A few months ago, there was some interest about how we menu plan and shop in our kitchen. I've put together a three-week mini-series on what we do addressing: (1) how we eat healthy on our budget, (2) how we menu plan and (3) our shopping habits.
Feel free to ask questions along the way, and I'll answer them as part of the third and final post.
I don't feel like we do anything out of the ordinary, or that hasn't already been said -- but, we've found something that fits with our family, and maybe it will fit with your family too.
Healthy on a Budget: How one family attempts to do this!
Over the past two years, Frog Prince and I have drastically changed the way we eat. Not only do we feel better, the change is also apparent in our grocery bill and the contents of our pantry and fridge.
When we first got married, healthy eating for us was occasionally cooking from scratch -- some of our family favorite recipes -- but mostly eating the "healthier" pre-packaged options. We ate a lot of pre-packaged pasta mixes, muffins, brownies, soups and more. These seemed like good options for us, because we always had coupons in the weekend papers for these products (read: we could save money), and they were marketed as "healthy".
Being the science nerd that I am, I began reading more about the production of our food and spent time reflecting about what Scripture says about our foods. I realized that the things we were putting in our bodies were not enabling us to be very good stewards of our bodies. With having a food allergy and struggling with trusting companies food labels, I began experimenting in my kitchen.
My earlier recipes were borderline from scratch. But, they were a start.
As soon as I found myself comfortable in my kitchen, I realized there were many foods we could stop purchasing, and that I could teach myself how to make: brownies, breads, muffins, syrup, cereal (okay, granola), pizza, crackers, etc.
Hubby and I decided it was a go. Without even trying to shrink our budget, we saw a decrease in our grocery costs because we changed our habits.
Instead of shopping in the center of the store, we shopped the perimeter... and the baking aisle. We purchase basics -- flour, milk, eggs, fruits and veggies and meat. I still use coupons when they are available for the items we purchase, but most of the time, the coupons are less than helpful.
As we did so, our shopping trip became simplified, and so did our pantry! We can make almost everything we eat from these simple ingredients.
The key to making this work for us: we're strategic about what we buy and when..... that was a big reason we still saved money when we stopped being a coupon shopper. We don't just buy these basic items as we need them - we are strategic.
Next Thursday, I'll talk about how we are strategic and provide some simple steps that work for us when we menu plan.