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i've been lurking here, and i'm hooked. however, i need some help getting started with this. can anyone suggest a short list of things to start with to get my family's diet on track? just to set the scene, we're on a super tight budget (down to the penny), so i can't buy any new equipment or anything too expensive. we do eat pretty well...organic when we can afford it (maybe half of the time), meat when we can find good stuff (grass fed, free range, organic, no horomone/antibiotics). i bake our bread and treats and am starting on snacks (crackers, etc.). i'm REALLY tight on space (tiny apartment), and on time (i work and bring dd with me...) so i can't make big time or space committments. we do eat out occasionally, and are not as picky then about where our food comes from, but i'd like that to change.<br><br>
so, all you experts, give me some tips and get me started. i'd like to take the shift slowly and expand my skills as my space, budget, and time expand.<br><br>
thanks!
 

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I think one of the easiest things you can do is to start making your own kefir, either water kefir or dairy-which is very economical and has loads of benefits.<br>
Another easy thing to do is to cook with a good fat-something like coconut oil, grass fed butter or cultured butter. Whenever butter is on sale I stock up and freeze it (butter freezes well). You sound like you are already doing some good things, so keep it up. Also go slowly, don't get to overwhelmed.
 

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Buy your organic grains in bulk, I save heaps from buying in bulk. Buy from a reliable meat source, it doesnt have to be certified organic but from a local farm where you know their practices. Veggies season is here- go to the local farms and get fresh local organic veggies and lots of them. Pick ones that would be great for culturing and eat them year round. Keep snacks simple. My kids snack on apples with peanut butter and kefir. Dont waste anything!!! Look up on your computer the most important things to buy organic(veggies and fruits with the leist pesticides) eg. Always buy organic: potaotes apples, letuces, spinach, strawberries, zuchinis, tomatoes, extra.. there are lists that state which foods always have pesticides and ones that are found with very little to none. Some veggies and fruit they have to spray very little if none, cause they dont attract bugs much. And last have fun looking..... thats the best part of it, its like a treasure hunt finding the best places, that offer the most affordable prices.
 

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and start fermenting veggies...super cheap <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
also never buy meat without bones...is is more economical, tastes better and you'll ave bones for stock. Dont ever buy chicken parts, always whole chickens.<br><br>
Tanya
 

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eat lots of eggs, eat them everyday.<br><br>
If you can't afford raw milk, you can often get fresh whey from a dairy farm, which you can use in endless ways -- fermenting veggies, beverages etc. I add whey to jars of applesauce. I dilute my store-bought organic ketchup with water half-ways and add a bunch of whey to it. You can add whey to other condiments.
 

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I'm a beginner, too, but I always recommend reading Real Food by Nina Planck. It's very accessible and inspiring. It really makes TF sound very do-able and sensible, whereas I thought NT was very overwhelming at first.<br><br>
We started by buying a freezer of beef and making yogurt. We are moving veeeery slowly, but surely towards a more traditional diet.
 

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Don't get overwhelmed. Any small change you make will make a difference.<br><br>
I started with stock. I bought the best chicken I could afford and used every last bit of it.<br><br>
Is there a WAPF chapter in your area? They may be able to direct you to local co-ops and buying clubs to help you save money.
 

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Don't get overwhelmed. Any small change you make will make a difference.<br><br>
I started with stock. I bought the best chicken I could afford and used every last bit of it.<br><br>
:Yeah:<br><br>
I also found yogurt and cultured veggies were simple, inexpensive and take almost no time to prepare (if you don't count the "waiting").
 

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It's hard to say what would benefit you mist, since I don't know what you eat already.<br><br>
If you're already seeking out top-quality meats, I think that's a great start. Personally, I wouldn't buy *any* meat that wasn't pastured. I think the toxins in poorly raised meats, and it's relative lack of healthful components, more than outweigh it's benefits.<br><br>
I would seek out the best dairy products I could. Raw if at all possible, low-temp pasteurized and hon-homogenized otherwise. If it is pasteurized, I would consume most of it cultured: kefir, yogurt, cheese. Raw cheese isn't difficult to find anywhere there's a health food store.<br><br>
Since you're already baking your own breads, switch to sourdough. Freshly ground grains are much more nutritious than store-bought flour, but a grain mill is pricey. I grind some in a coffee grinder, but it's just not fine enough for most things. So I use a combination of fresh ground and store-bought, to split the difference. If you have a friend with a grain mill, you could grind a bunch at once and freeze it right away. If you have that option, even better: sprout the grains before grinding. Sprout a cup and a half in each of a few quart jars, dehydrate in the oven with the light on, then refrigerate and start another batch. After you've done a few rounds, borrow the grain mill.<br><br>
Switch to Celtic Sea Salt or another salt of similar quality.<br><br>
Seek out awesome eggs and use them liberally.
 

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tboroson: do you have to put the sprouted dried wheat in the fridge...I thought it kept fine in a jar?<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> thanks, kiwi
 

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I would put it in the fridge to keep the sprouts from over-growing once they've started sprouting. That is, if I was planning on doing a few batches before firing up the dehydrator, I would refrigerate the early batchs to keep them from being wheat stalks by the time the later batches were ready for dehydrating <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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I see, thanks, I thought you ment it needs to go in the fridge AFTER its dried.<br><br>
sorry for hijacking the thread everyone<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Alos a bit OT: but I was wondering if we should have a "getting started" sticky. This question seems to come up again and again....<br><br>
Tanya
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tcarwyn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7957638"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Alos a bit OT: but I was wondering if we should have a "getting started" sticky. This question seems to come up again and again....<br><br>
Tanya</div>
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</tr></table></div>
Good idea!
 

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Kombucha is fairly inexpensive to get started with (I used a 3 dollar bottle from the health food store), and super cheap once you have your scoby. It's also really forgiving- half of my houseplants are dead from perpetual neglect, but my scoby is still plugging along.
 
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