stretching food dollars the real food way

by babhoyersh on September 3, 2010

Let’s face it, real food can be expensive. Many of us face sticker shock when faced with the true cost of organic or local fruits and vegetables or grass-fed meat, not underwritten by the tax payer through subsidies. Here are my ways to stretch our grocery dollars. Next week I’ll share my plans to stretch my skills in the upcoming months.

Ways to Save

  • grow your own food – this can be as simple as a few plants in pots or a small plot in the yard or a big garden, whatever works for your own family – for the cost of a packet of seeds ($1.29), you can have fresh lettuce (almost on the dirty dozen list) during the summer, pesticide free or 5 lbs. of seed potatoes for $10 or less, you’ll have pounds and pounds of pesticide-free potatoes (one of the dirty dozen)
  • save those precious organic or local veggie trimmings for stock, especially the carrots (dirty dozen), onions, and celery (dirty dozen)
  • buys seconds from your farmers market and use them in smoothies or use the less than perfect fruit sitting in your fruit drawer
  • if you use bananas in your smoothies, add in cheaper vegetables like shredded carrots (dirty dozen) which will be masked by the banana
  • use applesauce (dirty dozen), peach puree (dirty dozen), and mashed bananas to stretch the good fats like coconut oil. These can also help you reduce the amount of sweetening used in baked goods, but you’ll need to experiment to find what works for your family.
  • save chicken fat from organic or locally-raised chickens and use it for sauteing veggies or cooking eggs
  • save bacon grease from nitrate-free bacon and use that for cooking
  • add spices, salt and pepper to taste. If you check the taste while making the dish, you may find that adding seasonings makes a bland dish like rice taste really great and wins your family over.
  • puree the cheaper and less strong-tasting veggies and add them to dishes. For example: carrots in mac and cheese, red pepper and zucchini in tomato sauce, carrots in smoothies, cauliflower in mac and cheese

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    Ann Kroeker September 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    These are such sensible ideas that we could all easily do, but we have to break our other habits…or even just the way we naturally think about our lives (non-gardeners have to stretch themselves to think to plant the lettuce and so on).

    I love this.

    It's simple, doable, and inspirational. I'm so glad you linked to Food on Fridays!

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