A Week of Real Food on a Budget

by lydia on October 13, 2012

Since I announced my tight food budget, I thought I’d share further how I plan to make it work. Bear with me, cause I am still figuring it out myself. I went food shopping today – hit 3 different stores; Trader Joes, Martindale’s Natural Food Market and Gentiles Produce Market. I managed to spend $93 at all 3 locations, $5 of it was a kombucha and 2 yogurts for Christian and I, since we needed lunch. Below is everything I purchased, including the bushel of apples for another $12. Those my mom had picked up near Lancaster from a friend. I also had a milk and egg delivery today in which I got 4 gallons of raw milk and 5 dozens pastured eggs for $32. Grand total for the next 10 days was $137.

Now granted, I have quite an array of things in my fridge and pantry and deep freezer to add to the mix, but as time goes on I think it will get trickier to pull off. I will do my best to post my results as I go, at least for awhile. I do have cheese, mushrooms and pepperoni already for homemade pizza we’ll have Sunday night with company – so that was a bit of a splurge that I did not count for the week. I haven’t made homemade pizza in years since going gluten free, other than my ‘Meatza‘. The boys liked it at first, but complained the last time I made it – they want ‘normal’ pizza. So, I am attempting my first gluten/grain free sourdough pizza crust this week. So, my spending this week doesn’t fully reflect what I am working with. Next week will be tighter – so stick with me as I iron out the kinks and work to stay within my budget.



Pictured above; I bought one whole chicken to make two dinners and about a gallon of stock. I may go ahead and make giblet gravy for one meal, I haven’t planned how I’ll make the chicken dinners yet.  I bought one pound of grass fed beef frozen from Trader Joe’s. I will stretch that into two meals by adding beef heart and lamb heart that I already have on hand. I’ll do 50/50 ground beef to heart meat. I’m thinking cottage pie for one dinner, and not sure on the other meal. The 2 pounds of ground turkey will be made into breakfast sausage for 4 breakfasts. Some of the cheddar cheese will be used for potato skins (potatoes already on hand) with bacon from the bacon ends and served with steamed broccoli. The parmesan wedge was a bit of a splurge, at $3.18 for something not critical. I will be making chicken liver pate for myself for lunches and I like to serve my pate on a slice of parm. I would like to create a suitable cracker recipe, but this week I don’t think I’ll have time.  I’ll save the rind in the freezer to add to soups, and likely won’t use the whole wedge this week.

I don’t usually buy chickens at Trader Joes – I usually get them from my farmer. However, in trying to tighten up the budget, I went with a whole chicken from Traders to make a few meals. I’ll likely stock up on chicken from my farmer in the coming weeks.

The herbs are thyme and tarragon – I need the thyme for my pate, then I’ll dehydrate whatever I don’t use before it turns. The tarragon was a splurge, only about $1 though, because I am smitten with tarragon and never seem to find it fresh, so I snatched it up to dehydrate and have on hand since I am currently out. The 5 lbs of carrots will be used for snacks and lunches. They will be sliced into sticks and served with homemade white bean hummus or homemade cream cheese dip throughout the week. The hummus I have already made in the fridge.

The little container of Ervian yogurt I will use to start a new batch of homemade yogurt, since I haven’t made any yogurt in awhile I didn’t have any starter. I plan on making 2 quarts of yogurt and experimenting with a lemon ‘syrup’ to add to it for the kids lunches. All my boys like the Liberte lemon yogurt, so I am going to try to replicate it. Lemon seemed to be a cheaper way to flavor the yogurt than it would be to use berries. The broccoli will be used for 2 meals and I’ll be sure to use the stalks too. The plums will be eaten by themselves, but about 3 will be used to make kefir leather and that will go into lunches for a snack. Garlic and ginger are just staples in my home and I was completely out of both. I think that hunk of ginger cost me .48 cents.

Two sticks of the butter went into the freezer stash immediately. I was only down to one stick in my stash. I’ll use 2 sticks for the pate and a pound for various other needs. The olive oil will be used to make more mayo if needed and hopefully last me at least 2 weeks. The sugar is so I can make 2 big batches of kombucha and a batch of water kefir. The millet flour will be used to feed my sourdough starter so I can make pancakes, 1 loaf of sourdough bread and 2 pizza crusts. I should have enough to make more things too if needed.

I have big plans for these apples, they will last us well beyond a week. I’d like to make some into cider to make hard cider. Applesauce is on the docket, along with some dehydrated apples for easier storage. I hope to make some for apple crisp and perhaps an apple pie. (If only I could come up with a killer gluten free crust)! I’m sure the kids will be eating them plain too, and we’ll likely feed Jimmy, the guinea pig, some peelings!

This is a work in progress -stay tuned and I’ll share how my week goes! I am not planning to go to the store for anything else for at least a week!

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LydiaLydia Joy Shatney is a certified Nutritional Therapist Practitioner through the Nutritional Therapy Association. Additionally, she is the chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation in Delaware County, Pa. (Find the group here on Facebook). Lydia is also a member of the Nourished Living Network. Lydia founded Divine Health in March of 2010. You can find Lydia on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Lydia offers specialized step by step counseling to transform your health. Personalized consultations to suit your specific needs are offered via phone, Skype or in person. Lydia offers a variety of packages offered to suit your individual needs. Contact Lydia today for your free initial consult and to learn more about what she has to offer you!

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