How can we eat healthy and still stay within a limited budget or buying source? I've put together a few tips that I hope will help.
1. Buy in bulk. Go straight to the source, either the importer or the manufacturer ,if possible, to get better prices. Become part of either a co-op or a group of people who share the same goal of buying big to save money.
2. Buy/harvest in season large quantities of vegetables and/or fruits. You can freeze, dehydrate, can and store lots of food for off season times to continue feeding your family. Write down seasons of fresh vegetables and fruits. Pay attention to sales, farmers markets and what's growing outside and when.
3. Use your money for only whole foods. Don't splurge on junk foods. They don't feed anyone and it's a waste of money . Our dollars and shekels go much farther when we use them to buy real whole foods to make meals at home . Shop around, find the places that provide you with your favorite ingredients, and find the best deals on good whole foods. I've found Indian, Ethiopian stores or Asian markets have great prices on things that are way over priced at health food or chain stores. Write down the costs of things so you can keep a tally of where your money is going. This way you can start to cut out things that you don't need and use it instead on what you do.
4. Garden! Growing our own food is the most healthy and inexpensive way to eat. Just a few seeds provide many ingredients for meals that will last all year. Gardening can be done anywhere. In place of a lawn, in boxes, bags, rooftops, kitchen windows, balconies and vertically on walls.
5. Find a guide book, course or fellow forager for wild foods. Many of our weeds are the most amazing sources of vitamins, minerals and nutrition you can find. These are also a valuable source of medicine. Learn the wild plants in your area, collect, dry/tincture/powder, and store airtight in a clean glass jar
6. Plan ahead. It's all about timing. Keep a diary or a list of some sort that can help sort out the confusion for the next year. The more we practice to get it right the better we become at succeeding. Seasons, what grows, when and where to buy them, Each year you will find yourself knowing more and more what to do in preparation for the coming months .
7. Reuse ingredients until there's nothing left. For example: Coconut. Buy a lot when it's in season. I like to grind it and freeze it so I have it available all year. You can make coconut milk , then save the coconut that's left to make dessicated coconut for use in baking, crackers,bread or chocolates or grind the dried coconut to make coconut flour. Same goes for nuts and seeds.
8. Get the whole family involved, actually, if possible get the whole neighborhood involved. Have people making lists, learning budgeting, health, reading lables, gardening, bartering , collecting seeds, canning etc etc. This will take a community effort to provide for each other. If neighbors are not onboard, make sure the kids are savvy on the economics of prepping.
9. Stock up now. We have the opportunity to stock up on dry goods while supplies last. This might not be the case soon. Using new trash bins with lids, these things can be stored using sealed bags inside with bay leaves or cedar chips to keep bugs away.