A second title option for this post is “Why I Am Totally Okay With Our Grocery Budget NOT Being $10.00 Per Person Per Week”.
One of the popular subjects I am seeing many articles and posts about is getting and keeping a grocery budget, and I, personally, think that is a fantastic way of getting spending under control. When we learn to plan and budget in one area, we can then use that knowledge and success in another area of our spending.
That is all well and good, except that I am finding that a good portion, not all, but a good portion of the posts and articles fall under two categories: vague, generalized tips and food quality compromise.
As a mom and budget nerd, I am genuinely interested in finding those little nuggets of information that will help me to save money and/or get more for my money. The generalized tips like: use coupons, buy 2 for 1 specials, and keep your eyes open for deals, are frustrating. Really? That’s it? I didn’t just take up valuable time reading the article to get “duh!” tips, did I?!
While I understand saving money is important, so is food quality. Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat”? That is such a true statement. Our children aren’t just processing food, that food supplies everything they need to grow. If they are going to grow up healthy, strong, and with a fantastic immune system, they need REAL food.
I think this, shared by From Couch Potato to Marathon Mom, does a great job of showing the gravity of the consequences of what we eat and drink:
I have no interest in buying processed foods just because they are cheap. They are cheap in price as well as in quality. They do not provide the nutrients a body needs to stay healthy and be strong. I do not want my family ingesting dyes, chemical preservatives, refined sugars, and GMO ingredients, just to name a few. If you can’t read the ingredient label and really get hungry the way you do when looking over a menu at your favorite restaurant, don’t buy it!
It is hard enough to purge the junk out of our diets and find quality foods to purchase without be pressured to purchase processed junk to save a little money. Besides, the doctor bills from being unhealthy cost a lot more than healthy food!
I have had the pleasure of reading a few good posts about real ways of saving money while eating healthy foods, and I have been surprised to find just how well these work at not only saving money, but also being organized.
Menu planning is one that surprised me with not only saving more money than I thought it would, it also helped organize our kitchen and streamline meals. Bonus!
Canning and preserving our own convenience foods is another one. One example from my own pantry is refried beans. I bought dried beans in bulk and canned my own refried beans. We also buy fruits and vegetables in addition to the ones we grow, and preserve them through dehydrating, canning, and freezing. Local food co-ops can help greatly reduce the price of foods by buying in bulk. Simply Canning and Cents to Get Debt Free both have great recipes and instructions for preserving your food.
I want to save money on the ever-increasing cost of groceries, but compromising and feeding my family junk is just not going to cut it. I am willing to spend a little bit more per person to give my family the blessing of health. I may not meet the expectations of those who live to cut budgets at all costs, but I’m okay with that. We, as moms and dads, are responsible for more than the lowest grocery budget out there. We are also responsible for providing healthy foods and a healthy relationship with foods.
What say you? Have you read and/or implemented any tips that actually helped keep your family eating healthy and helped your budget at the same time? What other sites and blogs offer recipes and tips that will save money? There are many of us who would love to hear it, so please share!