Welcome to my musings on home, health and hearth in the light of Christ.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Obviously I am a Mom on a budget.  In our transition from the SAD to an NT diet one primary shock was simply the cost of food.  When I was able to get a regular whole chicken for $1.19/lb at the grocery store, seeing a whole chicken for $4/lb was incredible!

Before I go into my methods for staying on budget, I will say that one reason food is so cheap is government subsidization.  Food at our local grocery store supermarket is cheap because the government pays for it to be.  It's also cheap because it's raised, fed and housed cheaply.  Cheap food is unhealthy food.

That aside, I have had to go through my grocery list with a fine-toothed comb and evaluate every item on there.  Is it really necessary?

First thing to go, junk food and processed food of any kind.  Soda, chips, cookies, all had to go.
This includes junk food masquerading as healthy food - juices, crackers, American or processed Cheese, etc.

Second thing to go - anything I could probably make myself for far less money.  Bread, English Muffins, tortillas, desserts, ice cream...  as time has gone on I have found more and more things I can make myself, including butter, cheese and yogurt.  The only milk products we need to buy now are...well...milk.  And Cheddar Cheese because I haven't learned how to make that yet. 

Making items stretch by saving as much as possible is a key step.  When making cheese I am left with about 2 qts of whey.  Use it again and I get some Ricotta cheese.  Toss the remaining whey?  No, use it yet again in baking or cooking.

When making butter, save the buttermilk for pancakes or marinades.

When cooking any meats, I drain off the drippings in a jar and save them, labeled, of course.  The juices settle at the bottom and gell up for use in soups, the fats used in sauteeing, baking, greasing pans, etc.  The bones are frozen until I have enough to make stock.  Toss the bones when the stock is done?  No!  If you follow the directions in NT the bones end up soft and crumbly.  Puree the remaining bones and put them in soup or the dog's food!  (Ellie LOVES them!)

Next, I looked long and hard at the remaining items.  We've been buying Turkey and Ham for the kids' lunches.  At $8 or more per pound that is a lot of money!  If I buy a whole Turkey Breast for dinner - can't I cook a little extra and use that for lunches?  Same thing with Ham - buy a whole Ham for dinner and it can do triple duty for breakfasts and lunches for a lot less money than buying sliced breakfast or lunchmeat ham. 

After awhile your grocery list starts to look a lot like something from Little House on the Prairie - Coffee, Flour, Sugar, Tea...basic necessities.  Soon your grocery budget will be pared down to a manageable level!

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