Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Real, Delicious Food on a Real Budget!

I have been reading much lately on other family's tips, tricks, and plans for eating well on a reasonable budget in a not so great economy. It is of utmost importance to me to serve nourishing, healthy food to my family, but of course good food, especially from small local purveyors, tends to cost a good deal of money!

I was very inspired to see Jenny's > latest post on her awesome real food blog, > the Nourished Kitchen, in which the author challenges her family to eat for one month using the national average food stamp allotment that many Americans live on every day.

We have in thepast spent above the high end of the> USDA's cost of food. While the food we eat is mainly unprocessed, often locally grown and/or produced, organic and nutrient dense, I want to challenge myself to do even better and (hopefully) save some of our hard-earned dollars in the process.

My rules for myself will be to budget our food spending between the "low" to "moderate" > USDA's cost of food for a family of 5. I'm not counting baby Eliza, as her main source of nourishment at 10 months old is still> breastmilk (and handfulls of frozen blueberries:), and since most of what is fed to her somehow ends up being flung to our dog, Winston!

To save money, and the environment, I want to cut down on our food waste, especially in light of the fact that the average US household > wastes a whopping 14% of the food they purchase! I am sad to admit that we do throw away a lot of uneaten food in our house.

One of the most important aspects of my plan is that I want to continue to support local food sources, such as the many great > Twin City's food co-ops and my > favorite farmer's market that's just down the block from my house. I will attempt to buy only > real food, > whole foods and make everything I can from scratch. I pray that through this challenge I will prove to myself and other families out there that it IS possible to eat healthily and not break the bank!

Wish me luck in my endeavor to feed my family real food on a real budget, and if you have any suggestions for eating real food on a budget, please leave me a comment. Also I will write updates on my "real food, real budget" challenge once a week or so, check back to see how I've done!

I'm participating in the > Nourishing Gourmet's Pennywise Platterthis week, where you'll find lots of people who care about real food on a real budget just like you and me!

This post is also linked to > Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays, where bloggers share how they are fighting back against processed, industrial food by eating real, local, sustainable healthy food.


  1. I think it's fantastic that you're giving it a shot on a reduced budget. I REALLY think that it can be done, though I was running the numbers last night and $227 is going to be awfully tough - but I'm SUPER committed to making this work! I'll be checking your progress for sure!

  2. 227$ sounds really hard, my budget is higher but we've got 6 of us and i'm taking baby steps to lower our food costs so it will bemore do-able for me.

  3. I think it's an excellent challenge. I find that calculating my food budget is tricky bc I buy other things at the grocery store, like shampoo or whatever. So my bills are higher than they'd be with JUST food. Also, something like a whole bottle of olive oil one week throws things off.

    My best bets are shopping at the co-op where everything is sold in bulk. That way I just buy what I need now. And it's so much cheaper per lb. and without all the packaging waste!

  4. Michelle- I am so blessed to have grown up a co-op shopper, it's where we shopped when i was a kid, that and the farmer's markets and actual farms. you absolutely get a better deal buying in bulk. and i shop a few different co-ops, as we have a plethora here in Minneapolis, to get the best deals on items i need.

  5. I went to the link to see what my family of 9 should be spending a month and came up with on the thrifty scale -$1300 (I have 4 teenagers)and for the liberal - $2500. WOW!!!! I come in way under for either! Makes me feel good. Great post.

  6. wow,and I thought feeding a family of 6 on a budget was a challenge! good for you!

  7. It can be hard to balance "thrifty" with nourishing, can't it! But I agree, we just need to not waste food to start with to save money. Good post. :-)

    Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet

  8. I'm amazed that the number is so low, b/c I know people on food stamps who are single moms with a toddler and a baby, for example, getting around $400 a mo. Good for you to give it a shot! My dearest friend loves the Minn. Farmer's Market too - it sounds awesome!

    See you next week for the Super Foods Carnival!