From the Reformation of Food and the Family 2012 Conference:
This discussion is led by Mrs. Belle Phillips. The ladies answering questions and giving tips are Kim, Monica, and the West ladies. All of these ladies have large families and are experts on how to feed healthy food to their families without breaking their budgets.
Mrs. Phillips starts off the session telling us what you should NOT be telling yourself about health.
- You should not tell yourself “the government will take care of my health” or “the government will give me money for myhealth.”
- You should not tell yourself “I can’t afford to buy healthy food.”
- You should not tell yourself “she’s in sin because she is feeding her family that way.”
Then Mrs. Phillips started asking the ladies questions concerning frugality and health.
Question #1 How do you be the most frugal and the most helpful at the same time?
Kim- we have been moving into eating healthy frugally. It has been a journey for us.
Monica- my husband and I have always thought is was important to eat healthy.
West Ladies-we have lived on a limited budget while eating healthy. It is an adventure and it can be done.
Question #2 Please give us some tips. What are some things you have found to get healthy food but on a tight budget?
Kim- we decided not to garden due to a bad climate where we live. We go to Costco. Big packages are very convenient for are family. We also buy from a place that sells produce to restaurants and grocery stores. We have gotten very good discounts. Co-ops are also helpful.
Monica- we have always done co-ops. There are usually co-ops in most areas. It’s easy and affordable. We started budgeting every month and saved for grass fed beef. If you can’t afford a quarter or half of a cow you can go in with another family. You can also do the same thing with raw dairy products. If you make everything from scratch you have it for a fraction of the price. Meal planning is also very important.
West Ladies-where we live popcorn is always served. It is very affordable and very tasty. You can also grind up your popcorn into wonderful corn meal. Farmers markets are also wonderful. Get to know your farmers market.
Mrs. Phillips- my family eats eggs constantly. We can’t have chickens in our neighborhood so our friends agreed to raise chickens for us and we support them.
Question #3 Can you tell me what are some things your family will not compromise on no matter the cost?
Kim- we put an emphasis on getting enough protein and not carbohydrates. We don’t eat much meat but we eat a lot of eggs. We raise our own chickens. We also drink a lot of milk. We buy raw milk when we can afford it. We also eat a lot of beans.
Monica- one of our top items we will not compromise on is meat. Use everything from the meat. Use the broth, and the bones.
West Ladies-for us the main things are meat and dairy. We also do organic corn.
Question #1 from the audience: what are healthy and frugal meals for church fellowship meals?
Monica- I think anything vegetarian. Vegetarian meals are cheap and go very far.
Kim- a couple of our favorites are: taco salad, homemade bread and Mexican casserole. You can feed a lot of people with these meals without breaking the budget.
West Ladies- what we do is if the tomatoes are in we do a plate of tomatoes. And if the green beans are in we do a crock pot of green beans.
Question #2 from the audience: a lot of these tips are for big families. Do you have any tips for small families?
Monica- whatever we eat the children eat. We had a baby food grinder. We would grind up our food and feed it to the little ones. We never bought baby food. When we’d travel we would just open up a can of soup and eat it. That is what we call “fast food”.
West Ladies-for snack foods you can still buy in bulk even if you have a small family.
Kim- like Monica said ‘our kids eat what we eat’. Sometimes buying a smaller quantity of things won’t cost you so much.
Belle Phillip- we use the freezer. You can preserve your food easily that way.
Question #3 from the audience: what recommendations do you have on how to get the best water economically?
Kim- we live in the country and we have a well so we don’t have to worry much about that.
Monica- we live in the city and we have done a lot of research over the years. We have a water purifier. Water is also one thing we will not compromise on. Even if you can get good drinking water please do not over look the showers! You so need a filter on your shower.
West Ladies-water filters are very good. We have spring water and love it. We also use glass jars instead of plastic water bottles.
Question #4: what kind of spices do you use?
West Ladies- we love basil and fennel seed. But garlic is our number one. Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory. Parsley is also great.
Monica- cilantro is one of my favorites.
Kim- we love taco seasoning. You can make it very easily from scratch. We use a lot of garlic. We also use a lot of black pepper and salt.
Mrs. Phillips ended the discussion with a few tips of her own. She said that for cleaning supplies vinegar and baking soda will clean just about anything. She also said that exercise will add considerably to your health.
This was very good learning for me on how to eat healthy on a frugal budget. What ideas do you have on how to eat healthy frugally?