Eating well … cheaply

When I tell folks that I am committed to eating grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and organic when possible, the comment I hear most often is “It’s so expensive to eat healthy when I can buy a hamburger from McDonald’s off the Dollar Menu“.

While this is a real concern, there are many ways to overcome the $ hurdle.

1. Eating high quality foods will save $ in healthcare costs. Generally, you will be sick less often, can get off medications, and reverse chronic diseases. Count up all of your current prescriptions and healthcare costs. If you did not have to spend that in one year, it would equal if not far surpass the extra cost of real food.

2. Eat seasonally. Foods in season are cheaper. Take a look around the grocery store – right now, leeks, onions, and winter squashes will be cheaper than at other times of the year. Eating what’s in-season defers the cost of food. Yes, there are less veggies/fruits in the winter. Eat more fat and protein. Your body will thank you, I promise.

3. Get local wildlife. I’ve spent the last couple of weeks cleaning ducks and processing deer. Yes, it takes time, but most parts of the animal can be used for meat, broth, and fat. This cuts down on the cost of those products at the store.

For example, 12 ducks yielded a couple of cups of duck fat, 24 duck breasts, a few gallons of duck broth (to be used like chicken broth), and lots of liver/hearts/gizzards. Even the feet/bill can be used to add cartilage to the broth!

Real butter and fat are expensive compared to margarine and hydrogenated oils. Rendering your own fat saves lots of money!

4. Eat more fat/meat. Eating more quality fat and animal products (and less carbohydrates) will cause you to eat less calories per day. Over time, this adds up to lots of $. Yes, this works with families too.

5. Stock up on sale items and freeze. Clint found our favorite peppered bacon, nitrate-free, on sale at Whole Foods. Although we ate it all, it was a great opportunity to freeze the extra for the future.

6. Make your own probiotics. Yogurt can be an expensive way to get your probiotics. For a fraction of the cost you can buy a head of cabbage and make your own!

7. Slaughter a whole animal (cow, pig, etc.). This saves lots of money as long as you have the freezer space. Grass-fed meat is expensive, but we saved about $3 per pound by slaughtering a whole cow.

Although this list is by no means exhaustive, it should give you a head start on making smart choices for you and your families.

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