Just the Nine of Us

Just the Nine of Us

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Three-Fold Post

This post is sort of an update on our weekend, sort of a book review and sort of a rant. Sorry. :)

Beginning with the weekend update, we took our first field trip of the 2010/2011 school year on Friday. We went to Tuscumbia, AL with several other homeschool families to tour Helen Keller's birthplace and Wheeler Dam. A wonderful time was had by all. :)
On Saturday morning, Brian practiced softball with our Sunday school class team that's going to play in a church-wide tournament next weekend. Since we do everything as a family, the girls and I went with him and cheered him on. May I say my man is a very good softball player. :) Here are some of the girls watching Daddy play. . . .
And on Saturday afternoon, we attempted to buy groceries. I say attempted because after spending $50 at Earth Fare on a measly few items I became so frustrated I just decided to come home and do some more research. I've been reading "The Well Fed Baby" by O. Robin Sweet and Thomas A. Bloom. It's primarily a recipe book for making your own baby food, which is why I was reading it, but I also gained a lot of insight into what all my kids need to be eating. The authors remind parents that "diet and health are inextricably linked", so obviously it's important to pay close attention to what we're feeding our kids. One thing I became more concerned about while reading was the amount of hormones in the meats our kids eat. Since we usually eat meat with at least two of our three meals a day, I know our kids are very much exposed to these hormones. Maggie and Penelope also drink a lot of juice, so Brian and I discussed how changing the kind of juice they drank would help considerably in their sugar intake. We decided to look for hormone-free meats and low- or no-sugar juices in the very least and add more natural snacks to their day. I mean we don't do Little Debbie Cakes or cokes or chips really anyway at our house, but I at least know that carrots are a better snack than Pop-Tarts. You know? So off we went to Earth Fare to look for natural, nutritious foods for our family. I was pleased to see that all Earth Fare meats are hormone-free, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, local, etc. But WOW the prices!!?!?! I mean chicken breasts were $8/lb!!! I figured up, all the produce was basically 30-40% more expensive than at Kroger or a similar store. And can it really be that much better? We buy Horizon Organic Milk, which was also $1 more per half gallon. As we went through the check-out with 5 of the 50 items on my grocery list and paid $50 for them, I felt myself getting enraged over the fact that a family on a budget has to choose between eating healthy and sticking to their budget. I mean seriously, we can't buy these healthy things on our budget. Not and feed 6 people! I think it's sad that good, nutritious food is so expensive. Law! So, my attempt at feeding a growing family of 6 healthy, wholesome foods on a budget continues. . .

Anybody have any tips on being frugal and healthy in the kitchen??


  1. Wow! I've bought the chicken at Earth Fare before and paid half that- I know I bought it on sale, but didn't realize it was that much on sale!
    Also, the Hampton Cove Farmer's Market sells beef from a local, organic farm- I'm not sure of all the prices, I've only bought ground beef, but it was comparable to the beef I used to buy at Target and tastes sooo much better! That's all I'm going to buy from now on!
    When it comes to eating healthy, I figure, I'd rather pay the extra money now to keep my family healthy than pay it later in medical expenses. The way I see it, the money will be spent somehow and I'd rather it be on prevention.

  2. I also only buy the local, organic beef from the Hampton Cove Farmer's Market. I've even met the farmer and he's the real deal; his website is 2733ranch.com and he has his prices up there (1 lb. of ground beef is a little over $4). For chicken, something we do now is buy an organic, whole chicken, which is cheaper than just a pack of two organic breasts. It's kind of messy, but if you fabricate it (cut it up) a whole chicken yeilds two breasts, two wings, you get the idea. http://xfleetwoodx.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/how-to-fabricate-a-chicken-at-least-one-way/ Then you use the bones and extras to make an amazingly nourishing chicken stock, which can used as a base for soups and other things. Here's a video link on how to make the stock: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdaCG8eKsW0, and here's a link on what stock is and why it's so healthy: http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/11/broth-food-that-heals.html. We did this last weekend and froze our extra stock in ice cube trays. Now whenever a recipe calls for chicken broth, I just plop two cubes into one cup of water, and I have homemade, delicious, and nutritious chicken stock.

    Hope some of this helps! Definitely stop by the Farmer's Market in Hampton Cove (over the mountain, Left onto 431, go past The Greenery and it's on the Left); we buy our butter there, too - delicious! (here's a good link on why real butter is healthier for us than the other kind in a tub: http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/11/why-i-use-real-butter-on-my-toast.html?showComment=1258063853458.) Have a great week!

  3. This is one of the most frustrating things that I face as a dietitian working with low income people. It is hard to tell them to eat healthy when it is so much more expensive. I do try to stress balance in cost vs. health. What I have found is that the most important thing to do is to avoid processed so go for fresh foods (fruits, vegetables, meats) over organic. The organic is just so expensive. Skip processed foods as much as possible and just stick to the fresh. Organic is great but just doing fresh is a good compromise in cost. I shop sales on fresh foods and save lots.