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Monday, March 29, 2010

Organic on a Budget

Since my family has been making some new food choices in hopes of living a longer/healthier life we have adopted a few"'food rules." Make no mistake, we ENJOY eating, we eat meat, and we live on a budget. This may or may not be similar to your life style... and that is okay. But, here I will share a rule that we have adopted. You can adopt this rule too, or not. Either way, it will be okay with me. =)

Eat Quality, Not Quantity.

That's it. Sounds simple enough, right? We've been purchasing SOME of our food Organically (to find out which ones, read my post HERE). Organic costs more. I'm not going to get into a discussion of why it costs more today, maybe in another post. But, the fact is... it costs more. For the items we've chosen to purchase organically we feel it is worth the extra cost. What we have found more often than not is that these products are higher in quality than their conventional counterparts. They taste better, fresher. We've found that we are able to enjoy a lot less of an item simply because it does taste better and we can SAVOR it.

Now, don't get me wrong. We're aren't starving ourselves, and no one is going without because our groceries are costing more and we're buying less. Actually, we've been eating really well, and I've found that I need a whole lot less at the store when I am buying ingredients instead of pre-made, prepackaged foods.

Actually, what is happening here is that we are learning what REAL portion sizes are. Also, when we really enjoy a meal we've found that we'd rather stop eating (not have a second serving) and save it for lunch the next day - so we'll be able to enjoy it all over again!

We're taking a lesson from the French - eating slowly, enjoying the smells, the flavors, and each other's company at the dinner table. Even though meals take longer (the preparation occassionally and the meal itself) we've found we are eating less. A nice side effect of this is my husband, whose been trying to loose some weight, has lost a few pounds - all while enjoying all of his favorite foods. Not something he's been able to do before.

Now, I know your thinking we're crazy. But, does eating homemade cinnamon rolls, fresh baked baguette, garlicy butternut squash ravioli with cream sauce, roasted green beans, chicken piccata, etc. sound like deprivation to you? Me neither.

We've been enjoying fresher vegetables, in season, and chicken, fish, and beef too. We're learning to eat one meatless meal each week and we're just beginning to add more fish to our diet as well. My son, who is one now, is growing like a weed and is a fabulous eater! We're raising him to enjoy lots of flavors and textures and he loves to eat and watch me cook already.

Part of eating quality over quantity means re-acquainting (or acquainting) yourself with your kitchen. I've always enjoyed cooking, but I'm learning to use a bread machine (with much luck actually) and I'm adding new recipes to my repertoire. I'm looking up recipes for things I previously bought prepackaged and finding it doesn't really take much more effort. It is just that we as an industrialized nation have grown accustomed to having everything already done for us. And, if you are in my age group you've never really known any different. We've never HAD to cook from scratch. I've been amazed at how easy some of the things are to make and this is meshing quite nicely with my "New" Old-School Mom title. I've found yet another thing that I enjoy the "Old-School" way.

I hope this inspires you to step out on a limb and try a few new recipes - cooking something you enjoy from scratch. I hope you'll share your successes with me! It isn't hard to enjoy quality over quantity and I think you'll find it is equally as wonderful for your budget as well as your belly! =)

If you are a new reader you might want to read some of my older "Organic on a Budget" posts HERE.

Have you got questions? Are you on your own quest to eat wholesome and/or organic? If you've been shopping a little differently as well and the labels have got your brain in a fog... email me or drop me a comment here and I'll be happy to help you find the answers your looking for! Sometimes shopping in a whole foods store can be overwhelming and leave you with more questions than when you came in!


Rachel@AllergenFreePlease said...

LOVE IT! We are doing the same thing and I feel good about what I am feeding my family. I don't think it is that much more expensive. We are buying more natural, raw ingredients instead of processed food, cooking from scratch. I love that Jamie Oliver is teaching the same concepts on Food Revolution.

Rachel@AllergenFreePlease said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nicole said...

I agree organic does taste alot better. We also try to buy local as much as possible.
One thing we're also doing this year to keep our grocery budget low is plant a much larger garden. It's guaranteed organic and very inexpensive to start.

Sandra said...

I just wanted to say that I love your posts on eating organically! We are not where your family is at as far as purchasing a lot of organic foods, but you definitely are inspiring me to choose more wisely and eat better!