Meal Planning 101

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I have always been fascinated by families that have a grocery budget and stick to it. It wasn’t until we started budgeting for groceries, I learned what all the hype was about. But the one thing I have a hard time finding, was meal plans and budgets that are based on organic eating. If you are a family who eats organic, you are no stranger to the prices. Our family eats organic produce, grass-fed meat, and gluten free (most of us, we are working to be 100%). And, we do all this on a budget of 200.00/week for 6 people. “How in the world do you do that”, you ask?  We take eating healthy very seriously in our family. We have personally seen a difference in our own health and our children. It keeps us going, and out of the doctors office. Let me show you some tips that help us.

  1. GROCERY BUDGET– Know how much you are spending and pay CASH. This will make you stay within your budget.
  2. MEAL PLAN– This cannot be stressed enough. If you have a week, biweekly, or monthly plan, you will stick to only the things needed on the list. See what you have on hand before you make your menu and plan around that.
  3. EAT BEFORE SHOPPING– So no temptations end up in your cart.
  4. LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME– Sometimes I take them, sometimes I don’t. If I have a choice, I leave them at home. If that means shopping at night, then that’s what I do. You will be less stressed, you can concentrate, and chances are you will get out a lot faster.
  5. SUPPORT LOCAL FARMERS– By supporting local farmers, we are able to get our meat, eggs (not all the chickens are laying yet), produce, milk, and dry goods. Ask around at local stores for people in the area.
  6. BUY IN BULK– If you take the time to stock your freezer with fruit and other produce in the summer, you can have healthy delicious fruits and vegetables in the winter. We take advantage of pick-your-own farms in the summer. It’s fun for the kids and when you pick-your-own they charge less. Stock up, freeze, can. We also found a dry bulk store about 40 minutes from our house. I go down twice a year (spring/fall) and stock up. You can get so many organic things such as organic rice, quinoa, etc for so much less than the grocery store!!
  7. GROW YOUR OWN– This is why we have the blog right? I cannot stress to you how important it is to grow SOMETHING in your yard you can eat. It will save you money, teach you to be more self sustainable, and you can pat yourself on the back when you can eat what you’ve grown.
  8. MAKE THINGS FROM SCRATCH– It seems like you would have no time to cook from scratch because you are running here or there, but that’s what crock pots are for!! I haven’t had a microwave for 7 years and I don’t miss it at all. I start dinner prep at 4:00pm and by 5:00pm we are eating (most days ;)).
  9. 5 INGREDIENT RULE– I will not buy anything that has more than 5 ingredients and I can pronounce all of them. Again, that may sound trivial, but I don’t want to eat it if I can’t pronounce it. This also keeps me focused on budget and saving money.
  10. DON’T BE FOOLED– Just because something says organic doesn’t mean it is healthy. Cookies are still cookies my friends.

I hope you find these tips helpful. With careful planning, you too, can eat organic foods!

*If you like this meal planner, check out carrieelle.com!!

2 thoughts on “Meal Planning 101

  1. Loving the blog!! We started freezing and canning from our garden and local farms a few years ago. We try to do more each year. It’s amazing what the kids will eat when they help grow it!! I am curious where the dry bulk store is located. That is something we haven’t found yet!!

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