Jan 9, 2011

HB's Real Food Resolutions

This week we are continuing our series on Real Food Resolutions. Today's post is written by HB who has also shared with us her real cheese dip,  don't hate the okra, and the baby steps her family has taken on a real food diet.

1. Do less, be more.

I've been taking my family on this wonderful, crazy, challenging, totally un-American journey into real food for nearly two years now. It's time to stop trying new things and stick with the basics that are working. So, I am taking a big ole break from incorporating new recipes, making new beverages, and trying to convince my sweet hubster that spaghetti squash tastes just like Ronco pasta!! You know it does! :) I've finally figured out how to make delicious bread, granola, and many other recipes that fill our bellies and nourish our bods. For now, I'd like to take it easy, enjoy nutritious food and live a little outside my kitchen.

2. Get back to my food-budgeting roots.

My man and I got hitched in November of '03. For the first two years of our marriage, our food budget was less than $125 a month. Yes, it's true. We were squeaking!! It was awesome. Actually, I mean, it wasn't really awesome because we definitely ate some processed junk, but I loved the feeling that resulted from conquering the food budget. I was large and in charge and my man was happy. Seven years and three kids later, our food budget is way, way, way more than $125 a month. That figure just makes me laugh. I've given myself plenty of time to get used to eating real food and lots of wiggle room in the budget. Now that I've tackled feeding my family real food, it's time to take this budget DOWN! My goal is to cut it down by 40%. I know that seems extreme, but hey, if you're gonna set a goal, why not get crazy!?!?

Here are some ways that I plan to save some cizash:

buying wonderful pastured eggs from the farmer who gives me the best price. This is not super convenient, but a gal's gotta do what a gal's gotta do.
ordering most of our organic produce from Azure Standard. Azure has already saved me a load of money. They have great products and dang good prices. If you live in Arkansas, details are here.
continue buying our meat in bulk. I buy our pork and chicken from Cove Creek Acres and our beef from Falling Sky Farm. I know these farmers personally and they are great people who work hard to bring the best grass fed meats to my table. Buying meat in bulk has saved me literally hundreds of dollars.
continue meal planning. I am a die hard menu planner. I love, love, love to plan a good menu. Makes mouths happy.
once-a-month cook what I can so that we have great meals prepared when we are pressed for time and tempted to eat out.
eat out less!!! My man and I are trying our darndest to not spend a dime on eating out for the entire month of January. So far, so good. Only 20 something days to go. That's not too bad, right? Right??? I've begun twitching slightly when we drive past Layla's on Rodney Parham. They miss me, I know they do.
ask my farmers if they will trade with me. I make lots of bread and am happy to trade. Making bread is easy. :) Shhhh...don't tell.
grow some seriously good veggies this summer. We had a garden last year and it was fabulous. My children snacked out of the garden until there was nothing left. We saved a ton of money by gardening.

I think that's all I'm resolved to do at the moment. When our children are older and don't need every single ounce of my attention and energy from the hours of 7 a.m. till 8 p.m., I will likely add some more food goals to my plate. Get it? :) For now, I'm enjoying feeding my family well, but mostly, I'm just enjoying my family. Happy New Year, friends!!!


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