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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Feeding My Family


I like to keep feeing my family simple, I prefer to use the Stocked Pantry Method. I have tried the menu planning method but for me it ended up costing me more, and involved more time.
I confess that when I go shopping I have a bizarre habit. I like to peek in the baskets of the customers around me at the check out line. It gives me a peek into their lives. Think about it when you go to the grocery store what you put in your cart tells people a lot about who you are and what your values are. Believe me it does. Many years ago I was a cashier and I played the same game and would check out what people put in their carts then.
Food Prices are going up, they have gone up  %, chances they are that they will continue to go up.
I like to feed my family good nutritious food. As a family, we do not adhere to any one cooking style, such as Weston Price, Gluten free, Vegan, Paleo, though I do incorporate elements of each into a meals. We eat Real Food here. I define real food as food that is mininally processed and as as close to nature as God intended it to be. What that means for us is that typically I do NOT buy prepackaged or processed food. When we eat dinner or pack our lunches for school we do so with real food that was prepared at home.
  • We eat gluten light (not free ) I am gluten free but the kids are not – so anything I prepare for the family will be gluten free but we do have regular bread in the house for the kids.  I don’t bother buying special gluten free foods for myself, no gluten free bread, rolls etc. I just prefer to do without. The exception is a gluten free pasta that I get so I can eat spaghetti with the family once a month.
  • We do not drink a lot of milk, a gallon generally lasts us a week, the biggest consumer of milk is my dh. I am dairy free but the kids and husband do eat cheese. I buy a minimally processed preferable local cheese but when they are not available I will buy the big blocks of Kerry Gold or Cabot’s Vermont.
  • One pound of meat is enough to feed our family of 5 for at least one meal, usually with leftovers. 
I confess I do buy packaged food from time to time, but we aim for the 80/20 rule. Eat 80% of our meals at home from unprocessed/unpackaged food.  I will buy the occasional treat like store bought cake and ice cream for my son’s birthday the other day. But that only happens a couple of times a year.
If you were to run into me at the big grocery store you would be likely to find the following in my cart.
  • tp
  • baking soda
  • washing soda
  • dish soap
  • dishwasher detergent (I am looking for a good alternative to this, let me know if you have one)
  • sale produce
  • white vinegar – by the gallon
  • Borax
  • herbal teas
  • Natural Peanut Butter with no added sugar
  • Whole Wheat loaf bread for the kids, with no High Fructose Corn Syrup – read the labels closely, even though some brands advertise right on them they have no HFCS.
at Sam’s
  • organic salad greens
  • organic spinach
  • whole cooked rotisserie chicken –at $6.99 – this gives me a break on busy days and keeps us away from the fast food places
  • fruit
  • big bags of brussel sprouts
  • baby carrots
  • Lara Bars
  • oatmeal – for making our Homemade Cliff Bars
  • cheese – I find mini bell and Kerry Gold Cheese at mine. – no sliced cheese at our house.
At our Local Store
  • Sale produce
  • Nature Well Meats – on sale
  • Smart Chicken -  on sale
  • Organic Cereal – yes my little local store is the best place to get Organic breakfast cereal.
  • Pop corn – they have big bags for us to pop our corn in the Whirly Pop.
  • dried beans - they have a HUGE variety bigger than the big store. 
  • bulk grains - brown rice, buckwheat groats 
At our Food Co-op
  • We get a meat share about every other week – this runs us $32.50 for hormone free grass fed local meat. I can chose to opt in from week to week and I am not obligated to purchase each week, they also offer breakfast shares and produce shares.
At the Farmer’s Market -  I only go about every other week, since it is a bit of a drive for me.
  • meat about $20 worth of the sale meats offered by local producers
  • produce in season.
At Our Local Health Food Store
  • buckwheat noodles (gluten free option for the whole family)
  • artichoke flower pasta (gluten free option for the whole family)
  • raw walnuts
In our Garden
  • I grow easy to grow foods
    • tomatoes
    • onions
    • lettuces
    • spinach
    • rosemary
    • basil
    • sage
    • kale
  • We also have an orchard,that came with the property, that has
    • apple
    • pear
    • peach
    • blackberries
I do not shop every store every week. I do not do a “big shop” anymore. Until recently I was doing a two week shopping trip.  I do not even go shopping every week. How do I manage to not go shopping all the time? I buy multiples when I do go, (When the closest store is 7 miles away it is inconvenient to run out of things, so you learn to buy two.) Because I use the stocked pantry method of meal planning I don’t need to worry about needing and ingredient for dinner and not having it, I just adjust and move on.   You may be wondering where the “kid food’ is. They eat what we eat, there are no chicken nuggets, or cookies or crackers. or juice. I feel as if cookies and crackers and juice are filler food and are not the best food for kids or anyone.
After writing this I wished I could have included my food expenditures for you, but alas I did not think to save my receipts and it can vary from month to month, since I do take advantage of sales and stock up, If hard pressed to put a number on it I would have to say I feed my family of 5 for about $500-$600 in an average month.
How about you do you have any secrets to feeding your family?

This post is linked up to Your Green Resource


Debbie said...

We eat out of the pantry, too. It sounds like we do thing pretty similar. This year I am hoping to freeze and can more. My 12 year old is entering canning at the county fair this year, so we started making jams.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

I love making jams, the berries are starting to come in here, so hopefully soon we can go picking. I really do need a bigger freezer because I sometimes run out of room, but that is when I stop shopping and start eating.

Carolyn said...

It's not too bizarre a habit. I do it too! I like to think about what they are going to make with it or if it looks like they're having company over. My basket is starting to look better over the last year or so as well.

Anonymous said...

I have a dishwasher detergent recipe for you. I have been using this recipe for a few months now and absolutely LOVE it!

Dishwasher Detergent:
•2 c. borax
•2 c. baking soda
•4 little packages of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid (or generic)

Mix together and store. You can substitute ½ c. of citric acid for the Kool-Aid but it’s harder to find.

Here is the website I found it at

I love the simplicity of this recipe! I hope you like this recipe as much as I do.

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

looks like stuff I already have except for the kool aid.

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