Could you do it?
I am sure by now you are all aware of the slow food movement, eating locally and buying food that is not processed. Lisa Leake and her family have taken this movement to heart. Lisa, a local mom was so moved by the book In Defense of Food (which is one of my favorite books also) that she started a movement in her home. After living and blogging about a 100 days on real food, Lisa is back with another 100 days of real food on a budget. Below is an excerpt from her blog. Lisa is a very talented writer I hope you will follow her blog 100 Days of Real Food.
“Real Food” on a Budget
Earlier this year, after reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan and watching Food Inc., we decided to make some pretty dramatic changes to the way we were eating. It just made sense to know where our food comes from and be able to pronounce the ingredients in the items that we were eating. Not to mention Pollan refers to a lot of the packaged items that we used to buy as “food-like substances.”
So in May of this year our family (which includes two children ages 3 and 5) set out on a journey to go 100 days without eating a single ounce of processed food or refined ingredients. We put together some rules that we followed (including no sugar or white flour!) and blogged about our real food pledge on www.100daysofrealfood.com. We loved the response from readers, but one thing we couldn’t help but notice was the amount of feedback we got on how much all this real, organic, and local food can cost. This is why starting on October 4 we began “100 Days of Real Food on a Budget”. Our family of four has $125 a week to spend on food (which is less than we would get if we were on food stamps) while at the same time following our original real food guidelines as much as possible. We are of course blogging about this journey as well and invite you to join us!
In the meantime though, I want to share some valuable lessons I’ve learned so far which are helping me stay within our strict budget…
- Organization and meal planning
- Minimizing waste (putting uneaten food back)
- Knowing and using what we have on hand (especially if it is perishable)
- Making substitutions in recipes to reduce how many things I have to buy
- Maximizing “cheap” foods (like bananas and beans)
- Making sacrifices (i.e. water instead of milk)
- Reducing consumption of meat and desserts
Here are some excerpts from our real food on a budget journey so far…
“I tried shopping for food at Wal-Mart today, and it was almost a complete waste of my time. I knew they carried Stoneyfield Organic yogurt so I assumed they must at least have a couple of organic cheese options and maybe even some other inexpensive organic stuff. With the exception of some organic brown rice (which I didn’t buy since it wasn’t quick cooking) and some organic Pam cooking spray, the yogurt was just about the only thing that made it worth going there. And who wants to traverse through a football field size store to save a measly buck or two on three things? I was actually a little relieved I don’t have to go back anytime soon!””
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“I discovered what should truly be called a ‘Happy Meal’ at Earthfare last night. The only thing is I have no idea why it took me so long to figure this one out! Not only did the organic real food meal that came in a fun little bag complete with a prize at the bottom make my daughters (and me) very happy, but since kids eat free on Thursdays it only cost $7.59 for all three of us to eat dinner there! And not to mention I had printed Earthfare’s weekly “free” coupon so with our purchase (that had to be at least $5) I also got a free pineapple. Now that is a freaking deal! Especially when we budgeted $20/week for the four of us to eat out.”
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“I am just being honest here…it feels like we have absolutely NO food in our house. We are somehow still surviving and managing to find things to eat, but man is it desolate. It usually gets down to slim pickings by the end of the budget week, but this time it already started feeling this way on Thursday (with 3 more days to go!). I think it is especially noticeable this time because we are out of some key staples like eggs, cheese, and chicken broth. It seems like whenever I am in a bind my go-to meals are things like quesadillas, quiche, scrambled eggs, pizza, or soup, and it is tough to make those things with so many missing ingredients!”
click to read more…
To read more about our real food adventures and learn how you can take the “10 Days of Real Food Pledge” check out 100daysofrealfood.com.