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Old 02-06-2013, 02:41 PM   #21
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Re: Any "real"/traditionally nourished (or paleo) foodies in here?

All of us crazy Pacific Northwesterers

My grocery budget is around $650-675/m for mostly organic produce, standard ("natural") meat and grassfed dairy-- I hate grassfed meat LOL. Then around $50/m for toiletries etc. We do a CSA in the spring and summer.

I am trying really hard to figure out how to cut back on our grocery budget, but I'm drawing a blank.

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Old 02-06-2013, 04:02 PM   #22
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Re: Any "real"/traditionally nourished (or paleo) foodies in here?

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Originally Posted by Marianna1988 View Post
Am I the only person in WA who thinks food prices are reasonable? Lol. But seriously, my friend came to visit, she lived in WY at the time and now lives in Nebraska. Extremely low cost of living (our rent is triple what her house payment is) but our ORGANIC food prices are double her conventional food prices. She was shocked at te price of our produce, dairy, even meat... Then even more shocked when she realized I was getting mostly organics. When we visit my sister in FL (her rent is half of my rent), her Walmart prices were higher than our Fred Meyer prices. Nearly every place we visit around the country has the same price food or higher.
Hmm...maybe it depends on what part of WA? I'm actually just across the bridge in Gig Harbor, and our prices are usually MUCH higher than Tacoma. I know many family members around the US pay way less than I pay for most typical items. I'm surprised that you think our prices are reasonable, I honestly really have to work at keeping on budget.
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:25 PM   #23
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Re: Any "real"/traditionally nourished (or paleo) foodies in here?

OK, so I'm weirded out that a certain Greek yogurt brand name was starred out. o.0

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I can't find the website I got it from, it's been a couple years... but here it is:

olive oil
1/2lb radishes
2 cloves garlic
approx 2T honey
S&P to taste

Basically you blanch the green beans and then put the beans, radishes (sliced or quartered) in a pan with garlic (sliced or minced) and heat until they just start to get soft, then take it off the heat and add the honey and S&P.

It's a very forgiving recipe. We usually double it because between the four of us it goes quick
This is a great idea, thank you!!!

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The biggest thing I do to save money is meal plan and make my own broth for soups/stews and homemade kefir/yogurt. We do own dairy goats (they are dry right now though) and chickens...but honestly I don't think they save us any money at all. I find it really helpful to make a list of all the healthy TF type meals and snacks I could make that are naturally inexpensive. Smoothies with frozen fruit and homemade kefir, sandwiches made with homemade sourdough and leftover grassfed meat, eggs cooked in butter any way you can think of, soups and stews made with homemade broth, etc. We have found that the way we feel best and save a lot of money is by filling our plates with tons of SEASONAL fruits and veggies. We spend our money on TONS of produce (as much organic as we can, but not always) and then fill in the gaps with pantry staples (organic wheat flour, rice, honey, coconut oil, etc) and the VERY highest quality animal products we can. I buy good cheeses, pastured butter, eggs from our hens and we only eat pastured beef or chicken. We have been living on a food stamp level budget and honestly it IS completely doable.
I know it's doable. Just trying to get a feel for what everyone else is doing. We're hoping to work our way towards laying hens at least - dairy goats are on our radar as well. DH isn't on board yet with raw milk, though, so I basically buy organic whole milk for cooking and (hopefully) culturing. My cultures are a gamble, though.
I definitely have a goal for raised beds after we move - our current yard never gets more than 3 hours of direct sun in any one spot. Not veggie-friendly.

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Sorry I was talking to my DH while typing this. Lol. Got my train of thought mixed up. I meant she pays double for conventional that I pay for organic. And like the same foods were double or triple what she paid. I bought a container of organic blueberries for $2.50 (not during blueberry season), she said her kids have never really had them because even in blueberry season they are $6+ for a container of non-organic. She wanted some apple crisps, was surprised that they were $1.29 here where she pays $4 a bag. She lived in one of the biggest towns in WY, so it's not like it was little town store jacking up prices or anything. She had more stores to choose from than I do lol.
Really it comes down to the type of produce. Admittedly we have the *best* prices on apples and many of the berries, organic or no. It's our climate. Other things are high-maintenance growers out here.

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Originally Posted by AmberP View Post
All of us crazy Pacific Northwesterers

My grocery budget is around $650-675/m for mostly organic produce, standard ("natural") meat and grassfed dairy-- I hate grassfed meat LOL. Then around $50/m for toiletries etc. We do a CSA in the spring and summer.

I am trying really hard to figure out how to cut back on our grocery budget, but I'm drawing a blank.
I miss the energy & gas prices of the Gorge (used to live in Vancouver after a brief stint in NE P-town).

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Originally Posted by FernHollow View Post
Hmm...maybe it depends on what part of WA? I'm actually just across the bridge in Gig Harbor, and our prices are usually MUCH higher than Tacoma. I know many family members around the US pay way less than I pay for most typical items. I'm surprised that you think our prices are reasonable, I honestly really have to work at keeping on budget.
Hello!! I'm in Port Orchard, so we alternately shop in GH and Silverdale. Like I mentioned to the PP, I think it has a lot to do with what produce items we're talking about (and how long they had to travel). Fred Meyer's Simply Organic line is making some things easier; and I loved when Costco had the 25# bags of BRM organic whole wheat flour. But we're also at the mercy of the seasons here with our short growing season. Winter food prices can be horrible, and I know I feel it more since PSE started hiking energy costs as well.
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:54 PM   #24
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Re: Any "real"/traditionally nourished (or paleo) foodies in here?

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Well, I'm feeling better. Technically we have a family of 5 (though only 4 routinely eat solids) and I'm trying to keep our budget under $600. In the Pacific Northwest (fairly high cost of living, though not as bad as CA), it's no easy feat.

I know someone mentioned to avoid salad dressings and pancake (or other mixes) - I'm already there. When I said "scratch", I meant scratch. I even make my own stock (I buy whole chickens and stretch them three meals plus generate 2 quarts of stock from each carcass).
We also bought 1/4 free-range beef (split a side with my parents), so that's done. I'm lucky - my mom supplies 50-75% of my eggs for free with her hens. And we do a lot of vegetarian (generally we do only 4-5 meat-inclusive meals a week).

Largely it's the dairy (particularly yogurt) that's killing us. We really only like ***e. I'm trying to culture my own, but we don't keep the house above 68 degrees and it's not the easiest process (raising the house temp would be counter-productive in the thrifty venue).

I'll have to revisit Azure Standard. I'm currently buying a lot of my "shelf-stable" goods from Amazon and Vitacost; supplemented with Costco and Trader Joe's when it's worthwhile. I want to do a CSA but it's been difficult comparing the overall costs ... ? Not sure what I'd do with a lb of radishes each week (seriously!), either. Thanks for chiming in, everyone!
On the yogurt--are you using organic milk? I ask because most organic milk is ultra-pasteurized, which is very difficult to culture because most of the protein has been denatured. Ultra-pastuerized dairy products are dangerous to consume for a variety of reasons as well, so avoid them at all costs. Regular hormone-free milk will work well, or if you can get your hands on grassfed VAT pasteurized milk (Kalona and Hyvee Health Mart are two brands I know of) is the best of the best. Nutritionally and digestively, it's on par with raw milk.
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:04 PM   #25
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Re: Any "real"/traditionally nourished (or paleo) foodies in here?

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On the yogurt--are you using organic milk? I ask because most organic milk is ultra-pasteurized, which is very difficult to culture because most of the protein has been denatured. Ultra-pastuerized dairy products are dangerous to consume for a variety of reasons as well, so avoid them at all costs. Regular hormone-free milk will work well, or if you can get your hands on grassfed VAT pasteurized milk (Kalona and Hyvee Health Mart are two brands I know of) is the best of the best. Nutritionally and digestively, it's on par with raw milk.
I'm aware of the WAP stance on raw vs. pasteurized, but DH is not on board with raw milk yet. Otherwise, I'd be supporting a local raw dairy for just about $1/more a gallon than my organic whole milk. In any case, the organic whole milks I've picked up are "regular" pasteurized, not "ultra-pasteurized." And the main reason I shifted to them from regular milk (rBST is already illegal in my state) is the AB issue. Noticed a definite reduction in both DDs's rash and gut issues when we went 100% organic.

Thankfully, my first attempt with a heritage buttermilk culture took, just in 2X the time (and my house is about 5 degrees cooler than they recommend).
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:06 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Havah View Post
Largely it's the dairy (particularly yogurt) that's killing us. We really only like ***e. I'm trying to culture my own, but we don't keep the house above 68 degrees and it's not the easiest process (raising the house temp would be counter-productive in the thrifty venue).
We have a similar issue in the winter, our apartment is officially 70* but our heat is wonky, the outside temperature has to drop for about 12 hours before our heat kicks on. So making yogurt in the winter can be tricky. A preheated then turned off oven has worked better for us than the counter. But we can get over a quart of very thick strained yogurt from 1/2 a gallon of milk.
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:30 PM   #27
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When I make yogurt I put it in the oven with the light on... The light keeps it warm but not too hot
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:33 PM   #28
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Re: Any "real"/traditionally nourished (or paleo) foodies in here?

Super helpful! Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Melinda29 View Post
We also buy thru Azure Standard and the Nebraska Food Coop. It's a little tricky getting started because the best prices from Azure are bulk prices, like I have 15 pounds of pasture butter coming this month--a year's worth--but it is only $5.30/pound that way. I buy their dry beans in 5 pound bags and cook it all at once--in the oven--and then freeze in 1 3/4 cup portions to use instead of canned beans. It saves both time and money to buy and prep in bulk, but there is a learning curve.

I buy usually 25 pounds of meat at a time from the Nebraska Food Coop (6 months worth, as the nutrient quality of meat decreases over time in the freezer). We typically eat 1 pound each of grassfed beef, pastured pork, pastured chicken, and wild caught fish per week, plus 1-2 dozen eggs. I roast the chickens whole, then shred the meat off the carcass for use later, then make broth from the bones.

I do a big garden every spring and freeze as much produce as possible for the winter, even traditionally canned things like tomatoes and applesauce. I can very little, basically just the fruit from my pear trees and jam from my currant bushes. Canning really destroys most of the nutrients present, so I avoid it when possible.

It took me about 3 years to totally transition over to a real foods lifestyle. Partly it was sourcing foods, partly it was stocking up my bulk purchases to get the best pricing (because I couldn't afford to buy 15 pounds of butter AND 25 pounds of beef AND 20 pounds of beans all at once), but mostly it was learning HOW to cook this way and use my time efficiently. It takes more time and more money, but it is worth it.

My fave resource: heavenlyhomemaker.com
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