Real Food on a Budget

UPDATE:  The Linky is live.

My friend Mindi over at Moms Need To Know is hosting a Linky today for Real Food on a Budget posts so I’m digging up a post conveniently titled Real Food on a Budget that I wrote back in February.  I’m also excited to tell you that I’m currently reviewing a book on this subject that I will be able to share with you in a few weeks.  I’ve been comparing prices recently, and it’s quite eye opening.  For now, I will re-publish my post from February.  Be sure to check out these links if you missed them the first time, and then head on over to Moms Need To Know for more helpful posts.

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Originally published February 17, 2010

The way I see it, there are two main road blocks to eating real food:  time and money.  Doesn’t everything come back to that?

So I decided to google “real food on a budget” and see what helpful tips I could come up with.  Ironically, 5 of the top 7 hits are blogs that I already subscribe to.  Here are some articles that  might help if you want to eat more of a whole food diet but aren’t sure how you’re going to afford it:

Eating Real Food on a Budget — Food Renegade says, “There are two components to eating Real Food on a budget. One is learning what foods to prioritize sourcing well, and the other is learning how to manage your kitchen properly to stretch those dollars.”  And she goes on to give advice on both points in her post.  This is a must-read.

Nourishing Food on a Budget and Feeding the Hungry — Nourishing Gourmet.  Kimi shares her thoughts on the topic and a few tips for how she extends her budget.

Saving Money While Eating Real Food — Naturally Knocked Up.  Donielle shares how she budgets for food, and she does it on $300 a month.  I’m going to consider this envelope system because I spend, well, a lot more than that on our food.

Eating Healthy on a Budget — 12 Tips — Kelly the Kitchen Kop shares 12 practical tips for making real food affordable.  There’s a lot of great advice in this article.  It’s definitely worth a read.

A Peek at Our Real Food Budget — Passionate Homemaking.  Lindsay shares her real food budget.  I found this post incredibly fascinating, not only do you see her budget, but what she prioritizes.  Since reading this article, I’ve begun making a trip to Trader Joes one of my weekly stops.  Now I need to learn to can fruit and tomatoes.  GAH.

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6 thoughts on “Real Food on a Budget

  1. One thing I’ve found is that it’s necessary to look at your budget as a whole and not just the food budget. Aside from buying less convenience foods and fast food–which seem cheap but really add up–I have honestly spent a lot less money on things like medicine and dr. co-pays in the past two years than ever before. Also, I’ve had to make some initial investments, like the grain grinder. They are now paying off but were a stretch in the beginning. Most people want it to be cheap and easy, *right now*, but that’s kind of what got our whole industrial food system out of whack in the first place. You have to look at your life as a whole and not just think about, “what you eat.” You also have to be willing to figure out how to manage your time differently. Taking a little more time to make something from scratch can save a lot of money. You just have to be willing to do it. 🙂 Thanks for the links. I’m going to re-read some of those!

    1. You make a REALLY good point. It’s not cheap or easy. It can be cheaper and easier than you may THINK it would be, but it definitely takes commitment and a shuffling of priorities.

      Funny you mention the copay. I hadn’t thought of it like that, but I spent HOURS of my life last year, going to different doctors, getting different tests, trying to figure out what was wrong with my stomach and my digestion. Changed my eating habits, and I haven’t had a problem since.

      That’s a heck of a lot of time and money I’m saving right there. And I’d much rather spend that time and money preparing wholesome food, I’ll tell you that much.

  2. Thank you for all the tips! We have the additional challenges of buying dairy/gluten free food for both myself and son so we definitely have to prioritize! Many snacks and treats we can do without or make homemade instead of spending 5 or 6 dollars a package on!

    I find that if you stick to the basics it’s not as costly and it is certainly a lot less expensive then going out to eat!

  3. Found you from my daily google alerts. Great topic and info. I’m big into real food and I love what you have compiled here. Will dig into this more and will probably reference it this weekend. Right now I’m deep into our 30 Days to a Food Revolution. Hope you’ll check it out.
    I’m big on taking a monthly inventory of my pantry, frig & freezer. Then I use that as the start of my monthly menu. It saved me almost 40% off of my food budget. Shared that info on my blog.

    My biggest question now is reaching the people that don’t read food blogs or people that lean this way. How do we reach those folks. Sometimes I feel like I’m preaching to the choir.

    Can’t wait to come back and poke around!

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