Saturday, August 8, 2009

New Phase or New Me?

By now, most of you are probably ready for me to move on dot org with my whole "I finally figured out that eating crap is a bad idea" series and find something new to write about.

Soon, but not yet. I found this interesting post today and wanted to get your thoughts.

I find myself in the same place as this blogger. I have eliminated all packaged and heavily processed foods from our diet. I buy mostly organic produce (with emphasis on avoiding the "dirty dozen.") With just a few exceptions, I am making all of our food. And to be honest, it costs a lot more. We have reworked our budget to accommodate these new changes. We moved money from the "entertainment/eating out" category to "grocery" and I still find myself having to put things back when I am shopping.

I'm in the process of figuring out the best ways to spend our money. For example, my current rule of thumb is that I buy organic produce that isn't in season but that we aren't quite ready to give up yet in the interest of eating "in season only" foods, like lettuce or carrots or apples, at the grocery store. There is a local organic co-op where I could buy these things, but they are shipping them in too and the overhead at HEB is much lower so they cost less there.

But for seasonal items, I have found it more cost-effective to order a "share" of produce. You don't get to choose what you get but I like having some choices made for me. I would like to, one day, eat entirely seasonally, but I'll climb that hill another day. Or year.

That's just one area I'm attempting to order. I'd love to hear any tips you have for what you buy or how you buy it.

It isn't cheap to eat real food. But I do see it as an investment. And an obligation. And a pleasure actually.

8 comments:

Kathryn said...

I agree with you 100%. I slightly resent what our society has done to food that makes eating junk so financially appealing (besides the obvious appeal). It's cheap for a reason. There isn't much to it. We joined Costco for many reasons, but it's biggest draw for me now is the selection of high-quality produce and meats at an average of 40% cheaper (per unit). The obvious downside is having bulk produce that only lasts about a week. I simply consider this a personal challenge to get it in me and my family before it goes bad. My meals usually get planned around what I need to get out of the fridge. I've even found some veggies that can be pureed and frozen. We are eating so much better as a result. There are even several vegetable Blake will munch on raw now(orange bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots) after lots of coaxing and catching him while he's really hungry. :-) It's a wonderful phase!

Kimberly said...

You may be referring to the co-op program that is in my neighborhood. If not, I can send info to you about that. I am starting to think that a group of us need to start a garden of 1 type of veggie per person and share the wealth. I looked into growing veggies in a container and I am sure it must be tougher than it sounds... :) My grandparents used to grow most of their produce...I just don't see how they did it.

Robin said...

No, it's not cheap. I think as you buy more, you slowly find what you want to "splurge" on and what items you can save on. The whole thing is a process though. It's hard to change it all at once.

I would like to join a CSA, but it is too much food for just the two of us. Bummer. Plus, I'd have to drive pretty far every week to get it.

As far as cutting down on your grocery bill, menu planning is always a good idea (or at least going to the store with a grocery list). Try going vegetarian one meal a week (sorry, Kris). And you can freeze things so you can enjoy them later when they are out of season.

One day I also plan on having a garden where I grow lots of stuff. Ideally, you'd have some friends who grew other things, and then you could share (ooh, just like Kimberly said).

Jenn=) said...

Im on the "cooking all our meals" phase.... That alone seems to be overwhelming.. especially since my husband wants to have indian and thai food all the time... But I completely look up to you and hope to keep making steps to get there.

Kimberly said...

Let me know if you want to start a garden group... I am willing to try. :) You are inspiring me to eat healthier!

Mandy Crowell said...

Good post. And a little daunting..I would love to start a garden, but I don't think I have the work ethic to get sweaty in the yard..I hate sweating from my house to get to my car! I'm down a little over 30 pounds now, but definitely not cooking from scratch or buying all organic. (although I do the milk, egg, apple thing). I would love to follow your example and eat homemade and fresher food in the future..I guess right now I can be glad we're just not eating the unhealthy crap we used to eat and are eating slightly better crap! :0)

Jamie R. said...

Mandy--30 lbs--that's great! And you're right--it's all about making small changes as you can. That's where I'm at!

Kim--Laura told me about the co-op in FC--are you doing it? From what she told me it sounds like 2 families could split and 1/2 share. Are you currently getting a 1/2 share?

Kimberly said...

Hi Jamie,

I just saw your post about the coop share. No, we aren't doing the coop because the selections are just too adventurous for my family. We stick to the basic veggies like corn, carrots, peas, beans, potatoes, and lettuce. :) They get things like squash(although I might eventually try recipes), figs, eggplants, spinach, kale and cucumbers...plus some regular stuff.

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