Real Food on a Real Budget: How to Eat Healthy for Less

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by Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

This giveaway is now closed. Check back soon for the winners!

With farmer’s markets underway, backyard gardens planted, and the warmer weather getting families outside, many of us have clean and healthy eating on our minds.

We began discussing In Defense of Food in the Book Club yesterday, and Simple Organic has had some great stuff lately about making the most of fresh produce. And today, our friend Stephanie Langford chats with us about her latest e-book, Real Food on a Real Budget: How to Eat Healthy for Less.

Stephanie is the voice behind Keeper of the Home, and she’s also a contributor for Simple Organic. Her passion is to help families live as naturally as possible for God’s glory. And in her new e-book, Stephanie shares her wisdom on how to eat whole, real, nutritious foods without breaking the bank.

That’s the hang-up many of us have about eating well. We know it’s best for us and our families, we love the taste, and we’re willing to take the time to cook from scratch. But it’s expensive. We’re all watching our wallets, and this economy certainly isn’t helping.

Stephanie’s book aims to help us eat well and live frugally. What a great idea.

We chatted online recently — here’s what Stephanie had to say about her latest work. (And look for a giveaway at the end of the post!)

Interview with Stephanie Langford


Photo by Marco Lazzaroni

Me: What inspired you to write the book?

Stephanie: With food prices rising, our family growing, and our own budget tightening this past year, I found myself feeling more and more stressed each time I came down towards the end of the month with precious little money remaining. I was really feeling that pinch on my grocery budget, and I could only imagine that if I was feeling it, so were most of my readers and so many other moms and homemakers out there. The recession hit a lot of families hard.

I love teaching women how to eat whole and traditional foods, and how to use more natural products in their homes and on their bodies. None of it makes much difference, though, if they don’t feel like they can afford to buy better food and products in the first place.

This book arose out of my desire to not only teach families about positive changes that they can make in how they steward their health and the earth, but in order to enable them to make it happen financially as well.


Photo by David Shankbone

Me: I love that you tackle two of some of my favorite home management topics — whole foods and personal finance.  Explain to me why in today’s culture, these two things don’t often play well together, as though we have to choose between being good stewards of our bodies or being good stewards of our money.

Stephanie: I think it comes down to one word… convenience.

Our culture is one that craves convenience and that has unfortunately translated into mainstream food that is cheap and readily available, yes, but at the cost of our health. Over the years, the economy has molded itself around this desire for convenience in the form of processed, packaged and generally unwholesome foods.

The result? These are the foods that are being highly subsidized by government and large corporations, and thus they are the temptingly affordable foods on the grocery store shelves.

Enter the whole foods, slow foods movement. Farmers are raising animals and crops the right way, but they are having to fight against the mainstream culture in order to give us these high-quality foods. The cost of production is greater for them, and that means that it is greater for us if we want to purchase these nourishing, whole foods to serve our families.

As you said, they really don’t appear to play well together, forcing us to feel like we have to choose. The wonderful reality, though, is that we don’t really have to choose. I think we just have to be more intentional and proactive in where and how we spend our dollars, and in determining what the food culture of our homes will be.

Our family has learned how to purchase and prepare simple, wholesome foods that we feel really good about eating, even on a tight, single-income budget. Our own experience is what spurred me on to learn the skills and lessons that I share in my book.


Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt

Me: Be it from your farmer’s market, your neighborhood store, Costco, or wherever, what is one great deal your family enjoys currently?  In your book you mention your discovery of the best places for organic apples, brown rice, and salmon.  What’s been a surprising find as of late?

Stephanie: Can I share two? The first is one that we’ve actually been receiving for a while now, but it never ceases to amaze me what a great deal we’re getting.

Our eggs are organic eggs that receive pasture every day, from a local farm 30 minutes away. We’re worked out a deal with the farmer to purchase his “seconds,” the imperfect eggs that he can’t sell to stores, but that taste just perfect in our scrambled eggs and quiche. The price is amazing and it’s a win-win situation for us both.

The second is a more recent thing. We’ve begun to order five-gallon tubs of organic coconut oil through a wholesale natural foods company. A group of families get together through my mother-in-law’s church and by placing a large enough order, we are able to purchase these tubs (which last our family about one year) for a mere $55!

Suddenly my most expensive oil has become my least expensive. There is so much power in a group of people getting creative together.


Photo by Jodiepedia

Me: Share with us one tip you use to save time on cooking homemade from scratch.

Stephanie: Stop washing your dishes! I say that in jest, but only sort of. Since having my third baby this past summer, I have had to learn to be much more efficient in my kitchen if I am going to continue to cook from scratch with three little ones underfoot, while homeschooling and running a business.

I am learning to spend short but focused amounts of time (a half hour here, an hour there) doing as much food prep as I possibly can. I try to arrange it so that I am making things that are similar, using the same dishes and kitchen appliances, to minimize my need to get out and dirty more stuff.

An example might be to spend half an hour making two double-batches of power bars in my food processor, giving it a quick rinse and using it to chop all of my veggies for my next two dinners, and then shredding a block of cheese in it right after that. It’s quick and convenient and saves me time later on.

Another example is to commit to making a double dinner two evenings a week, so that I can have two ready-made meals in the freezer for busy days, but with very little extra time, effort or clean up.


Photo by Rene Ehrhardt

Me: If you could pick one main piece of advice for someone who wants to feed their family well, what would it be?

Stephanie: It would be to meal plan. I know that this is sometimes harped on, but I cannot emphasize its value enough (so much so that I devoted an entire chapter of my book to it).

When you intentionally plan out your meals, several things happen:
You have the ability to choose healthful meals during a calm moment, rather than making a poor decision when you are tired and frazzled at 5pm.

You will spend less money (and time) in the grocery store when you go with a detailed list in hand.  (Check out Simple Mom’s excellent grocery shopping checklist, a very handy tool.)

Making a plan helps you to use the food you already have. Did you know that Americans waste 14% of their food, averaging a loss of $600 worth of food each year?

Cooking becomes more enjoyable when you already know what you’re going to make and that you have all of the ingredients on hand. Meat can be thawed ahead of time, food prep done during a few extra moments earlier in the day. Making meals becomes simplified.

Giveaway Time

Stephanie wants to give three Simple Mom readers a free copy of her e-book, Real Food on a Real Budget: How to Eat Healthy for Less! Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this post, answering the following question: What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to eating (or feeding your family) well?

2. If you’d like a second bonus entry, tweet about this giveaway using the Retweet button above. Include @simplemom and @keeperhome in your tweet. For example, your retweet could say:

“I’m entering to win @keeperhome ‘s new ebook on @simplemom. It’s all about eating #realfood on a budget.”

3. Blog about this giveaway on your own site, and include a link to this giveaway (http://theartofsimple.net/real-food-on-a-real-budget).

This giveaway will end on Sunday, May 9 at 11:59 p.m. EST, and I’ll announce the winner soon after. I hope you win!

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Comments

  1. I would say my biggest challenge is our location. First of all, I live in Canada – food prices are higher here generally than in the US, and we don’t get the deals/coupons that are available there. Second, I live in an area with even higher food prices than average and relatively little selection/competition (e.g., two green peppers cost me almost $5 this week). This also means we have relatively little ability to purchase organic/natural food – no c.s.a.’s or anything like that. We do have a Farmer’s Market, but it is about a 35 minute drive away, and is only open on Saturday AM when my husband works with our one car – and again, produce selection would certainly be limited due to our climate.

  2. avatar
    Amelia says:

    Our HUGE challenge is how to eat healthy in a tiny town in Wyoming where it is almost impossible to keep a garden, Costco is 3+ hours away and grocery stores have high prices. I find myself scrounging EVERY month in the last week and need some major help and tips!!! So hoping to win this book – thanks so much for the chance! I am super excited about the information!

  3. my biggest challenge is my own laziness! it’s hard to stay motivated day in and day out. i’m always looking for inspiration.

  4. My biggest challenge by far is preparation for meals. It gets to be 5:00 and I’m thinking “what are we going to have for dinner?” We buy organic produce each week through a CSA and it is great. But I’m really looking forward to the farmer’s markets opening up the next couple of weeks to get the produce at a lower cost. I loved reading through this interview. Such great info!

  5. These suggestions are great, especially for people who have the desire, time, skills and access to healthier options. Not everyone does, however, and things aren’t changing that quickly.

    That said, I’m a big proponent of helping parents realize what changes they want to make and then being their partner and trusted resource in making it all happen. It’s really hard. Really really hard, often. And parents need that support and instructions to see success.

    For us, meal planning has been the biggest contributor to our success. It started when my son was diagnosed with food allergies and sensitivities which led to a rotation diet. He could only have dairy, nuts and gluten two days a week. It forced us beyond making a shopping list around what we think we might want (which always ended in waste or routine) to having every meal and snack planned and purchased for the week from the start. And we love it!

    Kids love knowing “what’s next” and they can look at the white board and see what each meal will look like. They participate with us by making weekly requests and helping us decide on lunches and snacks. We only make a second visit to the store for special occasions or fresh items like meat, veggies or fruit. It’s taken us months to get into a good routine and we still slip up but we’ve come a long way.

    Making meals ahead has helped greatly as well. I can take a 10lb pkg of costco ground meat & make mexican, italian and “other” varieties for pasta bakes, lasagna, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, meatloaf and a long list of dishes that I freeze. The slow cooker saves family dinners on days with evening activities where we need to run in, eat and leave again.

    I love that we’re all talking about this and doing our best to help families eat real food in today’s time and budget tight times. Thanks for sharing…can’t wait to check out the book.

  6. embarrassingly, by biggest challenge is procrastination. i don’t write a menu plan until just before i go shopping, which means i don’t have a thorough shopping list, which means there’s always something i need that i don’t buy, and something i don’t need but bought anyway. *blush*
    and i’m lazy.
    hmm. i should work on that.

  7. The biggest challenge is what you’ve already brought up! How to feed my family well on a tight budget! This book sounds fabulous. I sure hope I win!

  8. avatar
    jessie says:

    Financial and a food allergies. I love the idea, but as a missionary it is hard for us. I’m trying to figure it our and would love to glean some more information!

  9. We homeschool and have 4 little ones. I just don’t know what to fix, I’m always late in getting it ready and inevitably, we end up picking up fast food. I hate that but then I just try to make it sound good by saying “it’s just Chick Fil A.” haha! Like that is any better.
    We also eat very little meat (like none at all, usually… ) – on average we purchase meat to cook and eat maybe once every 2 months … or less. I’m still trying to find out the best way to cook without meat and not always pasta.

    One of my biggies is that I don’t meal plan and I know that’s one of the big problems for me. With the summer weather here, I plan to use that to get our meals under better control.

  10. avatar
    Heather says:

    Well, besides the budget issue, my biggest challenge is just plain ignorance! I’m the poster child of convenience foods. I grew up with it, since my mom didn’t particularly care for cooking and worked as well. Now, I’m here wanting to do things right for my family, but I don’t even know where to begin!
    The book sounds like a great help to me! Hope I win!

  11. My biggest challenge for cooking is (1) having a very picky 3 year old who would live off PB&J or kraft mac&cheese and (2) having a husband who is not always home for dinner and won’t know if he will be until 5pm.

  12. avatar
    Madeline says:

    My biggest challenge is trying to be efficient while multitasking the day-to-day chores and since eating well is very important for our family… learning how to cook from scratch or using whole ingredients ! I have difficulty with multitasking and just like some people don’t have a green thumb, I kinda suck at cooking … Finally, we decided that my husband will be the main person in charge of preparing our meals. And we’re both happy with this arrangement. On a side note, I’m still learning how to cook but I do it on the weekend when I have more time :)

  13. avatar
    Pamela O. says:

    Tight Budget…this book would be great to win!

  14. Oh my goodness, as I was reading this article I kept thinking to myself, “Oh my goodness, that’s me!” I’m a young wife, my husband goes to school and due to the economy has been unable to find work since September. So right now I’m trying to be a good steward of what little money I make at my part time job *and* eat well, which is not easy!

  15. My biggest challenge is TIME. Both my hubby and I work full time, we have 2 children, and I go to law school at night. I love the idea behind this book, and I’d LOVE to put it to good use. Thanks so much for sharing this! Your interview was great!
    .-= Sarah Martina´s last blog ..*Mom & Me Tea Party* – Sneak Peek =-.

  16. I think the biggest challenges we run into are time and cost. I loved this article, and the book sounds amazing! Thank you so much for the chance to win! :)
    .-= Heather P.´s last blog ..Congratulations =-.

  17. avatar
    Kim K. says:

    My biggest challenge is planning out weekly meals. I get in a rut and there tends to not be too much variety in our meals, which makes us more likely to grab what’s easy instead of what is actually healthy. It doesn’t help that I’m not the best cook either!

  18. avatar
    Alexa F. says:

    Our biggest challenges would definitely be planning and budgets. With both of us working part-time (soon to be full-time for a few weeks for me), while also building and working at our screen printing business, it’s hard to plan shopping and meals in advance. Schedules change frequently, sometimes daily, which means that even if we’ve planned ahead, we may end up not being able to make the meals we hoped.

  19. My biggest challenge is reducing the cost of our foods while dealing with multiple food and chemical allergies.

  20. avatar
    Karen Meehan says:

    My biggest challenge is providing child-friendly, lunchbox-friendly and budget friendly real food for our kids.

    Living DownUnder we dont have the options to buy organic snackbox type foods, and the few we do have are very expensive due to freighting from overseas; so one thing I have invested in is fun, interesting containers for the lunchboxes so at least the food is “dressed up” LOL!

  21. I’d say not having a plan when going food shopping. I tend to look for healthy alternatives at discounted prices so I think I’m doing alright in those areas. But then I come home with fresh foods that go bad before I have the time to use them, due to poor planning. So not planning and as a consequence having to throw food is my dilemma.

    Thanks for reminding me to work on that :)

  22. For me it’s a toss up between making the kids want to eat the healthy foods or getting organized enough to be sure to get to the grocery for the fresh stuff, and getting it prepared early enough so we don’t resort to drive thru.
    .-= Joscie´s last blog ..Tattered Tuesday =-.

  23. My biggest challenge is menu planning! I need to learn how to plan a menu for the week or even month. I love cooking from scratch using whole foods. I love it when I am able to make things in advance and freeze them and finding new recipes. I just need to learn how to plan so my meals won’t be such a last minute modgepodge.

  24. Our biggest challenge when it comes to eating well is lack of options close to home. But we do the best we can do with what we do have available…it is possible, we just have to be more creative and work a bit harder at it.
    .-= Brandie´s last blog ..Menu Plan for Week of May 3 =-.

  25. My biggest challenge is staying within budget while buying healthy foods…it doesn’t help that I live in a very expensive state for buying groceries.
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..Freedom in our homes =-.

  26. My biggest challenge is my 11 mo son! Before I became a SAHM, I was simply a housewife (gasp!) and had plenty of time to garden, make homemade breads, tortillas, chicken stock, etc… And all before my husband got home from work! Now I have a toddlerto chase around instead.

    However, my biggest motivation to eat healthy is ALSO my 11 mo son. I want to give him the best food I can find. Until the past month or so, I’ve made his baby food from scratch and separately from what my husband and I eat. But now that he’s able to eat more nonpureed food, it’s such a chore to make two separate dishes for each meal. So I ask myself, if the food I eat isn’t good enough for my son, than why am *I* eating it?

    So we eat a lot of roasted veggies. :)

  27. My biggest challenge with feeding my family is finding the whole foods I’m looking for. Currently we’re living in Germany, and with the language barrier and the Euro/USD rate, feeding a family of 6 whole foods all the time isn’t always in budget. Plus it’s hard to find places around here that speak English where you can develop a personal relationship with the farmers and owners of small shops.
    We’re counting down until we get back to the states and already looking for places to buy the foods we want that will nourish out bodies!!

  28. Great article!

    we eat a whole lot of fresh produce in our family, we’re very lucky that there are farms all around the city we live in and the local farmers market always has good prices. The only problem we ever really run into is the exchange rate. We live in Germany but my husband is US military so we get paid in dollars. Buying all of the lovely organic German foods in Euros can work out expensive if we’re not careful.

    Also our local commissary, the only place we can buy foods in dollars, is ridiculous as they ship pretty much everything in from the states, we often buy items from there that go bad a few days after we get them and I don’t even want to think about how much the shipping affects the environment just so that the Americans here can have their familiar brands!
    .-= Satakieli´s last blog ..Blueberry Zucchini Bread =-.

  29. avatar
    Christa says:

    My biggest challenge is genetic I fear. I am seemingly incapable of being efficient. When I read Stephanie’s tip about how to use her food processor without having to wash it I almost cried. The amount of time it would have taken me to figure that out would have far exceeded the time saved by not having to wash it every week for several months. I already am not a good multi-tasker and working part time with two little ones makes it very difficult for my brain to work well enough to do one thing well. I am getting better, but I think my most valuable resource will be books and other tools where women who are gifted in this way have done the hard work for me. I am hopeful, but barely so. We have so many allergies in our family that many tips and helps don’t work for us. Perhaps this book will be different.

  30. Food prices are quite high where we are and feeding the our family of 6 here well is expensive. Also finding good quality whole foods here is hard. These things drive my lack of motivation, which is really the biggest challenge in feeding my the best that I am able.

  31. I would say my biggest challenge to eating well and feeding my family well is transport (or lack thereof) and distance.
    Being able to access (or not as in my case) the places where there are farmers markets or being able to travel to the low cost grocery stores and markets.
    Thankfully there is an independant fruit and veg store locally which is much cheaper than the local national chain supermarket.

  32. We live in China and it is VERY hard to find whole grain items. When I find whole wheat flour I buy as much as I can and share with my friends. Whole grain pasta is rarely found, though brown rice is available. So brown rice it is.

  33. Being an empty nester I have a hard time wanting to cook for just my husband and myself. I’d almost rather just go out or do something quick and easy rather than home cooked. And when I buy fresh fruits and veggies, they spoil faster than we eat them.

  34. avatar
    Alice S says:

    My challenges are meal planning and just having the desire to cook. I cook and prepare meals because I have to in order to feed my family, but I really don’t enjoy it.

  35. Just tweeted about this on Twitter!
    .-= Mari Larkin´s last blog ..Tribute to my Mama! =-.

  36. Lately my biggest challenge is 2 picky kids. They are relatively healthy eaters but when it comes to getting them to eat vegetables I haven’t had much luck.
    .-= Jill´s last blog .. =-.

  37. My upcoming challenge will be scaling down – two out of three of my children will be at college next year. I’m used to cooking for 5, including 2 teenage boys, so rethinking the huge quantities will be my next big challenge.

  38. My biggest challenge is time. I am a single mom, who must work outside the home. It can be difficult to find time to prepare ingredients for real meals. In addition, shopping for real food ingredients many times requires going to more than one location. That can be a challenge on the weekend when I want to spend quality time with my children, relax and recharge, and pre-cook some meals for the week to save me time after work.

  39. My biggest challenge is a husband who loves Southern cooking (read: fattening) and a set of 7 month old twins who keep me totally busy. We do meal plan (because our days must be pretty detail-oriented), but I have a hard time coming up with meals that are not “too healthy” for him to enjoy. As a single-income family on a budget, it’s difficult to not spend a fortune on groceries when I don’t have the luxury of running around town in search of the freshest, most organic items. We usually find a one-and-done place to shop… and that leads to much poorer choices.

  40. My biggest challenges are living temporarily in the UK where food prices are very high, and having 3 children who all have different likes/dislikes. I absolutely love cooking and try to vary what I prepare, but there’s many a meal where someone leaves a whole plate of food and won’t eat. I also find that produce here goes bad very quickly, so I have to make several trips to the store per week instead of just 1.

  41. avatar
    jennifer says:

    My biggest challenge lately is being overwhelmed by all of the new ideas I am learning.
    Soaking grains, soaking beans, homemade yogurt, meal planning, once a month cooking. Figuring it all out and making it work for my family has been overwhelming but I am taking pride in changing our lives for the better.

  42. My biggest challenge is that my husband hasn’t jumped on this idea as well. He is all about fast, convenient (and unhealthy) food. Trying to incorporate these ideas into our family life is difficult when you don’t have cooperation from your spouse :(

    Thanks for the tips!
    .-= Tonya´s last blog ..Birthday Month =-.

  43. avatar
    Jessica says:

    my biggest challenge is time. time to plan, time to prep, and time to shop local.

  44. My biggest challenge with buying/preparing real food for my family is the time it takes to get the different items we regularly eat at the best price. The only place that sells local milk in town is Whole Foods, the best place to buy produce is at the Farmer’s Market on Saturdays or at a local market that closes at 7pm and doesn’t open until 9am….so, there is no ‘one stop shopping’ for us and it takes quite a bit of coordination and planning to get even the staples together for the week. I would love to read more about saving money but still using real food. Thanks!

  45. avatar
    Jen Kindle says:

    My 2 biggest challenges are 1. time I work 11-4 which means food hast to be prepped ahead of time or really easy to prepare because when i get home I don’t want to spend anymore time in the kitchen ( I work in one) and 2. a husband who isn’t sold on healthy eating. I have been slowly working in healthier foods and recipes but he still has issues about some foods and feeding the kids better. He takes care of lunch for our home schooled bunch and prefers the easy food.

  46. avatar
    Shannon says:

    My biggest challenge is finding recipes to make the things we love but healthier and frugally.

  47. avatar
    Sara Jane says:

    My biggest challenge when it comes to feeding my family well is definitely our budget. We are trying hard to get out of debt, and our grocery budget was slashed. I am really trying to buy as many whole foods as possible though.

  48. avatar
    Stephanie Cosme says:

    It is definitely the budget- if I could find a way to make eating real food more affordable, my husband would be a lot more willing to get on board with the idea. He just can’t see that the benefits outweigh the costs.

  49. This is a question that has been bugging me as I’ve become more informed on how our food is manufactured. How to provide healthfully without breaking the bank. I would love to read this book! Thanks for a great post!

  50. avatar
    Angela P. says:

    My biggest challenges are my kids and meal planning. They are not the pickiest eaters, but definately not the most adventurous when it comes to their food. We tend to get into a slump of the same meals over and over again.

  51. (It doesn’t look like my last comment posted – if this is a duplicate please delete!)

    I love the idea of answering this question -how to eat healthfully and mindfully without breaking the bank. I would love to read this book! Thanks for a great post.
    .-= amylouwho´s last blog ..introductions =-.

  52. avatar
    melissa says:

    I would say that my biggest challenge would be time & budget constraints. We have four kids, and I feel like I already spend so much time on meal planning and shopping at various stores that arranging trips to the Farmer’s Market and Whole Foods (30 min. away) just feels like too much.

  53. there’s not really one challenge, there’s two! First, it’s getting my family on board, esp. my husband who is reluctant to change his taste buds after so many years of growing up on processed foods. Two, trying to afford it. I think I would be more willing to spend the money if my family were more apt to eat all the delicious foods. In time I will change their taste buds, slow and steady wins the race. :)
    .-= Lindsey@ Mama Sews´s last blog ..a letter of love to my son =-.

  54. avatar
    Kristen says:

    My challenge is time/prioritizing…I have three young kids and I’m constantly battling the “tyranny of the urgent”…getting healthy foods and taking time to cook wisely seem to always hit the back burner.

  55. oh, meals can be so tricky. it’s one thing i spend so much time thinking about … i hate that. i’d like to learn how to make decisions quickly instead of just thinking “i don’t know what to cook, what will they eat?” we eat rather healthy food – although i wish i could get my kids to eat more vegetables. i like the ideas of using the kitchen for more than one task/meal at a time. i’m rather a wreck in the kitchen and could be far more efficient. this book sounds very cool!

  56. Our biggest challenges are food allergies and sensory issues. One child is corn-free, another is completely grain free at the moment, and the other two would rather die than feel a bean in the mouth. We do have grass fed meat, our own chickens, and raw milk though!
    .-= Cori´s last blog ..who is this kid anyway? =-.

  57. avatar
    Kristy says:

    My biggest challenge is finding alternate sources for whole foods (wholesale buying club or local farmers). People in my area (Raleigh-Durham, NC) seem very secretive about their clubs and farmers. There is some information on website, but I’m just having to do a lot of ground work. Yes, that means making lots of phone calls, and I do NOT like talking on the phone. I keep telling myself, “This is worth it!!”

    One of Stephanie’s post this week was about paying for groceries with cash and setting aside money for the big buying club order or for meat. That really hit home with me, and I have to be more deliberate about my purchases.

  58. I feel like my biggest challenge is $. I try so hard to stay in our grocery budget. I never can! I also would love to stock up and store up when things are in season and/or at their lowest prices, but I’m not quite there yet. That’s a goal for me this summer! I keep telling myself, “I’m on a journey!” I’ll get better each year.

  59. avatar
    Jessica says:

    my biggest challenge is time… I have a toddler and a newborn and I’m exhausted. I am currently much more likely to take the easy way out even though I know it is not as good for my family. I need things to be quick and easy right now, or they aren’t happening!

  60. Our biggest issue would be affording it all!

    thanks!
    .-= Terra Jones´s last blog ..May = International Doula Month =-.

  61. My biggest challenge is time and I love the double meal concept. I tend to be real good at doing this on a Sunday so my week starts on a good note but it’s usually downhill from there!
    .-= Tina@RideOnToys´s last blog ..The Radio Flyer Twist Trike – Get 2 For 1! =-.

  62. Biggest challenge: find variety that everyone will eat! Both of my children are good eaters, but tend to have different likes, making a meal they’ll both eat and getting the variety for good health.

  63. Meal planning continues to be my biggest challenge. I have the best of intentions and go to the store with my detailed list, but then by Wednesday I’ve been derailed by one thing or another and I have food in danger of spoiling. Since we are just embarking on a new, super-lean budget, I am really excited for this book and would love to win a copy! :)
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..This Moment: Best Friends =-.

  64. My biggest challenge is my own lack of experience. I did not come from a “home cooking” household, and I’m still learning as I go. Adding healthier alternatives is a slow process for me. I feel my time pulled between researching and actually doing. This book would be a valuable resource.

  65. I think I have 2 big challenges: 1. I need to plant a garden, but with two toddlers and a baby on the way, it seems impossible right now. Maybe next year? 2. My other challenge is simply how to eat healthy, even organic foods, on a tight budget. We already buy some organic foods, but I’d like to buy more and I’m not sure our budget will allow it.

  66. I think the hardest part for me is that I don’t stick to my meal plan, or I buy too much food. I will have plenty of meals planned out, but then we end up eating less of one meal and have it for several days instead of the two I planned for! I need a bigger family, cooking for three is not for me! I need more like 12! :-)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..sewer really is just a big pile of **** =-.

  67. Cost. Would love to add more fish into the meal planning, but it is so expensive.

  68. Our biggest challenge is affording whole foods on a one income budget… I so appreciated the tip about buying coconut oil with other families. I could really use more advice from Stephanie!

  69. Lots of challenges feeding a family of 11 with 3 under 3! But offering variety which is healthy continues to be the bane of my existence. Second in line is sugar cutback. Third is living in a place where prices rise dramatically during the summer season.

  70. Would love to win this book. My biggest challenge is my husband and kids. My husband is way overweight and wants to eat very large amounts which of course is more expensive. Plus finances is a huge deal. I’d love to learn how to do this the right way.

  71. my biggest challenge is cost of foods that are better for you. I hate that we don’t value ourselves enough to make that commitment. I want my family to be worth the healthy foods and I am trying to figure out ways to come by that. Thanks for the post.
    .-= april´s last blog ..Catch’s Way of Thinking =-.

  72. I loved this interview! Stefanie gives such specific realistic ideas about staying true to your desire to feed your family well but also honoring your family’s finances. I can’t wait to read more in the book!

    My biggest challenge is when I fall behind in meal planning– I can totally attest to how much more you spend when you don’t have a plan for the week!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Why My Blog Won’t *Really* Help You =-.

  73. I have two main challenges: one, making myself sit down and meal plan. Not sure why that is so intimidating, but I put it off. Second, I have two teenagers, who used to be rarely picky but now have definate ideas about what “sounds good” to them, especially for after school snacks. Few of my simple, healthy ideas appeal to them. They would prefer a quick microwave snack, like a Lean Pocket – expensive and not healthy.

  74. It sounds dumb, but I just haven’t gotten good at the meal plan thing…..when I do it, it’s a huge help, but it’s just hard for me to sit down and do it. Hmmm…maybe that says something about my pace of life? Something else to work on :)

  75. my biggest challenge is planning and organizing. i’ve started writing out a dinner plan, and it helps.
    another challenge is creating healthy snacks. having something ready for when the members of the family feel like snacking is what i’m working at.
    thanks for the giveaway!!!
    .-= sylvia´s last blog ..IMG_9774 =-.

  76. avatar
    Margaret says:

    My biggest challenge right now is morning sickness.

  77. I would LOVE this book! Money seems to be the biggest obstacle to eating healthy for our family!

  78. avatar
    Jennifer Morgan says:

    My biggest challenge is being organized. I am trying to change from growing up in a “sugar world” to healthy eating and it is not easy.

  79. avatar
    Mel B. says:

    I would love to win this book! My main struggle with good meals is time. If I feel hurried, we sometimes eat junk. Also, when we are on the go. I have a hard time with healthy and inexpensive solutions for those times. thank you for offering the giveaway. This post was very interesting.

  80. avatar
    Allegra says:

    You hit the nail on the head — just trying to construct a healthy shopping list around recipes that are yummy to eat and good for my family, costs so much more than I’d like it to!

  81. My biggest challenge is both financial and learning how. We have made the whole foods switch. But, financially we really struggle. We like to juice, but find it really eats up alot of food budget. We often end up eating alot of beans, which is fine, but I wish we could eat more fresh fruits and veggies.

  82. avatar
    Christina Rogers says:

    The biggest challenge is to get them all to eat the same thing, and getting the hubby to try new foods.

  83. avatar
    LoriMM says:

    My biggest challenge is that my sons, 8 and 9, are not that “into” vegetables. I guess I need to introduce them a little at a time and just not give up… I was a picky eater as a kid, too.

  84. My biggest problem is not following my list and impulse buying and not always knowing where I can get the best deal at.

  85. My biggest challenge is energy! I have four kids 6 and under and I feel exhausted most of the time. Must be the newborn. Also how do I get my sensory challenged daughter to eat anything unfamiliar?
    .-= Greta´s last blog ..Preschool Pickup Conversation =-.

  86. avatar
    Suzanne says:

    My biggest challenge is processed foods. We started off on the right foot years ago when the kids were small, but over time I’ve caved and introduced Cheez-its and Lucky Charms and other scary food items that the kids adore. Though I don’t buy them on every shopping trip, I have time cutting them out now that their biggest fans live at my house and ask regularly. And who doesn’t want their kids to be happy?!

  87. My biggest challenge is planing. I usually end up going “hum, what can I make for dinner?” at 4:30!

  88. This is a whole new area of cooking for me, so I have a couple of challenges. It is new because of the expense for so many years. But, my family has decided to look at it as an investment – we either invest in our health with our food choices now, or we invest later by paying for doctor bills and scripts. Because it’s so new to us, I’m having to completely re-learn what things to cook. And, having healthy snacks for my son to eat is another issue. It seems like most things are pre-packaged and/or totally carb laden.
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Great Freebie =-.

  89. avatar
    Jennifer says:

    I would have to say finding affordable real food sources here in Canada. I can often find resources for the U.S., but find it much more challenging here. Many resources I come across require shipping from the States which can be pricey.

  90. I think the hardest thing we face as a large family is the lack of space to store our fresh produce – a 5# bag of apples can be gone in a day!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Homemade Hashbrowns =-.

  91. avatar
    Stefani M. says:

    Oh, goodness. I’d have to say cost… which is why this book would be so great! The other big obstacle is finding good recipes for stuff. For instance, I know I can get healthy lentils for cheap, but struggle to find more than a couple of recipes to use them in. And then I think about getting a vegetarian cookbook (not that we’re vegetarian, but because it would help get more plants into our diet), and I then I worry the recipes won’t be good after I spend the money on it. It’s a vicious cycle.

  92. My biggest challenge is picky eaters. I love fresh produce and have one little one that will eat whatever she sees me eating. However, another daughter and my husband have a limited range of veggies they enjoy. I’m working on broadening that, but it’s slow going. : )
    .-= stephanie´s last blog ..Read-Aloud Thursday: Nora’s Ark & Spotty =-.

  93. In my heart, I want to buy local and organic everything but it is not possible at this time due to a tight budget.
    .-= Denise´s last blog .. =-.

  94. My biggest challenge is not planning ahead. If I don’t have something out I end up making something like frozen chicken nuggets. I set a goal for myself this month of not eating processed foods. So far I have only eaten packaged fries once (big change for me!). It’s been fun and a great reminder by how filling and lasting real foods are!
    .-= Trudy G.´s last blog ..Woods by the Morning Light =-.

  95. Well, I’m Canadian and we don’t have many coupons here that are not for prepackaged processed foods that we aren’t interested in.
    We do live in an amazing area thought with many farmers markets around. We make use of those for sure in the summer.
    We haven’t actually set a budget or a meal plan on a regular basis. We go in spurts. Would love to read this!

  96. right now, i have two big challenges: one is definitely our budget, finding real foods at affordable prices, and the other is my wonderful husband whose taste buds mostly prefer processed foods.
    .-= katherine´s last blog ..meet me in…atlanta? =-.

  97. I’d love to win this book! My biggest challenge is cost, for sure
    .-= Leah@storybookranch´s last blog ..The stuff I didn’t buy =-.

  98. My biggest challenge is knowing what to buy and then what to do to with it once I get it home. I need help!

  99. My two biggest cgallenges are time and motivation. I’m a big slow cooker fan. I try to plan 2 meals a week and buy everything for those but I don’t always want to spend my lunch break getting dinner in the pot.

  100. I meal plan, coupon cut, etc and I think we do “okay” — but it’s just the two of us. I fear our costs skyrocketing when we have children and I have less time for prep. I’m dying to read this book — since Stephanie deals with that very issue! LOL
    Our biggest challenge is probably time involved. We shop at 4 locations (a farmer’s market, a grocery store, a warehouse store, and walmart). It feels like it takes a lot of time to do it all — but we do it because we get deals on certain items at certain places!
    .-= Kelly´s last blog ..Menu Mondays =-.