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organic/healthy on a budget?

461 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  pnutS4us
Hi all. One of my bigges goals right now is to figure out how to eat a whole foods/organic diet while on a budget. I used to work FT and we had plenty of $, so I just bought as I pleased. Now I'm forced to long over so many things I want because they cost so dang much! Any thoughts?
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"Slow food". It's a term to describe old fashioned home made food. Make it all yourself. There are tons of recipies on the web for whatever you want. It's amazing how much money people spend on junk food (food they didn't even think was junk) but think organic is too expensive. I don't know if you already cook this way, but it has made organic a reality for us.

Also, find buying clubs and coops in your area. I just created a coop and the savings is great. You have to buy in bulk, but we have 7 mom's splitting cases and it has been a great experience.

My local large chain grocery store is stocking more and more organic products. They have their own brand and it's not normally local, but it's organic and it's affordable. Like a large can of organic tomatoes for $1.50 compared to a can half the size from Muer Glen at twice the cost. Tonight we are having home made organic tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwhiches made with organic raw cheese, ds will have organic peanutbutter (no dairy). The whole meal will cost me about $6 for a family of 5 and it's all organic.

Think simple suppers too. This is hard for me. Simple soups, sandwhiches, quasadilla's and so on. Save the big meal for Sunday supper. Plan ahead so you know where your budget lies and then maybe you can splurge on that special treat.
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This is the season of farmer's markets and CSAs. You might be able to save money on produce that way. After that, I say pick and choose. Buy minimally processed things. Don't eat meat every day, if you're omni. Beans and grains are cheap. Buy bulk stuff at the health food store. The organic quick oats are the same price as the non organic old fashioned ones. Take stock of your priorities (what's most important to you to have organic?) Buy that, and non for the other stuff.
Got any good links? has suggestions for making a homemade version of lots of convenience foods, but she uses shortening and other less than ideal ingredients in some of them. I've looked through lots of recipes on the web and wading through the crappy ones (for ex, tater tot casserole) to find good ones can take forever.
Hi all

I am a stay at home mom too, and while dh makes a really good wage, things have been really tough the past month (can we say new tranny in our Jeep--OUCH!!! plus, we had some other unplanned expences) so we are back to 'cheap eats' ok.... inexpensive. I picked up the NT book and I made the roman lentil soup that was well received--with requests for more! It says it serves 8, but our family of 3(4 when dss is here) had 3 dinners and I had a couple lunches out of it--filled my huge pyrex bowl. We had it with bread and butter for dinners and I had it with liverwurst sandwiches for lunch (yumm!!) Sooooo since $$$ is tight (1 have less then 100 to shop on for 2 weeks, and I want to try and keep it around 60-70 for emergency cash) I am doing dry bean soups. I am making the lentil soup probably 3 times (once with curry to change it up), a pea soup made with frozen peas, mushroom soup, black bean soup and I am going to make a round of chicken stock from wings. I have been wanting to get back to baking my own bread too, so this will be a great time to get back at it... I am thinking about picking up some sausages (not breakfast!) for meat for a couple of nights, to have with the soups. Unfortunatly, when money gets tight, meat is the first thing to go. DH had times of extreme poverty when he was growing up (at times, living in a tent with his mom on federal forest land), so soups don't bother him.

ok... so I rambled on about my menu for the next 2 weeks or so--but like others have said, base your menus around soups, oatmeal/whole grain for breakfasts, eggs for protien, check out the farmers markets, plan out your menus. I plan about 2.5 weeks of menus at a time.
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