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Old 06-13-2006, 02:42 PM   #1
Watercolor Ponies
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s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

eat healthily, organically, etc? I was reading the frugal thread and wondering this. I would love to shop at WF all the time, but quite frankly, it is way too expensive to be our regular grocery store. Especially for things like meat and milk products. So is Trader Joes. I choose organic when I can at my local supermarket, but I could save so much more if I didn't. I do get stuff like whole wheat everything I can, and low sodium stuff, and generic organic 9which I sometimes question-bcs if you can make it for that much cheaper, then why doesn't everyone?) Plus in order to make meals that feed all of us, it is easier to pick stuff like Tater Tot Casserole and Tuna Casserole-not traditionally healthy, kwim? So how do you find the balance? I want to save money, and sometimes that takes precedence over eating healthybcs we can't afford it

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Old 06-13-2006, 02:51 PM   #2
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

I think it probably depends on what you define as frugal. dh found the Hillbilly Housewife site the other day and I have to admit that I'm very glad that I don't have to try and feed 6 people on a budget of $70/week. I'm not knocking those who need to/want to, but that's just not for me if necessity doesn't demand it.

I do try to buy as much organic stuff as I can, and I'm fortunate that groceries seem to be particularly cheap here and that our big grocery chain carries a lot of organics.

I think one of the biggest keys to frugal shopping is not buying as much processed stuff. Shopping the outside of the store (as someone else put it), take advantage of summer produce/sales on meats, etc and your freezer (canning, preserving, freezing stuff while it's cheaper). Also eating at least some vegetarian meals is another easy way to cut back on costs or reducing your meat portions (3-4 oz/person rather than the typical super-sized 8 oz portions you get in restaurants).

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Old 06-13-2006, 02:51 PM   #3
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

It's possible IF you are willing to put in a ton of work to do it. We eat organic veggies & fruits & I grow most of it in my backyard. We even have grapes and raspberries starting this year & DH "says" he is going to build a place for them to climb. I cut & freeze LOTS so that we have it all winter as well, then it starts again. What I can't grow (like nannas and stuff) I buy at stores like Meijer, etc b/c there are no WF or anything like it even remotely close to me. A lot of times I buy at the end of the week b/c that is when they mark down all their old produce (ask your store what day they do this) and you can get it way cheaper then.

You can also make many of your own things w/a food processor/juicer/blender. Lots of expense goes into prepared organics as well. I was lucky enough to get a juicer in an estate for nothing that will do so much - even make peanut butter. I have a Jack LaLane in the closet that I was using before. You can alsy dehydrate stuff as well for snacks (I got a dehydrator at a garage sale new for like $5). Anyway... all these helpful things I have aquired and didn't start with.

BUT being organic and frugal certaintly can't mean kicking back! It's work all the time.
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Old 06-13-2006, 02:57 PM   #4
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

If I had a big enough yard, I would grow stuff, but we just don't have that kind of room. I want to learn to can stuff, so I can at least preserve farmers market stuff, but I ahve no idea how to do it. MIL does it, but she lives too far to show me. But here is what bugs me too, is that "farmers market" stuff is just grocery store stuff disguised as home grown. It is hard to find good stuff. I remember as a kid going to FM and finding all kinds of good in season stuff. For instance they are selling corn in may (im in VA, but originally from IL) so as every good midwest girl knows, you can't get good corn until after July 4th-at the earliest! So where on earth are these veggies coming from?
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Old 06-15-2006, 12:12 PM   #5
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

I agree totally on the FM stuff now. Dallas used to have the most awesome farmers market. Real true farmers would bring in their stuff. Alot of them came from the Valley down around the Mexican border and had the most beautiful produce you had ever laid eyes on. Now, it is all prepackaged in plastic shrink wrap.

I can't afford to much in the way of organic either right now. Here anything organic in the store is almost double the price of the non-organic stuff. I am lucky enough to have a small garden spot in my yard as well as an herb garden in a flower bed. Unfortunately, not much of my yard gets enough sun to grow stuff. The sad thing is I can't even cut down the trees that block it because they are my neighbors huge oaks. You can pretty successfully grow most herbs and some veggies such as bush beans, bell peppers and tomatoes in flower pots though if you have a sunny spot on a porch. It may not be much of a start, but it is very rewarding to know the tomato in tonights salad was grown by you yourself.

Canning is not hard. There are different ways to do it though for different things. I was lucky enough to grow up on a farm and my Mom taught me how to can all kinds of stuff. I am about to make my own tomatoes and tomato sauce. You basically sterilize your jars, seals and rings the same way you do baby bottles by boiling them. Then, make sure they are perfectly dry. For tomatoes, you cook them first. Hot things are the easiest to jar up IMO. After you cook them, just put them straight into the jars while they are still piping hot. Wipe around the lip of the jar with a clean rag to make sure there is nothing on it, then put on you seal and ring. I then turn them upside down on the counter so the heat from the food seals the lid. You know it's sealed when you hear a pop sound. HTH
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Old 06-15-2006, 01:17 PM   #6
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

I will try that! I thought canning involved all sorts of boiling and stuff. Are tomatoes the only thing you can do that way?
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Old 06-16-2006, 04:55 AM   #7
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

The boiling part is another method used called a water bath. If you don't cook whatever it is you want to can or cook it and cool it, then the boiling part comes in. Basically what you do there is put your closed jars in a big pot, cover them with water and boil it to seal the jar. Anything you cook hot can be done the way I told you I'm going to do the tomatoes. Some other things I have helped can or canned myself include jellies, peppers, apples, applesauce, pears and green beans. The key is to make sure the food is still boiling hot when you put it in the jar and put the lid on. You also have to make sure you throughly wipe off the lip of the jar before placing on the seal. If there is any moisture there the seal won't pop.
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Old 06-20-2006, 02:31 PM   #8
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

I really have to prioritize what I buy organic. I *always* buy organic butter, cheese, eggs and milk. The toxins are stored in fat cells so you benefit the most from buying stuff that is fatty. I also almost always buy natural/organic chicken. I've heard way too many horror stories about poultry processing plants. We have a local meat company I buy beef from - they're not organic, but I feel better that they're local and family owned. This fall (once we buy a chest freezer) we'll most likely go in with family/friends and buy a side of beef from a place that has grass fed, natural or organic cattle. I'm still researching where we'll buy from. It ends up being less than $2 per pound, but because of the volume it's a big investment up front (hey, kind of like cd'ing!). But I don't bother buying organic pretzels or whatever. I like the taste of organic produce, and would love to buy all organic, but conventional is fine for now. Oh, my dd gets organic everything, though, because I'm paranoid. HTH
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Old 06-23-2006, 01:20 PM   #9
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

I found the best site! It is called The Hillbilly Housewife. Here is the link:
http://hillbillyhousewife.com/index.htm

Not everything on there is super healthy, there may be a new spin on your tater tot casserole, but they do have some really good recipes including soy, TVP and the like on there. She also has a very interesting way of making cheap hamburger leaner than the more expensive leaner stuff. I'm gonna give it a try myself and see.
Oh, and I must say that even if it isn't super healthy, I tried the "magic milkshake" Although I reduced the sugar. It rocked!
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Old 06-24-2006, 06:21 PM   #10
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Re: s/o Is it possible to be frugal and..

We have big fruit and veggie gardens. Everything from apples and blueberries, to tomatos and peas. All organically grown in our backyard. I also belong to a food co-op and order in bulk things like rice, dried items(flours), & spices (all organic). We can and make jams from our own garden as well
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