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Living Whole(ish) on a Budget

It’s no secret that we try to live pretty frugally around here.  I’d love to tell you we do it so we can be building retirement portfolios or sponsoring a half-dozen Compassion children or living debt free.

But the truth is, we live frugally because that’s the only way we can pay all our bills, put food on the table, and save an emergency fund that gets drained at least once a year by non-emergencies like new tires, medical bills, or our anniversary getaway.

Slowly but surely we’re chipping away at debt, and with a slightly bigger house on our future radar, we’re trying to live simply but still enjoy God’s blessings and the opportunity to love on other people. Usually, I use this blog as a writing outlet for my musings on motherhood and the antics of my crazy children but this has become such a big part of my journey in staying home, that I want to share it with you!

That and writing about doing something makes me feel really accountable to actually doing it. So for the next few weeks, I’m going to have a weekly series about how we’re trying to live a healthy, balanced, whole(ish) foods diet on a grocery budget that’s just under $300 a month.

That number comes from us following the Crown Financial plan for financial freedom,  Your Money Map: A Proven 7-Step Guide to True Financial Freedom, (it’s almost exactly the same as Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness) and because we have figured out how to get what we need at that price point. Sometimes we go over. Rarely are we under. But for the most part, $300 a month feeds us pretty comfortably.  Of course you have to keep in mind that two of my children are still pretty little and unless they’re in a growth spurt aren’t eating the same as a teenager or an adult.

One way I’ve found that really works for me is to focus on local foods and stores. I know a lot of people coupon or price match, and if that works for you, great. But I’ve come off that bandwagon for the most part and have had greater success with my own version of a whole foods approach.  For me, what that means, is if I can make it from scratch, then I do that instead. My kitchen cabinets stay stocked with baking ingredients, rolled oats, dried fruit, and nuts. I buy more eggs but less meat, make breakfast almost every morning, and sometimes pack my kids leftovers for lunch. I’ve discovered a plethera of uses for lentils and Greek yogurt (though not together). I am a master at sneaking vegetables into meals and I ration cheese. But mostly, I seek out what’s local and in season, because that’s where I’m getting the best bang for my buck.

As spring settles in, I’m gearing up for a new season with our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and since I agreed to handle marketing for them, you’re also going to be treated to lots of information on what we’re learning and eating by having a share of a local farm delivered to our doorstep once a week. I’m planning to begin hosting a Wednesday linkup for us to share our favorite recipes using locally grown ingredients (local to you, not just to me) so that all summer long we can experience the glory of each other’s summer bounty.

But before that happens, I’m going to offer you a seat at my kitchen table and share about the following topics:

April 9:: Tips for Buying Locally Sourced Produce, Meat, and Dairy
April 16:: Monthly Meal Planning (Week by Week)
April 23:: Ten Things I’m Making Instead of Buying
April 30:: What WIC Taught Me about Groceries 

I hope you’ll join me on this journey and offer your own tips and resources along the way!

By the way this awesome bundle deal of 78 ebooks and bonus offers is available RIGHT NOW for one super low price. I’m using lots of these resources to help me handle this budget!

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Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that help support my writing habit. 

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