The cost of real food made with real ingredients that are organic and non-GMO is suffocating. After a few posts on healthy food and how it has cured our ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder and other behavioral issues a message came in asking how to eat clean food on a budge of WIC and EBT.
It can be done!
First and foremost you need to plan. Begin to learn where the deal is and shop ahead of time so you are not pressed for meal preparation. Buy what is in season and on sale and learn to cook from what you have.
The best thing you can do to ensure healthy food is find a farmer who raises grass fed, grass finished beef. My farmer comes to our local farmers market and takes EBT (food stamps). Farmers are real people. As a matter of fact they are as real as it gets. Talk to them. Once you find a farmer who has grass fed, grass finished cattle who doesn’t use antibiotics you have found an asset worth more than gold.
You are NOT looking for a handout from him, you are looking to nourish your family as inexpensively as possible.
When I told my farmer my son has ADHD, autism, is bipolar, suffers from manic depression, is dyslexic, hypoglycemic and has a compromised immune system, his reaction was the same as most folks’. However, when I told him my son was a completely normal person if he eats clean food he nearly jumped out of his skin and danced a jig! His eyes lit up like he had purpose – like his never ending labor was validated.
We consider him family. We go to him nearly every Saturday. He has been invited here to our house countless times and we have been to his farm on several occasions. My kids have been through his fields driving his farm truck and they love him just as much as I do.
There are certain staples I buy from my farmer. The first is bones. If you live somewhere that a farmer is not accessible this package from Amazon will work. Beef bones are probably the most healthful buy you can find. For $3.50 you will fill your crock pot and make gallons upon gallons of good healthy beef broth that will nourish your body and feed your intestinal tract. You will want a mixture of bones, preferably knee or hip bones and joints mixed in with marrow bones and others. One bag of bones lasts us all week.
Some people roast their bones before they cook them in the crock pot, Koreans submerse them in a pot of water, bring them to a quick boil for an hour then discard that pot of broth. Yes, they throw it away. Then they fill the crock pot with bones and water and cook for their first batch of broth.
In our house life floats around what is easiest. I take the frozen bag of bones and put it in the crock pot, fill it with filtered water, splash in a bit of apple cider vinegar, add a couple of bay leaves and cook. After a good four hour cooking it’s ready. When the pot is drained to fill mugs or soup I refill it with more filtered water and another splash of vinegar. Sometimes I add onion skins, sometimes I add carrots or other veggies, most times it’s just bones. The best cup of broth is salt (salt is key – lots of good mineral salt), turmeric, pepper, an egg yolk and broth. I leave the crock pot cooking 24 hours a day 5-6 days a week with the same bag of bones. Once the bones are spongy you have extracted all the minerals and nutrition and should be replaced with new bones.
If the farmer does not take EBT you will still want to buy bags of bones from him. Some farmers discard bones and will give them to you at no cost, most will not. The same is true for fat. If you can get pork fat or beef fat from your farmer a bag should render roughly a liter of cooking fat for about $2. This is one of the most healthy fats on the market and it is also the most economical.
If the farmer does take EBT purchase the cheaper cuts of meat: ground beef, liver, kidney and pork back bones (literally cost a few pennies per gallon bag).
From the local grocery store, with EBT and WIC, absolutely never buy processed or prepackaged food. Always buy fresh foods that you will cook.
grocery store buys:
make almond butter (just throw almonds in a Cuisinart)
almond milk (one cup almonds to three cups filtered water in a blender, honey, vanilla)
cheddar cheese (block form)
unsweetened coconut (in Cuisinart make coconut butter)
navy beans (purchased dry in a bag, soak them and cook in bone broth)
peanut butter (WIC – make sure the ingredients read peanuts and salt, nothing else)
You can absolutely feed your family real food with minimal expense.
Growing your own garden is a big money saver – and now is the time to plant a winter garden!
This post is in response to a reader’s question. She wished to stay anonymous but I’m so glad she asked! List money saving tips you have below. Together we get better!
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