Works for Me: Real Food On A Real Budget

This giveaway is closed, and the winner is #25 — Kristen M. Congratulations, Kristen, and big thanks to Stephanie for offering this giveaway!

good-frugal-food-book-cover221Over the past 6-8 months, I have written much on the topic of real food, whole foods, whatever you want to call it.  These posts generate many comments – most encouraging, and some not so much – but the comments that pain me the most are the ones saying they would love to incorporate more whole foods into their diet but feel that they simply can’t afford it.

When I hear such comments, I feel heart sick. Eating well should NOT be complicated. Everyone who earns an honest living should be able to afford nourishing food to eat.

I wish I had better advice, but to be honest, I spend A LOT of money on food. I am thankful that we can afford to. But I know that many can’t, and I often wish I had a great resource to point them to because I KNOW there are people out there who are doing it. I just don’t know how. Or I didn’t, but I do now.

Several times over the past few weeks, I’ve alluded to a book I was reading that has helped me with my meal planning and budgeting.  I finally have the go-ahead to tell you about it!

Stephanie of Keeper of the Home has recently published a book entitled Real Food on a Real Budget — How To Eat Healthy For Less.  In it she explains just how affordable and easy-to-obtain real food can be.  With topics such as budgeting, meal planning, finding sources for real food, eating nutrient-dense foods, gardening, preserving, buying seasonally and locally, and making time to cook from scratch, she focuses on techniques that anyone can adapt to where they live, what they eat, and how big their budget is.

Is it worth it?  YES, IT IS.  Really, I wouldn’t tell you that if I didn’t believe in it.  Since reading her book, I have begun menu planning, as you know.  I’ve also begun a spreadsheet as she suggests, comparing prices on foods I buy.  It’s been quite eye opening.  She discusses how to prioritize what you buy if you can’t do it all (and no one can.)  She’s realistic, but she doesn’t lie to you.  It WILL cost more to eat well, and it WILL take more time, but if it’s a priority for you, it CAN be done.

Everyone will have to come to their own conclusions about what they can make themselves and what may be worth paying the price for convenience, and this book helps you do just that.  She even includes charts and spreadsheets to help you get organized.

I love this quote from the introduction:

Instead of the superwoman of the 90’s, who was supposed to balance a full-time power career and come home to serve Uncle Ben’s to her smiling family, there’s a different sort of woman coming out of the woodwork these days. One who isn’t afraid to get some garden dirt under her fingernails. One who enjoys the therapy of kneading bread on a winter afternoon, who is up to the challenge of learning to can tomatoes and make jam, and who sees the value in cooking homemade food- from scratch, no less. She’s more likely to be seen perusing the farmer’s market (or at least the perimeters of the grocery store) with a cloth bag in hand, and a quick inventory of her pantry would discover bulk wheat berries and dry beans instead of Campbell’s canned soup and Bisquick mix.

For this kind of woman, and the many others who are beginning to wonder what a wholesome, nutritious diet might look like – even on a budget – there is much hope.  Real food on a real budget is not an unachievable ideal.  This book will examine all of the tools I use in my arsenal and explore their full potential.

If she is describing you in those paragraphs, I highly recommend this book.  It should be helpful to anyone struggling to fit real food into their budgets.  It works for me!  🙂

The digital copy (eBook) sells for $18.97, and the paperback book is $21.97 plus $3.99 for shipping.

WIN IT! To win Real Food on a Real Budget in eBook format, leave a comment on this post telling me anything you want about your real food journey and your struggle to fit real food into your budget.  I will select a winner on Monday, May 24th through a random number generator.  This giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world.

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Also, don’t forget about Jenny’s eCourse starting on June 1st.

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Disclosure: I will earn a small commission on any sales of Stephanie’s book or Jenny’s eCourse from my links.  You have my word that I only promote products that I wholeheartedly believe in.

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For more Works for Me Wednesday posts, visit We Are THAT Family.

Join the Conversation

83 thoughts on “Works for Me: Real Food On A Real Budget

  1. Wow, I have never heard of this book but would be VERY interested in winning it! I have been slowly working our diet to a more “real food” diet and we are getting closer. My husband is finally on board and actually excited at times about what we have on the menu for the week. I am putting my husband through college, so money is tight in our home since he is not working. Although, we took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace class and it opened our eyes up to things we were spending money on that could go to much better things–like the grocery store bill. After analyzing where our money goes, we made some adjustments and living on this type of diet is doable, even on my income alone.
    Hope I win 🙂

  2. We are fortunate to live in a surburban Philadelphia county where there are still great farmer’s markets and farm stands. We went to a farmer’s market in Burgundy, France 4 years ago and the fresh quality of the food there sent me on a great “real food” journey. In France, when I requested fresh figs at the farmer’s market, the farmer asked when I was going to eat them. When I said “Aujourd’hui (today}”, he carefully picked up a few figs to give me the ones that were just right for eating that day. Bliss! I would love to win this book.

  3. We are sloooowly learning about whole/real foods and how to turn around our eating habits – without going broke. We are learning that there is a balance. This book looks amazing! Thanks!

  4. I am still stuck on making my own bread and not buying any processed junk. I’m still shopping at the grocery store and walmart. I can’t seem to find time to research anyfarms in my area or shop the farmers market.

  5. This book looks so interesting! I am a strong believer in eating healthy and although it seems like it costs more sometimes, I think the benefits outweigh the costs. That being said, there is no reason to break the bank on your food budget!
    Thanks for the info on the book!

  6. Our journey has been the last six months or so. I have always tried to cook healthy, but alas fell victm to the USDA Food Pyramid guidelines(ugh!!!) thinking that I was feeding my family well. I think for me the biggest change in me and my thinking is about food being nourishement, not just fulfilling my hunger pains. I have really tried to cultivate nourishment through traditional (my grandparents) foods. Although there are some items I cannot afford right now (like org. pastured chicken) we have come a long way. I am excited to see how long term these changes benefit my children and their future health.

  7. I would love to have this book, too. I buy local and organic meat, have a big veggie garden and access to some great Ottawa-area (Canada) farmer’s markets, but I feel as though I’ve barely scratched the surface of what I could be doing better in the kitchen. And, yes!, the grocery budget for a family of three (with frequent guests) usually tops $900/month. Budget tips would be much appreciated!

  8. I always want to buy the organic or local but the added expense is a factor my decisiions. I would love to learn how to do better on a budget. It think it is really important to support farms and businesses who are providing whole & organic foods but can’t alwals afford those options.

  9. I would love to have this book! I recently returned to working fulltime and am raising three teenage boys. I am really trying to keep us eating “real food” but I would love to figure out how to do it within a more practical budget.

  10. Our real food journey has been plodding along for the last three years or so. Starting with only shopping around the perimeter of the grocery store, then moving along to shopping at the farmers market, to buying locally raised beef, to………we’ll see what’s next. A challenge for me is the price of organic fruits and veggies and the fact that it seems to be impossible to buy canadian grown organics in my small town.

  11. I am just at the start of my real food journey and this book would be very helpful. We just bought 3 acres and I would love to learn more about growing and canning, spending more wisely and about cooking from scratch. Great giveaway!

  12. Figuring our a way to make eating healthy lestt expensive would be great! I am trying my best but I should have started when my children were younger. Now that the kids are teenagers they have tasted OREOS and CHEETOS and they think they can’t live without them! They are slowly acknowledging that “Junk Food” is really not good for your body!

  13. Hi Jo-Lynne — yep, I’m leaving a comment because I would like nothing more than to win this book. It sounds like just what I need. My husband and I are determined to start eating healthier and have recently moved to a new state (I mean, like last week! I am still trying to find my kitchen!) New house, new habits — right? Still — the first trip to the local store was a shocker. We lived in western NY (yes, we had our beloved Wegmans with their great produce and prices everywhere) and here in MA — well, prices are double. I’m not working yet so we are definitely watching our food dollars and I could not only use help with figuring out how to make good choices, but how to do it on a budget. And meal planning is a whole new thing for me (we were fast food junkies … and are trying to reform.) Help. This book sounds like it’s just what we need.

    1. Barbara, one thing we discovered is that when we stopped eating out, we saved SO much money. It’s really helped to stretch our grocery dollars. I know Stephanie (the author of this book) lives in a very expensive area of Canada so she is no stranger to high food prices. I think you’d find the book quite helpful! 🙂

  14. I’m still trying to find raw milk. It can only be sold here for pet use, and all I’ve found it $12 a gallon and an hour drive away! I’m doing much better and trying my freshly ground whole wheat on lots of recipes and finding it much easier than I expected to make the work. I love that! Sounds like a great book.

  15. We went organic and from-scratch and we save a boatload. Packaged and processed is NOT cheaper, and hurts everyone in the long run by taking $ away from organics (keeping those costs high) and contributing to bad business ethics and health costs.

    What’s amazing is that after a few months of eating this way you really can’t stomach the fast, cheap stuff anymore. The hardest bit is to begin.

    1. I’ve totally lost my taste for junk now. Even the smell grosses me out. I feel so totally victorious!

  16. Looks like a great book. I have no “real food” journey, but I’ve always felt that moderation was the key to eating healthy. I cook most of our foods from scratch (including yogurt) because they simply taste better. But I also buy a lot of packaged foods for the kids’ lunches. I try to get my kids to eat a varied diet, and we frequently talk about a good meal having many different colors (naturally of course) from fruits, veggies, meats, etc.

    I’d love to win this book because my food budget keeps getting bigger and bigger (and our income keeps getting smaller…).

  17. This book sounds great! I’ve started menu planning which has made a huge difference when 4 o’clock comes around and I wonder, “What should I make for dinner tonight?” I’ve started buying more organic food and making healthier options for my family. These are all little things that will add up, I hope. I’m sure this book can take my family even further along the eating healthier route. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

  18. What an inspiring message! I would love to learn more about how to do this! I’m just starting to eat more real foods and really struggling, and would love this great resource!

  19. I love Stephanie’s site and I’d love to win a copy of her new book! I stumbled upon your blog from Kelly the Kitchen Kop. We have been moving more and more toward real food over the past couple of years. We spend a lot of money on food. My goal is to start making things from scratch (instead of buying them already made) -one item at a time. I’ve mastered some yummy soaked muffins, grinding wheat for pancakes and replacing store bought bread (which is SO expensive if you buy the good stuff).

  20. I guess I am just taking baby steps. We bought a 1/4 cow with my parents from a local family. That makes me feel good. I am slowly trying to eat out less (which will allow more room in the budget for groceries.) Would love to learn more from the book.

  21. I have been buying organic when I can, but I really want to incorporate more real foods, whole foods, and not blow my budget. I would love to hear the ideas in this book. Thanks.

  22. I would love to read this book – since making our household gluten-free and mostly organic/natural/whole foods, I am spending a fortune on food, 3-5 times more $ than before – I’d love any tips or advice for buying on a budget without compromising healthfulness. Thanks too, for your awesome blog. I enjoy reading your perspective on things!

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