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

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About 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. Fresh vegetables, fruit and meat cost a small fortune. To keep within budget, we almost never eat meat and I eat very little fruit in order to have enough for my kids and husband.

  2. TIME! Healthy food prep takes longer; even simple changes like cooking brown rice instead of white rice. It’s so much easier to pop a frozen pizza in the oven and add some veggies.

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  3. avatar
    Jeannie says:

    My biggest challenge is finding good recipes for different veggies. My husband is big on meat, and I love, love, love pasta, but if I had some fabulous veggie recipes, it would be so much easier to fit them into our meal plan.

  4. avatar
    Rebekah says:

    I would say Money is usually the issue and also having to get food from several different places such as – farmers market, grocery store, co-op, internet, dairy farmer. It’s hard to make it all work, especially when you have little ones.

  5. My biggest challenge is a very tight budget since losing my job and a growing 12 year old son that seems to eat his weight in food each day!! Trying to keep him full is a full time job!

  6. terrible meal planning…
    .-= kate´s last blog ..Book Excerpt #10 (Replace Yourself) =-.

  7. avatar
    Kristin Eldridge says:

    Time and space. :)

  8. I think one of my biggest challenges is not having things available to us in a small town, and when they are available they are extremely expensive. Often, it is great to travel to the nearest city (3 hours away) to purchase organic items at a decent price. We also have such a short growing season here in colder weather that we rarely get fresh produce – but I’m going to be trying out a garden this year and I’m excited about that!

  9. My biggest challenge is the lack of variety and organic produce in the very rural area that we live in. The one grocery store carries vegetables that are already well past their prime (we are going to start growing some of our own this summer) and then you can pay $3-$4 for one leek.
    .-= Lisa @ Mom’s Green Shopping List´s last blog ..All Natural Home Remedies for Hay Fever =-.

  10. My biggest challenge is organization. My “free” time is unpredictable and I find I am very rarely prepared to make the most use of my time when it arises.

  11. avatar
    Christina says:

    My biggest challenges are finding the time to cook and a lack of motivation to cook.

  12. avatar
    logsplitter says:

    My biggest challenge is weaning ourselves away from prepared foods that are typically easy and appealing to kids. I’ve gone cold turkey on some things, but totally denying them doesn’t work either (from my own childhood experience, it just made me sneak these forbidden products at my friends’ houses!). Trying to change our mindset about what is considered a “treat” is a challenge to us all!
    Would love to read your book!

  13. avatar
    Raquel says:

    My biggest struggle is time to prepare.

  14. My biggest challenge is not planning ahead. I use to be better about it but have really slacked off on it since baby number 2 was born (and oh, baby number two is now 4!!!). Would love to win this e-book! Thanks for the chance!

  15. My biggest challenge is convenience cooking; what to prepare when I’m busy all day and don’t have time for preparing everything from scratch. I end up running and getting some expensive food.

  16. i don’t plan well and i don’t enjoy cooking– that’s a lot working against me!

  17. I retweeted from your twitter page.

  18. What a GREAT book to read – I think it will be useful for ALL mom’s out there! I think the toughest thing for us is that by the end of the day we are tired and we want the convenience. We make good choices when we get “fast” food by choosing Subway, or Jason’s Deli, but the problem is the money spent on that. I need to be more prepared so when the “I don’t feel like cooking tonight” hits, I have a plan in place.

  19. With 4 kids that are very picky eaters it is really hard to go to the effort of trying new dishes. I have been thinking/reading about getting the kids involved in the food preparation.

  20. My biggest challenge is budget, just like so many others! Trying to keep costs down requires shopping multiple stores/venues and, as mentioned above, is a challenge with 2 kids under 3.

  21. Time and money…you hit them square! I love to cook/eat healthy, but so many activities are begging for my time. It’s tough to balance it all and feel like the budget isn’t our of hand. Thanks for this great post and I hope I win!

  22. my biggest challenge right now is our budget. i try so hard to get mostly fresh foods, and usually end up getting a shock at the register. i try… but it always seems like i am over the budget for food. just food! it’s crazy

  23. Time and money and willpower.

  24. avatar
    Joanna says:

    My biggest challenge is picky eaters and not getting discouraged at seeing expensive food get thrown away when it is not eaten.

  25. I’ve been learning a lot, but my challenge (especially in the winter) is living an hour away from stores with a greater selection of healthier/diverse foods.

  26. My biggest challenge is keeping raw veggies prepared so that we will snack on them instead of heading for the pantry.
    .-= Marci´s last blog ..Waverly at 4 1/2 Months =-.

  27. I’m not very good at organizing it all. making the meal plan, going to three different grocery stores to get the best deals, then trying to make it during that terrible rushed time when the kids get home and there is homework to do and practices to go to and I should have done this this morning. . .
    Looks like an interesting book, thanks.

  28. For me it has been meal planning and getting the kids on board. I pack healthy lunches and then find that they have traded at school for the junk their friends bring. Their friends seem very happy with my good stuff!

  29. avatar
    Sara S. says:

    Lately the problem I’ve been having with meals in general is failure to plan and execute. I went to the grocery store on Tuesday without a meal plan in place and with lots of leftovers in the fridge, and came back with way more food than I needed.

  30. Our biggest challenge is getting that grocery bill down…. I feel like I”m stuck because I do meal plan, we do eat leftovers, and I do try to use what I have on hand….but that darn bill seems to stay in the same place each week! I’d love some more tips on stretching the dollar. Thank you!

  31. My biggest challenge to eating and feeding my family healthfully is that my daughter is a picky eater and now also has braces and can’t eat certain things — my husband is a bit better, but still limited in what vegetables he’ll eat. I like everything — probably my biggest problem is not planning out our meals and grabbing something easy and convenient at the last moment.
    .-= Beth Holmes´s last blog ..Decided to just jump in & start somewhere on #weekinthelife =-.

  32. My biggest challenge is that each of the three of us eat very differently. I have chosen to eat vegan. My husband will eat healthy, but he likes meat with most meals. Our daughter, who is almost 18, doesn’t like a variety and tends to eat the same things over and over.

    Our solutions are that we all work on meal planning together, have at least one vegan meal a week, and try new things that that might suit all of us.
    .-= Jodi Anderson´s last blog ..this moment =-.

  33. My biggest obstacle is time. I have a one year old who frequently gets upset if I’m in the kitchen without him and a husband who always seems to choose the worst possible days to stay late at work.

  34. avatar
    Margaret says:

    I have a hard time getting home from work at 4:30, exhausted, trying to entertain my 1-year-old, and still pull together something decent by 6. I definitely need to do more proactive meal planning!

  35. avatar
    Melanie says:

    The biggest challenge is / was getting my husband on board!

  36. for me it’s a toss-up between having the time to actually prepare all these healthy things, especially snacks! Meals have become pretty routine but to make snacks… I’m out of ideas and usually for snacks we’re on the run so things that need refrigeration or portioning need to be planned and prepared in advance. The other thing I struggle with is having to go to several different stores: my grocery has most of what we need, except for humanely raised meat. So for that we go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (each for different things). I also get quinoa and whole wheat couscous there. Can’t wait for the summer farmer’s market!

  37. I’d say my biggest challenge is getting through all the ‘hype’ and ‘green washing’ of some so-called natural/organic products. There is no regulation on using those words! It can take a lot of research to really find out where something comes from and if its really good for you!

  38. avatar
    loreejo says:

    my biggest challenge is knowing which items are the best value

  39. The biggest challenge is my dislike of cooking! I have a hard time finding motivation or inspiration to cook…However, when I do take some time to menu plan a little and take the guess work out of cooking, it makes a big difference.

  40. My biggest struggle is finding healthy, real food that fits in my budget! We have a super-small grocery budget. (I can be reached at greatnarf[at]gmail[dot]com)
    .-= Rachel O.´s last blog ..Onboard the Eden, pt 1 =-.

  41. My biggest challenge is trying to find the time to cook. I have 2 preschoolers, and another child on the way. While they love to help, I can’t get things done quickly with them underfoot – and if I am in the kitchen, they are always underfoot. When they are in school for the morning, I try to get other important things done (doctor’s appt and the shopping), but then can’t find the time to actually prepare the food.

  42. My biggest challenge feeding my family would be staying on a budget, making good food choices, and pleasing everyone’s taste buds!

  43. Biggest challenge is how new it is. I’ve only been married a little over 9 months and I’m used to just picking out something from the fridge or pantry and whipping it up for myself – usually pasta pepi e cacio or salad with some protein, something like that. My husband can’t survive like that, and now that I’m at home full-time, it’s my responsibility and pleasure to keep the house looking decent and food on the table. It’s hard to transition from cooking for one in five minutes to cooking for three in thirty minutes to an hour, on one income with high numbers of bills. (Did I mention that my cousin, also trying to lose weight, has moved in with us while she’s attending the police academy?) Add in that I try to cook in large batches so that the two of them can have decent meals to take with them to work and school, plus feeding myself and three dogs… it’s not easy!
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..White Chocolate Crème Brûlée. =-.

  44. My biggest challenge is planning ahead and storage. We have a very small kitchen/storage, so frequent trips are a necessity. It’s hard not being able to stock up on the good stuff when it’s on sale. As a result of the trips, planning goes out the window, since I end up buying for a few meals at a time.
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Where did I disappear to? =-.

  45. Ack! My problem is falling into a rut. We have a handful of dishes that are easy – and sometimes it seems that that’s all we know how to make. Love the idea of making a double batch of dinner a couple times a week – we usually have extras, but not a full dinner’s worth for everyone, need to up the quantity. But first need to get some fresh ideas!
    .-= ami´s last blog ..Spread your ideas – learn to speak in public =-.

  46. Motivation seems to be a problem for us. Doing the cooking at the end of a long day is not our favorite thing to do and some nights we lose the battle and end up with a less than satisfying meal.
    .-= Emily´s last blog ..A Healthier Start to the Weekend =-.

  47. I’d say my biggest challenge in the kitchen is finding the time to plan (I’m a hopeless last-minute chef!), followed closely by my energy crisis: sometimes what I’ve planned to make takes more steps than I am willing to follow at the end of a busy day. Once you add on what I call “parental-onset ADD” – things don’t always go well for a healthy dinner. I tend to go for “easy”.

  48. avatar
    Erin K says:

    My biggest challenge is the fact that my husband is a meat, potato, bread and junk food guy. He doesn’t eat veggies, doesn’t like anything “weird” aka spices.

  49. avatar
    Jennifer says:

    The biggest challenge for me is finding the time to shop for and prepare healthy meals. My husband and I both work full-time and when we get home, it’s hard for us to find the energy to prepare a meal from scratch (as opposed to ordering out or making a cheap-but-not-as-healthy meal) and deal with cleanup afterwards too. Things are getting easier though, as each year goes by.

  50. In the third trimester of pregnancy, I find I have little energy to stay as organized as I should – planning meals, preparing foods, shopping, etcetera, while running after my other two girls.

    Come to think of it, life is too rushed. So rushed we resort to convenience foods. I really want to change that.

  51. My biggest challenge is getting everything I need for a great price at one store. I usually end up making several trips to several stores for the best price, and probably end up spending a lot more in gas and time than I should, plus I tend to impulse buy. I could really use some helpful tips!
    Susie

  52. avatar
    sandra says:

    The hardest part is getting kids to buy into the healthy eating. All the advertisments from billboards, TV, computer lean towards an unhealthy lifestyle. Even when my nephew was in the hospital the food was not healthy choice but a high carb content. Its a new mindset and hard to change bad habits.

  53. My biggest challenge is that our family still has such a long way to go toward eating a whole foods diet. It sometimes gets a bit overwhelming and that’s when I get discouraged. I find though that when I focus on one small step at a time, we make much better progress and learn that it really isn’t that difficult.
    .-= Greta @ Mom Living Healthy´s last blog ..Homemade Ice Cream: First Time! =-.

  54. avatar
    Valerie says:

    My biggest challenge to eating well is my husband! He’s willing to eat mostly vegan (as long as it tastes good), but he is totally convinced that eating healthy costs more, that you can’t eat healthy on a budget.

    This has been somewhat of a source of friction for us, as he was unemployed for most of last year, and we are watching the pennies now that he has a job again (at half his previous salary) – and now that we are looking to start our family this year, which will put even more of a strain on the finances! I’ll take any and all advice on how to make eating healthy on a budget a reality! I “know” it can be done – but I don’t have the know-how….

    Thanks for the post!

  55. I think my biggest challenge in eating healthy is cost but also relearning how to cook. I have cooked a certain way so long and am amazed at the variation there is out there that wasn’t out there when I started out as a young wife. I want and need to cook and eat healthier for my husband, my kids and myself.

  56. Spending too much money and morning sickness. I am pregnant and our quality of meals has gone way way down.
    .-= Melanie´s last blog ..Update Spring 2010 =-.

  57. My biggest challenge is fixing meals the whole family wants to eat. My almost 3 year old used to eat anything I put in front of him, but now he is much more picky. I try to offer an easy healthy alternative if he doesn’t want what everyone else is having, but it would be nice to not have my good eater back.

  58. My biggest challenge is feeding 2 picky eaters (one is 6 the other is 41 !!) a variety of healthy food. The 6 year old is getting better and better each week- trying new foods. It is a challenge- especially on a budget.
    I look forward to reading more info like this!! Simple Mom has been a blessing.

  59. avatar
    Lindsey says:

    My biggest challenge is knowing where to find the best sources and prices for wholesome food!

  60. My biggest challenge would be creativity. I actually find it cheaper to buy real foods. My small family lives on fruits and vegis, brown rice, WW pasta, dried beans, milk, eggs, and cheese, and some meat. It’s much cheaper for me to splurge on feta cheese and sun dried tomatoes and make our own Greek pizza, than buy frozen (and which can be used to make great omelets!). I can make some great, healthy meals but after a while, my interest fades. I have to be constantly looking for new recipes. But if you are diligent, creative, and take the time, eating homemade meals, with real foods can be fun and so much better for the health of your family.

  61. avatar
    Patricia Grable says:

    The most difficult thing for me when preparing meals is that I am diabetic, my daughter and son-n-law are diabetic, however my husband and two grandsons are not – so trying to figure out what is quick, easy, good, and low in carbs and sugar!
    On week days I am often wore out when I get home from work – and would really prefer to just “nuke” something – but finding prepared meals low in sugar and carbs and still tasty – it’s a rare thing.

    Thank you for your article. Hoping to win the book!

    Tricia Grable
    patricia.grable@wsdtx.org

  62. avatar
    Elizabeth says:

    My biggest challenge in feeding my family healthfully and frugally? If only there were one… My husband and two of my three children have food allergies; I do not meal plan effectively nor consistently; I have picky eaters; I am trying to stay within a budget, and attempt to use coupons and sales, but don’t always have my info together; I wind up feeling overwhelmed and then become apathetic about the whole process. Boy, do I sound whiny!! I have many resources available to me and, most days, the time to spend doing what needs to be done, but I find myself adrift and end up feeding my family meals that I am not happy with.

  63. avatar
    nadia jaber says:

    Expense for fresh veggies and fruits and lack of knowledge about how to make them yummy for a 10 year old…

  64. My biggest challanges are finding seafood that can fit into our budget and what is truely a good price for a healthy food. We go to a local market for all of our fresh produce on the cheap which has been a huge help.

  65. My biggest challenge is chocolate. I want to eat it. And it has a place in a healthy eating plan, but the fair trade and organic versions are not cheap. And I should be eating fruits and vegetables for snacks, and they are much cheaper in season. Oh, and baked goods. I could easily spend a chunk of my food budget and calorie budget and eat those instead of healthy and good for me foods. It’s a work in progress.

  66. I think my biggest challenge is finding fresh, organic produce. We live in Northern Montana, and the farmers markets aren’t what they are in the rest of the country. It’s hard to grow here, and hard to find affordable, organic produce — esp. in winter!

  67. I feel like I’m repeating some of the other comments, but the hardest thing for me, since I’ve started trying to feed my family real food, is finding it for a reasonable price (or at all, in some cases). Newfoundland, Canada is NOT the easiest place to get real, fresh, food.

  68. My biggest challenge is that we will no longer qualify for SNAP (Food Stamps). Praise be to God that my husband found work, but I’ll have to re-configure how to stay away from trash food just because it’s cheaper. I’d love to see what the book has to say about that.
    .-= Erin P´s last blog ..Tradition v. Belonging =-.

  69. I would agree that our two biggest challenges are money and being tired at dinner time. Two, soon to be three, boys has really made us learn to meal plan.

  70. avatar
    taylor says:

    My biggest challenge is motivation. With 2 kids under 3, the hour before dinnertime is the low point of our day. and it is hard enough without trying to cook on top of that.

  71. My biggest issue is definitely time. Hubby and I both work full time, we have a toddler and a new baby due next month. Sadly there have been way too many nights lately where we have relied on convenience foods. I would love to get a copy of this book for all the tips.
    .-= Buffie´s last blog ..Thomas, Yard Sales and Baby Preparations =-.

  72. I think our greatest challenge is staying on budget. I do a meal plan, but I try to incorporate a lot of fresh fruits and veggies into our meals, which makes it more expensive.
    .-= Kate´s last blog ..Hubby’s handiwork =-.

  73. Buying convenience–I want to just shop once for the week.
    Pickiness on the part of my family doesn’t help (all of us except the baby).
    .-= nopinkhere´s last blog ..Chocolate Chip Snack Cake =-.

  74. avatar
    Gretchen says:

    My biggest challenge is the time and effort it takes to shop at all of the stores/farmer’s markets that carry specific items at the best prices (I typically shop at 6-8 places each month). I often wonder if I should add gas mileage to my grocery budget so that the monthly $ total accurately reflects the cost of getting the food.

  75. avatar
    Danielle says:

    My biggest challenge is coming up with something original or different. I have those staple meals that we seem to eat all the time! My husband , my son and even I need more variety!

  76. My biggest challenge is getting a meal plan to work for us every week. Some weeks are great, but often I can’t get the timing just right between seeing the flyers (for what’s on sale), and sitting down to make a plan, before we run out of essential groceries or I need to make a meal ASAP without having gone shopping / planning yet.

    My second biggest challenge is figuring out how to get more vegetables into our diets and reduce the meat and starch that we eat. My husband refuses to eat beans, and my toddler has a hard time chewing raw veggies. I feel like I’m constantly steaming the same 2-3 veggies over and over again in small quantities, and it loses its appeal quickly.

  77. Time. Because I work through dinner time 4 nights each week, it is very hard to make sure that every night is covered.

  78. My biggest challenge is probably my husband! He loves processed junk foods. Luckily, I have a pretty good collection of recipes now that are acceptable to both of us, even though we have such different tastes.
    .-= Leigh Sabey´s last blog ..TV for Toddlers =-.

  79. My biggest challenge is trying to go organic but not committing because of prices. I’m trying to change my way of thinking because food is so important and should be priority and is worth the extra money but it’s hard in practice when I’m actually in the grocery store.
    .-= Hana K.´s last blog ..The many faces of Hanji. =-.

  80. avatar
    Tamrah T. says:

    Challenges would be in my keeping a variety on fruits and vegetables. I’m a bit hesitant to try a new fruit or vegatable since I’m limited on my ability to prepare beyond the few tried and true favorites.

  81. My biggest challenge in feeding my family on a budget is planning meals that are healthy, yummy, filling, will have left-overs, and are not too expensive. I usually plan 12 meals for a two-week time period and go to Wal Mart once and our little local store a couple times during the week. It is amazing how much our grocery bill has increased just in the past year, and I don’t think we’re really buying anything drastically different. Right now we’re about to move and my husband is taking a new job that is INCREDIBLE but pays a good deal less than what we’re used to–plus we just (this Monday) had our third baby!–so I’m really on the lookout for some good info on how to save on groceries! So far Simple Mom has been an invaluable resource, and one that I’ll continue to use and love!!!!! I’d love to win this e-book, and if I don’t, I may just have to get it anyway. :)

  82. My biggest challenge is sticking to my budget while buying healthy food. It is so frustrating that the unhealthy stuff is cheaper. Grrrr :)

  83. avatar
    Kathleen says:

    My biggest challenge is trying to balance wanting variety in our meals with a busy schedule and meal planning.

  84. Apologies for repeating what’s been said by dozens of others already, but time and money are the biggest obstacles to eating well. A close third to these two obstacles is the finicky taste buds of our twin two-year-old boys. Some days the only veggies we can get them to take in are those we sneak into fruit smoothies (carrots and spinach are the least taste altering; and the Vita-Mix has been the best purchase for us in the last two years!). We are now about 20 weeks away from welcoming a third boy to the family. It would really be nice to get some healthy and affordable structure to our eating life. We have no other excuses, we live in the perfect place to make it all happen—Eugene, OR. Please help!

    P.S. Am I the only dad who reads SimpleMom and wants to win this book?

  85. avatar
    Loralee Clark says:

    My biggest challenge is preparation, because at the end of the day the kids want my undivided attention and I’m chopping and cooking as fast as I can and we usually eat later than our bodies would wish so we become cranky and impatient with one another. I would like to set aside time to cook big batches of food at once and freeze meals, have chopped veggies in containers in the fridge, etc.

  86. avatar
    SusanP says:

    My biggest obstacle is making food that my kids enjoy (9 year old twins). They aren’t into quinoa, greens, most beans, etc… Pizza and pasta are their staples. We’re a vegetarian family also so that sometimes adds additional challenges!! :)

  87. avatar
    mrstjshelby says:

    3rd trimester exhaustion coupled with a husband + 3 kids who need food. planning 3 meals / day + snacks while wanting to do nothing but sleep…and having a very very tight budget. i understand the importance…but somedays i slide.

  88. Cost is our biggest issue, particularly for meat and milk. And time is a challenge as well – going to multiple places to get the best price is sometimes difficult in our busy week. But we’re trying!

  89. avatar
    mrstjshelby says:

    i also blogged about this: http://mrstjshelby.blogspot.com/2010/05/better-food.html. thanks – as always – for a relevant and interesting article.

  90. avatar
    Jeanette says:

    My husbands work hours change with the seasons. He is very busy in the spring and fall and often does not eat at home for 2 meals of his day. I find it very difficult to keep fresh produce at that time because I can not eat it all myself. Also when I’m cooking for myself only, I often don’t put the appropriate amount of effort in.

  91. avatar
    cmvare says:

    Finances are exactly the challenge we are facing right now. My husband was recently diagnosed with scarring on his liver, and he needs to drop a few pounds and start changing his eating habits for the better. As I have been purchasing more fish, lean meats, and produce, our food expenses have been climbing. This post is exactly what I needed to read right now, and I will be purchasing the book (if I don’t win it!). Thanks, Simple Mom!

  92. ooh, I would LOVE to win this! I’m always trying to eat more healthfully, but with a hubby off work, it can’t be much more expensive either! This is just what I need :)

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  93. avatar
    Heather Scott says:

    What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to eating (or feeding your family) well?

    That would be finding time to prep and prepare meals for my husband and I since the arrival of our baby boy 2 months ago. I include shopping in the “prep” I mentioned. I used to shop at three to four stores (walmart, not good but cant beat the prices on some items, kroger, whole foods and trader joes) I can barely find the time to shop now let alone maneuver around a store with an infant.

    I really want to win a copy of this ebook!

  94. My biggest challenge is getting my kids (and sometimes husband) to eat what I prepare. Their palates are accustomed to sweets, processed grains, and bland foods.

  95. avatar
    Christie says:

    This sounds like a great book!! My biggest challenge is having several intolerances/food allergies, so I basically just eat meat and vegetables, and good quality meat is not cheap!

  96. My biggest challenge is finding time to menu plan and shop. Homeschooling 2 of my four has taken away from my cooking and shopping and I feel like I am always behind on something.

  97. I think our biggest challenge is meal planning and budget. I always find great meals that I want to try, but then after all is said and done I’ve just spent $20 on one meal. I need to figure out how I can have great meals for my family without spending an arm and a leg and without hitting that drive thru several nights out of the week.

  98. My biggest challenge is time. I find that when we do a weekly meal plan it works out so much better but over time we lose sight of that and fall back into convenience and then realize a month in how bad this is and we go back to the meal plan. It’s a vicious cycle.

  99. finding time and developing a true desire for “healthy” food

  100. I think my biggest challenge since our move this winter is finding affordable, pastured meats. DH has started an intense manual labor job (13 hrs/day), so another challenge is coming up with affordable, calorie-dense foods to keep him full!

    I’d love to read your book, Stephanie! Your words are always so inspiring.
    Blessings,
    Michele

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