Changes we have Made in the Last Year
1. Cook from Scratch
I now make my own pizza dough, pancakes, waffles, bread, cakes, muffins etc. all from scratch. I use to be the queen of baking out of a box. Now you won't find a box in my baking cupboard :) I love being able to control (and pronounce) the ingredients in the foods I make. I love to experiment with reducing the amounts of sugars and or oils to make our food healthier but still tasting great. As a rule, we limit the processed foods in our home and try to cook as much from scratch as possible. If we do buy processed foods (Lil C loves her Annie's Mac and Cheese), I try to buy organic (organic coupon sites are below).
2. Buy Local
I now buy my eggs from a local farm, we are part of a CSA for veggies for 5 months out of the year (may join year round this year), we buy Raw Milk from a farm in our state, buy local maple syrup and honey and we are on a waiting list for a meat CSA. I am still searching for a good source of free range chicken around here (beef is everywhere) and until I find it I buy our meat from US Wellness.
3. Raw Milk
You can't get much more simple than Raw Milk and I now truly understand the meaning of "crying over spilt milk (the stuff is expensive, I weep over every drop spilt!). Now before you go and tell me about your mom's best friend's mother's sisters dentist who got sick from drinking Raw Milk, please know that this decision was made after a lot of research and investigation. This is a topic for a whole other blog post but today I will say that we drink it, we love it (well we are working on Z) and we feel great. I highly recommend reading the Untold Story of Milk. Even if you never plan to switch to Raw Milk, it is jam packed full with the history, politics and science behind this favorite beverage. Great book!!!
4. Preserving Food
This is still so new to me but I am having so much fun. Last year I canned 40 lbs of tomatoes (they got us through until March I think), froze homemade applesauce (the picture above is oatmeal mixed with my applesauce) and saved up money to buy a dehydrator!! I have dehydrated pineapple (back when they were practically giving them away) and banana so far. I plan to dehydrate, can and freeze a lot more this year and I can't wait!
5. Weekly Menu
For Christmas my MIL got me a meal planning calendar and I LOVE it!! Planning our weekly menu has helped us to stay on budget, eat healthier and made my job of preparing food so much easier. By looking at my menu I know when to take things out of the freezer, what can be done to prep in the morning or at naps and I am never scrambling at 5pm trying to figure out what is for dinner. This menu has helped us to stop eating take-out (we use to eat out all the time) which has helped us to stay within our tight budget.
My Simple Food Inspirations
Keeper of the Home
Campaign for Real Milk
Untold Story of Milk
Real Food on a Real Budget
Organic Coupon Sites