grinders and whatever was for breakfast/lunch/dinner got ground up and on the kiddos plate. i think i used a total 1 jar organic bananas baby food (bought at IKEA, she spit it out), maybe froze ice cube veggies twice, and made grain cereal twice. the super baby food book is very nice if you are looking for a guide for solid food.
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#24 of 28 Old 01-06-2007, 07:07 PM
 
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we don't eat a lot of meat. this week our groceries cost $65. we made things like lentil soup (good for several meals), falafels, pasta w/ sauce, black bean burritos, homemade pizza. plus I freeze any extra, so I have in my fridge some chili, frozen veggies, etc. I get one of those big containers of goat's milk yogurt for DD for like $5 and that lasts her through a couple weeks, plus fruits and sweet potatoes, eggs, and whatever we eat for dinner. I find that we spend what we want to spend. If I walk in there knowing I need to cut back, planning recipes beforehand, I can easily keep the cost low. but there have been times that we just swagger in, not knowing what we already have or don't have, just buying whatever looks good and coming up with a $160 bill. so you do have to be careful I've learned!

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#25 of 28 Old 01-07-2007, 03:20 AM
 
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This thread is great! I am still busy taking notes too.... Barose - Thank you so much for your list! What a help. We eat pretty well and I do menu plan (well, most of the time!) but my NY resolution was to really improve the quality of our food, eat more organic produce, and introduce some new elements to our diet (particularly more seeds and nuts, etcetc) I really wanted to get my pantry stocked so that my weekly shop would just be reduced to fresh produce - seems like this is the key to avoiding those last minute 'convenience food' temptations. This will be a great help! Ta!

Now I just need need to look up Kombucha becaue I hear people on MDC mention it all the time but have never heard of it here is Aust.
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#26 of 28 Old 01-07-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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it's already been said several times and very well...but really, ditch the baby food!

I nannied for years and always made home made baby food via the icecube tray method. It was so satisfying to have a freezer full of these little colorful cubes, each ziplock double-bagged and labeled with ingredients and the date they were prepared. I'd zap them in the microwave to thaw or leave one in the fridge overnight and voila! When the twins were born, it was even better...two servings? ta-da! two cubes. I felt very smart for being so thrifty and wholesome.

It was a little difficult when dd was approaching the eating phase to accept that all this business was really not neccesary for an exclusively bf baby who was not going to be spoonfed. Plus, we don't own a microwave

Anywho, sorry to continue the hijack....

with regards to wholefoods/organic. We are very thrifty with every other aspect of our lives in order to eat what is best/healthiest and tastiest. I use what others have mentioned (eating vegan, buying in bulk, farmers market, meal planning, cooking from scratch etc), but still our grocery bill is higher than if we bought conventional. My families health as well as the health of farm workers who grow my food is worth it.
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#27 of 28 Old 01-07-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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*I joined a CSA for the bulk of our weekly produce- thats $28/week. I spend a few more dollars on onions and garlic if they aren't availiable as add-ons with the CSA
*We're vegetarian, so I don't pay for expensive meat
*We don't drink things beyond water very often
*I buy a quart of milk every other week, a pound of butter here and there- so not much dairy.
* buy spices and grains from bulk bins. If I had the space, I'd buy large volumes of grains at once for the lowest price.
*I shop at coops- if I plan well, our coop gives members 55 off on any random order they choose each month. I can do a huge stock-up shopping and save some money. Since they have the demand for things like oranic whole grain pasta, its cheaper then at the big chain grocery.
*I buy ingredients, not boxes.

Mama to Raina (9/06) and Peter (8/09)!
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#28 of 28 Old 01-07-2007, 06:45 PM
 
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subbing. And thanks, barose -- we've gone dairy/wheat free, and I'm often at a loss.

What's helped us, in addition to as much farmer's market/co-op buying as possible, is to eat seasonally, as other posters have said. Oh, and make soup to stretch ingredients. Right now I'm cooking a (rather pricey) organic chicken in a big soup with local organic celeriac, rutabaga, and potatoes, along with some herbs from our flowerpot garden.

Therefore a ten-dollar chicken becomes at least four meals instead of one. Soup rocks.
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