Tuesday, July 19, 2011

dilemma

I have a confession. I think I am a bipolar grocery shopper. You see, I love to leave the store with a cart full of goodies that I paid next to nothing for. The joy of saving more than I spent is just yummy. However, most of the time when I get home and start putting away my bounty; some of it I am not quite so proud as a momma to serve.

Then there are the times when I leave the store spending my full week's budget on only a few bags, but when I get home I have the opposite feelings. As I load my produce into the fridge and don't walk near the pantry since nothing has preservative; I feel excited to feed my kiddos the fare that is to come.

Is there a balance? Can we eat healthy food I am excited to feed my family? Can I stick to our budget while still eating many organic, locally grown, and whole type foods? I'm out to try!

Here are a few of the things I have found to help:
1. Buying in bulk doesn't always help. I have started making a few small trips to the store for produce. Maybe once at the beginging and also a trip to our local farmer's market.

2. Eating healthy can be inexpensive. It just takes more work. I have found that sandwich bread with whole grains and better ingredients can run pretty high. However, when I make our own bread it is much less expensive. However, it is not as easy, and it doesn't have the same shelf life.  I guess that is the point.

3. Look for coupons and clearance. There are still some coupons out there. They are just less frequent from what I've found. Many of the websites for the larger companies have links for coupons. Plus, my Kroger frequently clearances out close to expire products. This is one of the easiest ways for me to afford organic dairy.

4. Still stockpile pantry goods at low prices. I am still couponing and stockpiling many pantry goods. I am just more careful about which ones. I use lots of canned tomatoes or Chicken broth. Different times of the year these have more coupons and sales so I buy lots then. They have a long shelf life so I can buy lots and not have to pay full price later.

Those are a few of the things I do to work on switch to a healthier and still somewhat budget friendly way of eating. What are some things you do? Does any one do a food coop or buy meat in bulk? Any other ideas you do to save your family money while still feeding them well? I'd love to hear what ya'll do.

1 comment:

staciashaf said...

I love my local food co ops and I'd definitely recommend seeing if there are good local ones. One of mine has awesome meat. The other has 9-grain bread for $2/loaf that freezes well and tastes amazing. (Maybe you could try freezing a couple of your loaves and see if they're good.) I really want to buy a 1/4 cow or 1/2 a pig, but with next to no freezer space, it won't happen any time soon. :(

I've gone through the same transition of learning to coupon in order to save money only to realize that I'm buying a lot of junk. And being a recipe-follower I didn't have much in the way of meal preparations besides Hamburger Helper. (Not cool.) So, I've been trying to figure out a system for couponing for the good stuff (razors, etc.) and sucking it up and spending the money on the nutritious stuff.