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FRENCHIFAL's Photo FRENCHIFAL SparkPoints: (94,481)
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5/26/11 10:25 A

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AE_MYERS -- thanks for the advice! I'm going to have to look into joining a CSA!!

Falon
Madison, WI ~ Central

Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.

~Mahatma Gandhi


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BEAUTIFUL8186's Photo BEAUTIFUL8186 Posts: 618
5/25/11 1:59 P

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@ sabroh - I do make my own soups. Sadly had to toss out the bean, potato & red pepper soup I made (from the butt book, I made it years ago and loved it, my new husband thought it was really good) .. cause since moving we haven't been able to get all necessities and don't have tupperware :( was gonna try freezer bags but didn't want to risk it ...

im starting to freeze my fresh veggies and fruits .... its just gonna take a while I guess. HOpefully it gets cheeper over time.

I love that later idea of making pancake mix in bulk (and storing it). Pancakes and waffles are my favorite, and I love whole wheat ones, I Have a few recipes i want to try.

As for eggs and milk, I want to buy antibiotic free eggs, we have egg farms around here that people sell ... you think its safe to buy like that??? As far as milk i think we mght try organic. How do they sell it? DO they sell fat free or skim?

I used to spend 80$ a week on groceries for 4 like 3 years ago, durinmg my previous marriage, but now we spend like close to 250 every two weeks. Trying to slowly cut out the unnecessary but my hubby is gomnna take a while to work on eating better.

ELLEHCIMYELHSA SparkPoints: (405)
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5/16/11 1:44 P

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These are some great tips! I definitely need to start planning more meals out in advance. I try to find coupons and look through the grocery ads before going shopping so I have a list and stick to it! mambosprouts.com has some printable coupons for all organic items. It really helps!

BEACHGIRL76's Photo BEACHGIRL76 SparkPoints: (9,885)
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5/16/11 1:34 A

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Awesome tips! Thank you! I'm going to look up that website. Tonight I took my own advise and visited Kroger's. I either wrote down or took pictures of all the organic produce/dairy/meat/oils/and other items like pasta sauce, that I liked, or would normally eat. I'll do that at all the stores I typically buy at and log it all onto Excel or something similar so I can do a side by side comparison as to who has the best deals (aside from sales of course). It was exciting! I only got through half of the store though. There are a TON of products out there. When you look at each item in the aisles you'll discover a lot! I'm excited to see how their prices stack up to others! Let me know if you need comparisons:)

Jennifer from Indianapolis, IN

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AE_MYERS's Photo AE_MYERS Posts: 249
5/16/11 1:10 A

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I too am on a budget. I've found some things that work well for me. First, visit localharvest.org. You can find many organic suppliers/farmers/CSAs here. I get my produce and my meat via CSAs and it is actually usually cheaper than in the store. In my case, my meat equals at least 18-20 pounds and 2 dozen eggs for $85 - roughly $4/pound. I get things such as ground meat, steaks, roasts, whole chickens, breakfast meat, chops, italian sausage. For my produce, I get roughly 1/2 bushel every other week for $420 for the season. I pay early in the year, usually from my tax refund, so it feels like I'm getting it for free by the time it actually comes. This is all for just me and my boyfriend, so adjust according to your family size.

I buy beans dry - cook them on low in your slow cooker for several hours and then freeze. Much cheaper than the canned varieties, just as convenient when cooking, and healthier. You can do this with brown rice too, to make it more convenient on a busy weeknight. Buy produce in bulk when it's on sale. Or, if at a farmer's market, go in the later half of the time and make the farmer an offer. I've done this and managed to purchase the rest of the farmers peppers for 40% off. Once you have the produce home, process it right away. Look up freezing guides. There are some good books you can purchase to guide you in this process, along with canning and drying. For the later two, you may have an investment up front, but it will pay off in the end. Or, do what I do currently, and stick to freezing. Then you can enjoy summer fresh produce in January! You can also purchase a vacuum sealer. I personally don't use one, but I know some people who swear by them.

Skip buying convenience meats, such as frozen, diced chicken. Instead, buy a whole bird. Cook as desired (I like to poach it for this use). Once cooled, pull the meat from the bone in bite-size pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze until solid, then put in a freezer container. Or cut a steak or tenderloin into pieces, stir-fry the meat, then freeze.

Lastly, you can also consider a vegetable garden. I'm just starting that adventure this year - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that something actually survives and produces.

I learned that I just had to be a little adventuresome and be willing to invest a little bit of time. You will get the hang of where to buy and how to store. Keep at it and enjoy your good food! emoticon

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BEACHGIRL76's Photo BEACHGIRL76 SparkPoints: (9,885)
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5/15/11 10:55 A

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It does cost more in the beginning because you are starting from scratch. Some health food stores are expensive, it depends on where you go. You will have to look around and compare prices that's for sure. You will spend more money no matter what but look in the papers or ads on line for who has what on sale. If you have a health food store near by look to see if you can became a subscriber to their weekly adds. Farmers markets are good because in most cases the food didn't travel from as far and you are supporting the local farmers but you still need to ask if it's organic. Not all of it is. It takes time, but don't give up on feeding yourself the right kinds of food. Your body and health is worth it. See where else you can cut back with your money in order to feed your body what it needs. Without your body, nothing else will matter right? lol :) Again look for sales!! I buy my beef from a farmer and my eggs where I can find them (from anyone who has a sign up in their yard-usually out in the country). I buy organic milk (always) Kroger has milk on sale a lot and a pretty good variety of organic foods. Meijer's has organic foods (if you live by a Meijer's). So does Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's. Even Wal-Mart has a few items. When you go to the Farmer's Markets ask questions. They can tell you where the food came from. I went last week and got a huge basket of tomatoes and squash for only $1 each all because they had some bumps and bruises but still plenty good to eat. I made fresh salsa with it! They weren't organic but still tasted fresh like they were from my own garden. This farmer's market didn't have anything organic but I still feel better going there than the store. Also maybe you can do some gardening this summer? If nothing else you could do some containers with tomatoes, peppers, or herbs?? It does save money and tastes SO much better! Good luck!

Jennifer from Indianapolis, IN

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NICKB1978's Photo NICKB1978 Posts: 991
5/13/11 3:05 P

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So I have been eating clean for 7 weeks and just went to the grocery store yesterday and I got a lot of organic things for the fist time and keep in mind I was just shopping for me. Any way to make a long story short I spent 94$!!!! I was like WTF!! I mean yes it is so worth it but I sure can't do this every week. I mean before I started buying organic I was spending 45$ a week witch is more reasonable. So I want to continue to eat clean and buy organic but I need to find some were else to shop. So dose any one think going to a farmers market would be cheaper? Or going to a health food store? PLEASE HELP!! thank u for listening!!

~Nick~

It's time, n it's all about ME!!!


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4EVRDIETING Posts: 218
5/11/11 10:43 P

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BEACHGIRL76's Photo BEACHGIRL76 SparkPoints: (9,885)
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5/11/11 3:46 P

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Great tips! I just went to a roadside stand and got a huge basket of ripe tomatoes for $1! And some summer squash only because it had a few bruises. They even can tell you where they get all their products from. I like that! :) If you have a great recipe for healthy pancakes, I'd love to have it!

Jennifer from Indianapolis, IN

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GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,593
5/11/11 2:35 P

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Don't confuse eating clean and organic, so if you're on a budget, it's not necessary to buy everything organic. I agree that organic milk is SO much better for you than the "regular" stuff. The "regular" stuff gives me horrible bloating, while the organic does not. There are some great articles online about what you should buy organic and what is okay to buy that's not organic.

The trick to eating on a budget and keeping it clean is to do weekly meal planning and to make things from scratch yourself. I have been on a budget for quite some time, and eat 90% of my meals at home that I make from scratch. Don't forget that you will probably have leftovers, so plan for those when coming up with meals.

Also, save up fresh vegetable scraps (asparagas stems, carrot tops, onion ends, celery leaves, etc.). You can refrigerate or freeze them and then use them to make a good soup base (simmer a bunch of veggie scraps and strain). Check on the internet for the proper way to freeze different vegetables.

When I roast a whole chicken or turkey breast, I refrigerate the drippings and then skim off the fat. I feed several feral cats, so they get the fat and the skin. After the first meal, I remove all of the meat for use in tacos or burritos, soup, or just to reheat later. I then take the carcass and bones, and then boil that in a couple of quarts of water, which makes a good soup base, too.

If you like granola, you can find low fat recipies online that are a fraction of the cost of boxed varieties in the grocery store. Same goes for your pancakes. Look online for recipies. Mix a large batch of the dry ingredients together and store that in a tupperware container. When you want pancakes, add the wet ingredients and you have a fast breakfast.

Use coupons, watch sales, and learn when certain items go on sale. Buy fruits and vegetables when they are in season. In addition to farmer's markets look around for small, mom & pop type produce markets or roadside stands. They generally have very fresh food for much less cost than the grocery stores. Keep in mind that the produce from these store generally don't last as long as grocery produce, so plan to use it within a few days.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
SABROH's Photo SABROH Posts: 96
5/11/11 1:26 P

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Another tip, is to make your own homemade soups rather than buying canned. Excellent recipes out there for chicken, lentil, veggy soups. Make a large batch, and keep in the fridge in ready to go containers for the whole week!

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SABROH's Photo SABROH Posts: 96
5/11/11 1:23 P

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My husband has finally decided that he needs to loose weight and start eating healthier. We decided to choose organic when we can and eat clean because it is the best way to burn fat and build muslce. With that said, we went grocery shopping o the weekend with our list of foods that we can eat and by the end of the day we spent over $300. This was buying at our usual grocery store and at Organza Food mart. It can be expensive to begin with, because I wanted to replace some of the unnatural foods (cereals, breads, canned goods, oils) with whole foods right away. But the way I look at it, our next shopping trip will not be as high, because I will just need to the buy the fresh stuff.

I am working on our meal planning, which is tricky. We have two children as well, who are going to benefit from this, but I also need to be gentle and gradual with their transisition. They love their Kraft Dinner and hotdogs! But I am also very lucky that they are not picky eaters and they are so open to trying new things. I bought Ekeziel Cereal ($5 for small box), but still have all the regular cereal for the kids to eat. They can still finish up everything else that my husband and I are not going to eat. But I did get rid of all the processed cookies, pop, jujubes, chocolate, oils and margarine in the house. They don't need that in their diets.

We are also saving money because I am planning and packing our snacks and lunch for the day. So NO eating out and buying an unhealthy lunch every day, that alone will save us a fortune.
My husband used to buy so much junk, cases of pop, and crap everytime he went shopping. I'm sure in the end we are saving money.

We bought bulk as well. Which is cheaper and better for the environment. Check out the bulk food sections of your grocery store. We cheated a bit by mixing some of the raw organic cashews with the regular cashews and paid the regular price...not really recommended, it is cheating and stealing (eeeek) but the price difference was crazy! Ok, don't steal, ingnore that recommendation LOL.

Good luck in your journey! Ours has just begun as well. Should be interesting!



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BUZYBEEDEBRA's Photo BUZYBEEDEBRA Posts: 2,491
5/11/11 12:46 P

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Great tips - thanks

Debra Sue (Houston, TX)

www.tntdeb.webs.com/


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HAPPYENZO's Photo HAPPYENZO Posts: 829
5/11/11 12:07 P

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Excellent Tips!!!!
Thanks

"Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your word, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny"~~by anonymous

"Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God"
-1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT


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BEACHGIRL76's Photo BEACHGIRL76 SparkPoints: (9,885)
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5/11/11 10:35 A

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My suggestion would be to look at farmer's markets, clearance racks (but check expiration dates), and grocery adds. Plan your meals around what's on sale that week. It takes awhile but once you learn where the organic foods are at and who has the best prices, it makes it easier. I would suggest making a list of who has what and what their prices are and visiting several stores. Some grocery stores have cheaper generic items than say a health food store would have. Steal cut oats are pretty cheap and they are the best for you. You can add honey or agave syrup if you like it sweet. Or fruit is good. You can make lots of soups healthy. I'd pick up a cookbook or look on-line for healthy options. Maybe subscribe to Cooking Light, or Clean Eating magazines. Just remember, that your health is more important than anything so don't feel bad for spending money on good food. Raw food is actually medicine, and prevents you from being sick and missing work..aka money! And keeps you out of the hospital and having pain or diseases, so when you look at it that way, it's proactive to eat clean.

Cut back on eating out, and think of ways you can make money by selling things, or save money in as many ways as possible to have more money for healthy foods. If it's important enough to you, you'll make a way. When I first started buying organic milk/eggs I thought this is CRAZY that I have to pay $5-$6 for milk when I can get the regular stuff for $2.50, but it's SO much better for you, and if you are lucky, you can find it on sale. It just comes natural to me now. Just don't expect to go cold turkey organic. It takes time to get used to the best place to buy things, and figure out who even has the organic items. If you switch EVERYTHING to organic overnight...your bill will be huge. Just buy what you need for THAT week and see how you manage. I tend to over buy and have a house full of food, and a lot of that gets thrown away so always plan your meals...it will save you money!

You can get some good Caesar dressing that isn't THAT bad for you, if you look around. They even make organic dressings. Don't think that it's not high in calories, because most of the time Caesar is but just use a little bit and don't go overboard. I found one that is Caesar/Parmesan flavor and it's made with yogurt! It's all natural too and my fav! I can't think of the name brand and I'm not at home but if you want it, I can find out for you! :)
Good luck!-Jennifer

Jennifer from Indianapolis, IN

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BEAUTIFUL8186's Photo BEAUTIFUL8186 Posts: 618
5/11/11 8:05 A

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How do you eat clean on a budget? Me and my husband just got married and only have so much to spend on groceries every two weeks.

Like what are the best foods to buy?

I love Ceasar Salad and yes its a down fall .... I also love breakfast foods (like pancakes and waffles). I love oatmeal and fruits and veggies and soups.

Any suggestions?

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