With the economy the way it is the affects have reached well into the kitchen. I saw a program on television the other day and a woman was interviewed with three children. She said she skips one meal a day so that her kids can eat. Is that happening to you? Do you have the self sacrificing spirit she displayed and limit your intake so your family can eat? Is it really necessary to do so, or are there other ways to feed a family without limiting your own food intake?
Perhaps a serious examination of your family’s purchasing habits should be done when it comes to grocery shopping. We have all become accustomed to buying our food at, where else – the grocery store. But is that the only place to get food? Do you realize the mark up they put on your food to pay for the store and its overhead? How often do you shop? What types of food are you providing your family? Is it healthy? Do you have a tendency to put cold cereal and soda pop in your shopping cart?
Below are some helpful tips that may just enable you to have more food in the kitchen.
- First of all, the grocery store is not the only place to get food. Farmers markets and CSA’s do exist, as well as discount grocery stores. I recently wrote an article about food bank food – there is another place to get food if you qualify. Why not find out if you do and add more food to the pantry?
- Second, grocery stores have employee’s to pay, insurance to pay, operating costs to pay, loss to account for, taxes, shipping, etc.etc. The mark up is huge. Much of the food sold there is not local, but shipped from sometimes thousands of miles. That means picked green or unripe to get to you before it spoils. So why not seriously consider buying local? Find a farm nearby and see if you can get in on a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture?
- Third, the more often you shop the more money you will spend. Is it possible for you to shop once or twice a month and eliminate those extra trips to the store to avoid spending more money on food than necessary? If you stock up on basics and make a grocery list before going out to find your food, you will spend less money. Also try not to take small kids with you, they want to put things into the cart that you may not need or want to buy and give in to their pleas. However, grocery shopping can be a huge learning experience for children that can help with adding, reading labels, food comparison, etc. use it as a time to teach, and you will have helpers to carry the food into the house when you get home.
- Fourth, the type of food you buy is the ultimate bottom line to the health of your family. Are you setting them up for diabetes? Do you buy junk food? Carbs, candy, chips, soda pop, canned food? Or are you health conscious? Is your family overweight? Can you do something about it? If you are the family purchaser then make sure your choices are good ones.
Look at the price per pound on the shelf label of cold cereal. Do you see that you are buying a box of nothing for $4.00 per pound or more? Cold cereal is junk food. You may as well be handing them a box of cookies and a soda for breakfast. I was reminded of a Bill Cosby episode, you may remember, when he fed his kids chocolate cake and his wife asked about it. He justified his action by saying it was well balanced, it had eggs, and grains, and dairy, you get the point. When tempted to buy cold cereal, look at the price per pound then ask yourself if there is something for that price that might benefit your family more, like a pound of lean meat, perhaps chicken, turkey, fish, or grass fed beef?
I recently came across an interesting article about a family that bought no food from the grocery store for one year just to see if it could be done, you might be surprised. Here is a link.http://shine.yahoo.com/event/green/no-groceries-for-a-year-how-one-family-saved-money-lost-weight-and-lived-well-2582457/