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    One of the first concerns we hear from dieters is in regards to the grocery budget. You’re not alone! We were worried too!

    Let’s face it, very few of us can afford to throw the garbage foods stocked up in our pantries and head out to the health food store to replace it all with organic staples. The same holds true for produce – commercially grown vs organic – and we wonder how we’ll ever afford it!

    While the first argument I see most people making – if you don’t pay for good food today you’ll pay for it in the future with medical bills – may be valid, I think that argument is unnecessary. After a year on this diet both my own and my mother’s household grocery budget has lessened in comparison to the way we have eaten and shopped all years previous.

    Lessened, even though we eat more healthfully than we ever had – even more healthfully than compared to our years on the farm.

    Today we shop at the bulk store, the grocery store, the farmer’s markets, the local butcher shop and sometimes the health food store. Most weeks we are only buying fresh produce. The other shops – about once a month. The only time we wander down the center aisles of the grocery store is when we need olive oil, tea/coffee, spices, or cleaning supplies.

    You’ll be surprised how much money you save when the grocery budget isn’t blown on garbage snacks and empty nutrition.

    We also cart home fewer bags and the reason for this is nutrition. I would not have believed you if you’d told me this last year but two slices of our homemade pizza is more than enough for dinner – so much so that we’re seldom hungry again until lunch time the next day. There is only one reason for that – our bodies are being satiated by real food. Compare that to our previous eating habits – one of those pre-made pizzas from the freezer section – each of us with our own favorite 8 slices and feeling like a snack before bed just a few hours later!

    This isn’t because we were gluttons. It is all about the emptiness of nutrition in pre-made foods. The carbs of the sauce and pizza crust, plus the empty fiber of the remaining ingredients would be burned up (or stored as fat) quickly. When you make a pizza using wholesome ingredients your body will put those ingredients to good use and not store it as fat.

    And since I’ve gone off on a pizza tangent here, I’ll tell you this as well. Instead of our family eating three grocery store pizzas in one night, one home made pizza now feeds all of us (my dad, not a dieter and 6’5″ in height, eats half).

    That covers the nutrition aspect of the grocery budget – less food, more nutrition. But since the purpose of this topic was meant to be about cost (and using the pizza as an example), we’ve roughly estimated our home made pizzas to cost between $6-7 per 13″ pizza. Given that the average grocery store pizza is about the same size and price, by eating home made pizza one night per week (and since we are no longer buying 3 pizzas for that evening) we’ve just shaved $12-$14 off our grocery budget! This is just one example on how a family can save money by eating better food.

    You may not believe me until you have tried it, I understand that. We were skeptics too! You may think that organic or farm-raised or pastured foods are too expensive, but I promise you, with very little planning and in very short order, you will find that it can not only save your health, it will also save your bank account.

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