I was about to title this "How I cut my grocery bill in half" but then I thought about it. Did **I** really cut it in half? Or was it by the grace of God being faithful to His servant when she seeked Him? You bet it was!
So how did God guide me in cutting our grocery bill in half?
We buy only organic (unless we just cannot find it and am craving it). We do not do dairy (because of allergies) so I make my own fake milk or we go without. When I was buying milk, it was raw goat or cow milk and through an inexpensive source my friend had. I buy only hormone free, free range meat and eggs (though I would LOVE to do grass fed only, I just cannot find it around here).
I did before and I do now. These things have not changed.
What has changed? We buy a lot more unprocessed (yes, it sounds silly to buy organic processed foods), we make our own cleaning supplies, and we use a deep freezer now. We also eat cheaper. $5 Mom is a GREAT place to start (and she shows you how to modify the recipe to be GF, YEAH!!!). We do a lot of beans and rice meals (we change it up a bit like having cajun or Mexican, it is never just plain). :)
We also stopped eating fake foods (like the soy substitutes for meat). If my husband (who does not really like to eat meat) wants a veggie burger, I make it from scratch (no soy and not fake and not processed).
I was spending over $$$ a month to feed our family of 5 (at the time, we are now 6). NOW, we are a family of six and slowly whittled it down to half that a month! It depends on if I find good enough deals to stock up on or if I have to pay full price for something.
What did God show me?? I was led to three discount grocery stores (one is ALL organic and the other two carry some organic). Ask around. They are there, I promise you, but I never would have found them had I not asked around. I no longer shop at Whole Foods (that was the most expensive). I shop those discount stores and I shop Kroger (King Soopers in my area). Kroger has a LOT of organic products including produce AND I get coupons all the time from them specifically for organic products (even like $2 off $10 of produce). Costco is also great because they sell a lot of organic products too as well as produce. Just yesterday I got organic apples for 62 cents a pound! On sale I am lucky to get them at a dollar a pound!
I shop the farmer's markets in the summer and freeze my food (I have not had to buy onions since July! and I still have lots of organic corn on the cob in the freezer as well as peaches I plan to make a peach pie with soon). I am hoping to do salsa this year (we love salsa).
I also stockpile our food. When there is a great sale (on beans, organic meats, etc.), I buy a LOT and shove it in the freezer (meats) or the pantry. Places like Walmart and Target will give away their frosting buckets in the bakery area for free, just for the asking. These are GREAT for storing grains and dry beans in!!
I think the best thing about all of this is my children. The older ones have been there at Whole Foods and now, whenever we do go in there, they are SHOCKED at the prices! :D They get so excited going to the bargain stores and helping me find GOOD wholesome food. They know how to read labels, and they know which brands to get. Through it all, they are learning to be good stewards! AND they are learning how to provide for their family. Even if it is produce they grow themselves (which we are totally gonna try to do this year)! I love seeing how they are learning and they will have a better start in this area than I did.
Letter From Mark
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