Mar 11, 2013
How I Grocery Shop on a "Real Food" Diet
One of my goals this year was to spend money more thoughtfully on the food we eat. About a year ago, we started eating only Real Food, here is more info about it. It basically means no processed or added chemicals, preservatives, colors or flavors. We also, eliminated as much refined white sugar and flour as we could. This took away most processed foods and added a major increase in our monthly shopping budget, We follow this diet about 90% of the time.
Eating healthier has made a dramatic improvement in my kids behavior and attention at school and any of us rarely get sick. If they do have an occasional treat, like a slushy from the gas station...I see and almost immediate change in their personality....it is actually very concerning to me it is legal to sell food products with these dangerous additives in them. Most foreign countries, do not even allow them in their food supplies, yet the US still does!! If you are interested in reading more info, click on this link. We rarely eat fast food and ice cream and cupcakes are saved for school and special occasions. They still eat cookies and other treats, but I make them with whole wheat flour and natural unrefined sweeteners.
I have done a lot of research and have finally found a way to shop for my family, that is easier on the budget and I sleep better at night, knowing I am feeding my kids a healthy diet.
First, I found a local provider for our meat. Just about 20 miles from my house is an organic beef, lamb, chicken and pork farm. They have a little store and I drive over once a month and pick out from a wide assortment of products. All of their bacon and ham are nitrite free, if you want to educate yourself about nitrites click here. Their prices are cheaper then the organic offerings at the grocery store and they let us visit and feed the baby animals when we go. The kids love it and I feel wonderful knowing exactly where my meat is coming from. You can find a farm in your area at Eat Wild.
For snacks my kids eat fruit, nuts, cheese, tortilla chips, popcorn and the fruit filled bars from the bulk store (very similar to fig newtons.) For breakfast we eat granola, yogurt, oatmeal and toast with cheese or peanut butter. I also make waffles and pancakes with sausage and bacon. Lunches are meat/cheese or pbj sandwich, fruit and veggie, and water.(1-2 times a week they eat hot lunch.) Dinner is easy, meat, fruit, veggie and usually pasta or rice.
While this way of shopping is more time consuming on the days I go to the meat and bulk store, my time at the main grocery store has cut way down. I used to scour the isles reading ingredient boxes, now I only buy very basic ingredients or stick to the same products. This way of cooking and meal planning is really very basic and easy. I have not done as much meal planning through cookbooks, as I used to and I find I am not spending as much money on one time ingredients. I am able to keep my monthly grocery bill under $700 which, is about $500 less then when I first started this way of cooking. How do you grocery shop? Do you find it a challenge to purchase healthy food for your family on a budget?
Labels: good eats