Poor mamas: How well do you guys really eat?? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 01:39 PM
 
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Also, one factor to consider is that many of the mamas that post on the frugality and finance section are not particularly low-income. So there are a number of people discussing how to make organic/healthy shopping as frugal as possible it would seem. I would put me in that number- we do shop for the most part for organics but we are one small family on a pretty decent income. If we had many more mouths to feed or a lower income, we would not really be able to do that. In fact I fully intend to prune out some organics when we have a larger family unless our income rises before our family grows. We have lived off of less for groceries and then we did less organics. I will say that we have never had to go without produce and a relatively balanced meal but the least we have ever had to spend in a week for groceries is $50is or so dollars and we live near some cheap sources for produce.

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#62 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 02:17 PM
 
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Also, one factor to consider is that many of the mamas that post on the frugality and finance section are not particularly low-income.
I would like to add that it is not JUST this forum, either.. go to diapering, and it seems like almost everyone has their own stash selection of fussybutts..

the only thing that finally finalized for me that not ALL of mothering is that way, is that I stop by the trading post, and there are mamas there begging someone to buy their stuff because a bill came up.. on the one hand, I have been there when something disastrous financially happens, on the other hand, i also think there is some financial irresponsiblity going on- people living beyond their means..
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#63 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I would like to add that it is not JUST this forum, either.. go to diapering, and it seems like almost everyone has their own stash selection of fussybutts..

the only thing that finally finalized for me that not ALL of mothering is that way, is that I stop by the trading post, and there are mamas there begging someone to buy their stuff because a bill came up.. on the one hand, I have been there when something disastrous financially happens, on the other hand, i also think there is some financial irresponsiblity going on- people living beyond their means..
Consumerism often affects people buying diapers and organic cotton clothes as much as the next person, IME. We truly live below our means (so we can save for the long term) so I have to listen to the little voice in my head that says "your brother's like new infant car seat will do just fine for baby #2" and "I don't need this $18 mama cloth pad", LOL. But there are plenty of people that incorporate organics or whatnot into their budgets without living beyond their means.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
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#64 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 03:09 PM
 
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I would like to add that it is not JUST this forum, either.. go to diapering, and it seems like almost everyone has their own stash selection of fussybutts..

the only thing that finally finalized for me that not ALL of mothering is that way, is that I stop by the trading post, and there are mamas there begging someone to buy their stuff because a bill came up.. on the one hand, I have been there when something disastrous financially happens, on the other hand, i also think there is some financial irresponsiblity going on- people living beyond their means..
Sometimes bills come up. I have been in that boat. Things can go well and SLAM something hits you and you need help. And buying used dipes, etc. on the TP is a lot cheaper than buying sposies and clothes at Walmart, even. Even with shipping. Not everyone who needs to sell their stuff on the TP is because they are materialistic and can't handle their money. I don't consider living beyond your means as having some too-small dipes you need to sell to buy bigger ones, or paying an unexpected bills, as many of us saw with the increase in gas prices for heating and transportation costs.

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#65 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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Winco sounds great! This is there website http://www.wincofoods.com


They have stores in Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and California. None by me. :

I am on the hunt for a cheaper bulk food store. Anyone know of a place in Eastern Maryland? There are a few up in Pennsylvania that cater to the Amish and Mennonite communities, but I miss the co-ops in Seattle that stocked all the hippy organic goodies that I love so much.

Sorry for the tangent. I am feeling chatty lately.
I don't know about bulk stores, but I know we save a lot of money by shopping at Trader Joe's. I know nothing about MD geography, but this is the MD store list from the TJ's website (www.traderjoes.com). If there isn't one within 50 miles, you can e-mail them and request one, and see if they're planning on building a new one near you any time soon. My husband just applied for a job with them, because they're expanding on the east coast so they're hiring for a lot of new people.

Annapolis
160 F Jennifer Road
Annapolis, MD 21401
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 410-573-0505

Bethesda
6831 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20815
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 301-907-0982

Gaithersburg
18270 Contour Rd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 301-947-5953

Pikesville
1809 Reisterstown Road, Suite #121
Pikesville, MD 21208
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 410-484-8373

Rockville
12268-H Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 301-468-6656

Silver Spring
10741 Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20901
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 301-681-1675

Towson
1 E. Joppa Rd.
Towson, MD 21286
Trading Hours: 9 am – 9 pm
Phone: 410-296-9851
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#66 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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We are also a family that has the money to spend more but chooses not to. I get great ideas from this board.
Susan
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#67 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 05:01 PM
 
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I LOVE WINCO!!!!!!!!!1 It is where I do the bulk of my "bulk shopping".
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#68 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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I would say that we eat better then most people health wise. Simpler, whole foods are cheaper then prepackaged. Comparing prices at different store has really surprised me. There are actually many organic products I can buy from Whole Foods for the same or less than the conventional at Meijers. We eat less meat then we used to for budgetary reasons but I also think our diet is more well rounded because of it. By cutting back on what was really too much meat we are eating more veggies which we really were not getting enough of. I also thought I'd add that we have a budget and we have to stick to it so that we are living within our means. We would have a budget even if we made more now than at present. I can honestly say that our diet would not change much even if I had unlimited money to spend on groceries.

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#69 of 129 Old 07-24-2007, 07:05 PM
 
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Sometimes bills come up. I have been in that boat. Things can go well and SLAM something hits you and you need help. And buying used dipes, etc. on the TP is a lot cheaper than buying sposies and clothes at Walmart, even. Even with shipping. Not everyone who needs to sell their stuff on the TP is because they are materialistic and can't handle their money. I don't consider living beyond your means as having some too-small dipes you need to sell to buy bigger ones, or paying an unexpected bills, as many of us saw with the increase in gas prices for heating and transportation costs.
I agree that buying used cloth diapers saves money.. I never said that "everyone who needs to sell their stuffon teh TP is because they are materialistic and can't handle their money.." Things come up, I COMPLETELY admit that.. however, I DO think there is a consumerist undercurrent on some of the forums on MDC.. I think too many people snap up brand new hard to find cloth dipes, the minute they are post on the wahm website, and then 2 weeks down the road the sell them on the tp because something came up.. that's what I am talking about.. the lack of planning ahead.. and I think it DOES happen. I think some people get REALLY caught up on the next great new thing, and they aren't thinking about the next 3 months, or 6 months.. There is a lot of Hype on MDC.. I have no problem spending money on the tp to find a quality almost new cloth diaper, especially if it will help somebody out and I can use them, but the frequency of those urgent pleas for paypal leads me to believe that we need some basic finance issues.
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#70 of 129 Old 07-25-2007, 12:20 PM
 
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Ruthiegirl-One of the reasons it is probably so cheap is that you bag your own groceries. Maybe you can find a place like that near you

Jen

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#71 of 129 Old 07-25-2007, 01:28 PM
 
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I LOVE WINCO!!!!!!!!!1 It is where I do the bulk of my "bulk shopping".
Is Winco worth a drive? We could combine trips with a stop at Ikea to return so we defective curtain hardware at the same time but the nearest one to me is pretty far away, close to the Ikea in Kent WA. As of Friday I have FIVE extra mouths to feed here for awhile (my brother and his family are moving up here and will be staying with us for a bit) so cheap bulk items sound good. Do they have any organics at all? I see it is employee owned which is cool.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
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#72 of 129 Old 07-25-2007, 02:01 PM
 
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I don't know about bulk stores, but I know we save a lot of money by shopping at Trader Joe's. I know nothing about MD geography, but this is the MD store list from the TJ's website (www.traderjoes.com). If there isn't one within 50 miles, you can e-mail them and request one, and see if they're planning on building a new one near you any time soon. My husband just applied for a job with them, because they're expanding on the east coast so they're hiring for a lot of new people.
This is a bit OT but speaking of MD geography, I'm in far Western MD and I don't think we'll ever get a Trader Joe's. Sigh.

We're the poorest part of the state and we're losing population so no one is building new stores here.

The only good thing we have is some Mennonite bulk food stores.
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#73 of 129 Old 07-25-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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This is a bit OT but speaking of MD geography, I'm in far Western MD and I don't think we'll ever get a Trader Joe's. Sigh.

We're the poorest part of the state and we're losing population so no one is building new stores here.

The only good thing we have is some Mennonite bulk food stores.
We are on the opposite end of Maryland. I am sad that Western Maryland gets overlooked. It is so beautiful out where you are. There is no work for us there, so we willl hang here in the swampy lowlands and dream of mountains.

And while I love Trader Joe's, it is more than an hours drive and over the bay bridge, so there is a significant time, gas and money expenditure to shop there. But I love it when we do get there.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#74 of 129 Old 07-25-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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Is Winco worth a drive? We could combine trips with a stop at Ikea to return so we defective curtain hardware at the same time but the nearest one to me is pretty far away, close to the Ikea in Kent WA. As of Friday I have FIVE extra mouths to feed here for awhile (my brother and his family are moving up here and will be staying with us for a bit) so cheap bulk items sound good. Do they have any organics at all? I see it is employee owned which is cool.

It is for us. We are a family of 7 so I buy lots in bulk... They do have some organics, but honestly not ton maybe a little less then 1/4 of the buld section... At least in my area but I am on the other side of the mountains from you. We drive about 25 mins to get to the Winco in the Tri-cities. And it is REALLY worth it for us.
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#75 of 129 Old 07-25-2007, 10:15 PM
 
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We have very little to spend on food, but I do my best to provide healthy meals. I get frozen veggies and fruits a lot because they are more likely to get used before they go bad. I soak and cook large amounts of dried beans and brown rice and store in 2 cup portions in the freezer. I do buy organic if it is feasible. I always get organic milk because I can get it on WIC ( I wouldn't get it otherwise unless I had the money). It is also way cheaper to bake from scratch and whatnot, which I do sometimes, but not all the time.

Student and aspiring midwife mama to Angel: and Iris. Expecting a new sometime near Halloween! I am a all the way!!!!!
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#76 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 04:24 AM
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have a question, what if the kids just won't eat the healthy stuff you can afford? My kids are sooooo picky and will only eat a few items (some which aren't cheap).
I have gone through this. It is a tough and long process but if you are persistant it will pay off. A child who is used to eathing salt, fat, sugar will not give it up easily. You just don't buy it and provide healthy meals that have lots of flavor. They will eat it. At first they won't, but in time when they realize they can't break you they will eat it. My girls were terrible and we had many a tear (mostly mine because they wouldn't eat my dinner). I would make a great helthy meal and it was there to eat. If they didn't want it that was fine, but that was dinner and nothing else. Now they eat just about everything and even thank me for being such a healthy cook. Seriously.
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#77 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 04:35 AM
 
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I have gone through this. It is a tough and long process but if you are persistant it will pay off. A child who is used to eathing salt, fat, sugar will not give it up easily. You just don't buy it and provide healthy meals that have lots of flavor. They will eat it. At first they won't, but in time when they realize they can't break you they will eat it. My girls were terrible and we had many a tear (mostly mine because they wouldn't eat my dinner). I would make a great helthy meal and it was there to eat. If they didn't want it that was fine, but that was dinner and nothing else. Now they eat just about everything and even thank me for being such a healthy cook. Seriously.
I second that.. I have three little boys that LOVE old fashioned oatmeal.. I DO add a little brown sugar, but otherwise, it is the old fashioned round cannister oatmeal..

If I cook, and someone wants something else, dh will tell them to make themselves a pb&j.. those are the only options.
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#78 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 04:38 AM
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Eating healthy is cheaper. Besides the actual health reasons, and prevention reduces the cost of medical issues. Healthy eating does not mean buying up the healthier alternative packaged foods at the health food store. It means eating whole foods. Foods you make with simple healthy ingredients. It may mean spending a Saturday every month making casseroles, muffins, breads and stocking your freezer so you aren't living in your kitchen.

Easy ways to save time while cooking from scratch. When you cook one casserole, make a second for the freezer. When you make muffins or cookies, double the batch for the freezer. I actually freeze all of it because it stays fresh and nothing goes to waste. When you make pizza dough, triple the recipe and freeze the dough so next time you want pizza/calzones you can just pull it out of the freezer. Make home made mixes for convienence and speed sake. Buy big bags of frozen veggies and fruit from a source like Costco. It's cheaper then fresh, but usually frozen right after picking so it is a healthy option. I can buy a hug 2kg bag of mixed berries from Costco and it lasts over a month. We add it to yoghurt (home made because it's so easy to do), smoothies, cereal or whatever.

It's all about choices. Some of us are more limited in our choices, but in the end it's all about choices. You will always find an exuse to eat crap if you want to continue to eat crap.
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#79 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 12:48 PM
 
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well, more like i'm asking, where do you draw the line??
so, are you saying that if i don't have the $$ to eat well, then i'll have to put in enormous amounts of time and effort to do it cheaply? or just eat crap?
well those two options are obvious--i started this thread to see if anyone had any better ideas. and they have given some good ones so far
Eating well takes
1. Money
2. Time
3. Knowledge/kitchen tools
4. Motivation

If you short on one of the first three you can usuallymake up for it by having more of the other two. If you don't have motivation you could be eating crappy frozen pizza baked in a beautiful Viking range.
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#80 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 01:29 PM
 
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If you don't have motivation you could be eating crappy frozen pizza baked in a beautiful Viking range.
I see you've met my mother.

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#81 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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It's all about choices. Some of us are more limited in our choices, but in the end it's all about choices. You will always find an exuse to eat crap if you want to continue to eat crap.
I agree with this partially and disagree partially. As a person who works in social services I see a number of people who seriously don't have good choices to choose from to begin with. Lack of access to a stocked kitchen, lack of skill in cooking, no time due to working too many hours for too little money etc. Still, I wonder when people say they can't afford any vegetables whatsoever unless they have no money whatsoever and are eating from food pantries to survive. 10 pounds of potatoes is $2-4. Frozen green beans are often on sale for less than a $1 a pack. Same goes for snap peas and broccoli. My mother receives around $90 a month in food stamps. It is gone on the 5th day of the month on frozen processed junk and cereal. I just spent $50 at the co-op yesterday for many pounds of lentils (3 different kinds), split peas, potatoes, black eyed peas, carrots and zucchini that we will use in the next 6 weeks (would be longer but we are a family of 8 after Friday when my brother, SIL and kids arrive). All organic...conventional at another store would have been far less. Every other meal at my house involves soups, bean and veggie dishes. Slice a few carrots cooked onto rice and beans and you have added a nice veggie to the cheapest meal on the planet. A couple of conventional carrots cost pennies. My parents always insisted that veggies and fruits were more expensive than the meat heavy dishes they often served when feeling pinched $wise. I have not found that to be true in the 10 years I have been feeding myself at all. Honestly, you just have to know how to prepare them and be accustomed to buying them to make veggies affordable for most budgets.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
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#82 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 02:15 PM
 
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I have gone through this. It is a tough and long process but if you are persistant it will pay off. A child who is used to eathing salt, fat, sugar will not give it up easily. You just don't buy it and provide healthy meals that have lots of flavor. They will eat it. At first they won't, but in time when they realize they can't break you they will eat it. My girls were terrible and we had many a tear (mostly mine because they wouldn't eat my dinner). I would make a great helthy meal and it was there to eat. If they didn't want it that was fine, but that was dinner and nothing else. Now they eat just about everything and even thank me for being such a healthy cook. Seriously.
We had let our son slip into eating mainly starches and meats and dairy. Nothing particularly salty, fatty etc but not the most balanced by a long shot. We realized that we ate all the veggies between us, assuming that he would not like it. It took a few weeks of more vegetable laden foods but if carrot soup is what for lunch, he will eat it with gusto now. I have a niece and 2 nephews that never eat anything besides hot pockets and sugar and when we visited, it was not the second day on each visit they were scarfing down what we cooked. On their recent visit up here it became clear that the kids were not 10% as picky as my brother and SIL would have me believe. They were eating everything, short of greens, in large quantities.

Katie, mama to one big boy (6/03) and one little boy (12/08).
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#83 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 02:18 PM
 
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well, i'm a vegetarian. So being poor has nothing to do w/ the beef broth in oodles of noodles- I"m not eating beef broth. I'm a vegetarian. even if I am a POOR one.

also, we're poor. We go pay check to paycheck and still don't make ends meet and still have tons of debt.

BUT... food is life. without food we die. Without GOOD food our bodies will suffer later on and we'll pay (financially, emotionally, etc.). So, we buy mostly organic. We eat vegetarian too (which is cheaper...). we avoid processed crap. maybe we pay more "up front" and other things don't get paid because of it... but we'll be saving money down the road as we'll be in good health!
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#84 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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Is Winco worth a drive? We could combine trips with a stop at Ikea to return so we defective curtain hardware at the same time but the nearest one to me is pretty far away, close to the Ikea in Kent WA. As of Friday I have FIVE extra mouths to feed here for awhile (my brother and his family are moving up here and will be staying with us for a bit) so cheap bulk items sound good. Do they have any organics at all? I see it is employee owned which is cool.
It's about 40 minutes drive each way for us and totally worth it since I stock up. They carry Annie's salad dressings, Bob's Red Mill products and these natural soups that I cannot remeber the name of.

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#85 of 129 Old 07-26-2007, 03:00 PM
 
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We are on food stamps so we have a good bit to play with at the store (200-400/month for a family of 4) But we still run out if i get too gourmet/naturel/fancy.

For supper (the only meal we really all sit down and eat together that is a homecooked meal) We usually do one or two fancy meals a month (like last nights angus steak w/ gorgonzola cheese sauce, shrimp and mushrooms on the side, fresh garlic spinach, and homemade fries)

several sort of normal homecooked meals (spaghetti, fried chicken, etc)

a few crappy meals (mac n cheese from a box, frozen pizza, white castle etc)

Lunch is sandwiches and soup or leftovers.

Breakfast is cereal for the kids and a jimmy dean sausage biscuit for me plus fruit for all (usually bananas)

dh is a fancy man so we get more fancy than we would if it was up to me alone. and it costs us

i think we do ok. but we do a lot of processed junk food compared to most mdc'ers i think. we don't do as much organic as i wish but if its on sale we do. or if the difference is only a few cents. i'm really pleased to see organic canned tomatoes at a good price lately!
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#86 of 129 Old 07-28-2007, 12:46 AM
 
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My SIL has a Viking range, and dude... she knows how to use that puppy! I'm in awe of her cooking/baking abilities.
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#87 of 129 Old 07-28-2007, 02:08 PM
 
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We only buy some things organic, if they are on sale. I'm trying to improve our eating habits and cook more for us to eat healthier. It is definitely more expensive to eat healthier. You can buy a five pack of mac and "cheese" for $2 at Walmart, you can't get a pack of cheese for less than $4 (small pack) around here. Luckily, we've started making a bit more money and I'm able to branch out from ramen and such but really, it is hard to eat healthy. I'm trying to find some good cookbooks for beginners (meaning, I don't even know the cooking words I don't know so I'm surely not going to be able to actually do whatever it is) for simple, homemade foods. Right now we've been eating stew, spaghetti, and the like. Easy things to make that don't cost too much.

Mama to two boys and a girl.
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#88 of 129 Old 07-28-2007, 02:22 PM
 
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The way I did this was use $3.00 off coupons on cat and dog food that were less than $3.00 (these coupons are in the FREE mambo sprouts coupon books in the front of the store)
The Whole Foods near me never seems to have coupons in the store. I've asked a few times. They're always "out."
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#89 of 129 Old 07-28-2007, 03:22 PM
 
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The Whole Foods near me never seems to have coupons in the store. I've asked a few times. They're always "out."
if you go to mambosprouts.com they will mail it to you.
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#90 of 129 Old 07-28-2007, 04:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by muttix2 View Post
We only buy some things organic, if they are on sale. I'm trying to improve our eating habits and cook more for us to eat healthier. It is definitely more expensive to eat healthier. You can buy a five pack of mac and "cheese" for $2 at Walmart, you can't get a pack of cheese for less than $4 (small pack) around here. Luckily, we've started making a bit more money and I'm able to branch out from ramen and such but really, it is hard to eat healthy. I'm trying to find some good cookbooks for beginners (meaning, I don't even know the cooking words I don't know so I'm surely not going to be able to actually do whatever it is) for simple, homemade foods. Right now we've been eating stew, spaghetti, and the like. Easy things to make that don't cost too much.

We do a lot of bean soups. A real cheap one is split pea soup.

Saute an onion, add a carrot, a stalk of celery (all chopped up). Add a quart of water, some thyme, oregano (any herbs you like) and a pound of split peas. If you eat ham, this is a great time to add a ham hock. I can buy 4 hocks for about $3 and use one in each batch of soup. It really adds a lot of flavor and a bit of meat. I freeze any left over ham hocks for future soup pots.


Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature to a simmmer (you should see very small bubbles). Cook one hour. Take out the hock and let it cool. Simmer the soup for another half hour. Shred the meat from the bone and add it back to the pot. Taste for salt, the hocks are quite salty so I don't usually need to add any.

We eat this a lot. Split peas are $1 a pound. The hock is less than a $1. One stalk of celery and one carrot are a few pennies. I grow oregano and thyme in the garden, but you can get these cheap if you have access to a bulk foods store.

We also make a lot of lentil soup and black bean soup. Toast, muffins, corn bread, cheese sandwiches all make fine additions.

I find that I can feed us very cheaply buying a 5 pound bag of onions, a bag of carrots, celery, and a few pounds of dried beans. Add some different spices and herbs and you can have countless variations of nutritious and satisfying soups without having to eat too much mac and cheese. And a lot of things freeze well, so I tend to cook a few big pots of things on Sunday, freeze them in dinner sized portions and then just pull stuff from the feeezer during the week. Cheap and mostly easy.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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