This showed up in my email today:
I want to eat healthy, local food but I have no time, not much money and no clue how to pull it off. What can I do?” – pretty much everyone
Yes..yes…have heard this SO many times, often from my own mouth. I’ve done A LOT in the past year to actually make this a reality for our family. It isn’t easy. It takes time and thought and research and experimenting. It takes baby steps and small changes. But it can be done.
Things I do to put real (unprocessed), whole, nutritious (preferably local) food on our table:
- Cook from scratch. Refuse to by boxed despite the temptation. Yes, there may be some questionable meals in the beginning experimenting stages but it does get better! 😉 My biscuits are now bomb.com (as my hubby would affectionately say!).
- Make my own bread. This is still touch and go for me. With the amount of work on my plate this one sometimes falls by the wayside.
- Cook a whole chicken and then turn the bones into broth. This has saved us the most amount of money. A $6 chicken can feed our family 2-3 meals and I get about 8-10 cans (baggies) of broth out out of the deal…an extra $6-10 savings.
- Use in season vegetables from a local farmer. We sourced one who is selling us produce for $1 per pound. Beat that supermarket!
- Grow a garden. This one seems like a no-brainer but if you want to actually grow one and NOT waste money check out this book: Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 an Acre.
- Learn to can. Put up food in it’s season while it is the most inexpensive. Sometimes this is as simple as chopping and freezing. Or it can be elaborate as making wonderful preserves or marinara’s.
- Buy in bulk. No, not the warehouse clubs. I’m talking take that tax refund check, run it down to your local CSA or meat farmer and buy a share when the bulk money is there. Pre-order CSA veggies to be delivered weekly. Bring home 1/2 a cow and freeze it. Order a side of pig and have bacon, chops, ribs for the whole year!
- Learn to waste nothing. Chopping veggies? Onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and herb ends can go into a freezer baggie and be used when preparing stock. Other veggie/fruit waste can be turned back into rich soil through compost. (Who wants to buy compost?) Fat from your pig you ordered can be turned into lard and put up for the year for delicious biscuits, pie crusts, cookies and for popping popcorn. Kids don’t like bread heels? Chuck them in the freezer until you have enough to make bread pudding or dry them on the counter top and turn into bread crumbs. I even came across a lady who turned her extra chicken feet into stock!!!
- Source Raw Milk. Still working on this one. But when we do…oh man. That same money spent on not-so-nutritious pasteurized milk can be used on super nutrient dense milk that can also be used to make cream, butter, sour cream, buttermilk, yogurt, farmer’s cheese, cottage cheese, and cream cheese. This is the largest percentage of where our grocery dollar disappears to so I am excited to try and shave in this particular area.
- Learn to hunt. This is a new skill my husband will be taking up this fall. Permits are usually low cost and this is a self-sufficiency skill that is a lost art. Possible deer meat for a year? Maybe a turkey? This is meat you can take to the bank.
- Eat your local weeds. Did you know purslane is a wonderful addition to salads? And it is probably growing right now in your front yard. What about dandelion omelletes? Chicory root coffee? Have fun experimenting and exploring your own back yard. Read: The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
Together, we’re sending a message to our nation’s leaders that too many people live in communities where it’s harder to buy fruit than Froot Loops.”
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE!”