Friday, February 19, 2010

Finding Real Food on a Budget

My family began the switch to real food about a year ago. When we were first starting out I didn't research many options and just bought food at Whole Foods and Kroger or the Farmer's Market. It was almost half way through the summer when I heard of produce auctions. My parents and I went and we came home with a ton of veggies for very little money. I haven't bought onions or peppers since August. I would much rather grow all our veggies but my garden didn't do very well and the produce auction was much much cheaper than our farmer's market.

I also bought many veggies from Amish roadside stands to help round out what I needed to can. The produce might not have been certified organic but I was happy to be supporting local families.

My next step was finding raw milk. We are blessed to have several sources and the milk is only $5 a gallon for grass fed organic raw milk. This was a huge savings over buying $8 a gallon organic milk at the store!!

After finding cheaper veggies and milk I started purchasing items in bulk. My biggest mistake was not shopping around. I just bought what I thought was the cheapest and ended up spending more!! I just found the best place to buy organic bulk flour, sucanat, and various other items that will save me at least $50!!

Meat was our final stop. I have found 100% grass fed beef at our small local organic store for only $3.89lb which is a 50% savings over what I had been buying. I also have a friend who is selling me whole pasture raised chickens for $2lb which is $1lb cheaper than my previous price.

My goal is to feed my family of seven real local food for under $600.00 a month. It is a struggle right now because of lack of produce in our garden but I think will be totally doable once the garden is producing and local fruits are available again.

Do you have any tips on eating real food on a budget?

For more frugal ideas check out Life as Mom



Jonalynn said...

We buy a whole grass fed cow and split it with a few families. This saves a lot compared with buying it in a store. It also allows us to have better cuts. My husband loves his steaks!
I would love to buy raw milk. If you'd be willing to share your source, please email me Raw milk is the only thing I've yet to come by.

Jenny said...

I am wondering what part of Ohio you are located in. I too am from Ohio and we stopped drinking organic milk because it was costing us about $50 a week just for milk. I would love to know where you get your milk, chicken, etc from.

Email me also if you don't mind sharing with me @

Thanks so much.

Jennifer said...

I want to hit the produce auctions more next summer, thanks so much for giving me the info. It would be fun to meet you IRL there one time.

Anonymous said...

Circumstances are the rulers of the weak, instrument of the wise..........................