8 Tips for Feeding Your Family Whole Foods on a Budget (Plus a Giveaway for “The Money Saving Mom’s Budget”!)

This is a guest post written by Crystal Paine, from Money Saving Mom. Be sure not to miss our giveaway below this post for Crystal’s new book The Money Saving Mom®‘s Budget.

Many people have this misguided idea that it is impossible to feed your family a whole foods on a budget. If you live in Alaska or some remote part of the country, this may be the case, but in most areas, you can feed your family natural, unprocessed foods without spending hundreds of dollars each week to do so.

Sure, you might spend a little bit more than someone who is eating a diet composed mostly of processed foods, but it really doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg as some people will make you
think–especially if you’re willing to get creative and think outside the box.

Now, let me be upfront and tell you that our weekly meal plans probably wouldn’t win us the Healthiest Family of the Year award. We eat some processed foods (though we do make the majority of our food from scratch), we like sweets and we certainly do not eat 100% organic.

I know some people are really bothered by this, but we strive to have a balance of serving lots of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains while still enjoying the occasional brownies and ice cream or even letting our children have a Happy Meal every now and then (gasp! Can you believe it?!)

So, despite the fact that I’m not the most knowledgeable and experienced person to be tackling this issue, here are some suggestions:

1. Plan a Menu Based Upon What is In Season and On Sale

If you want to feed your family on a budget, you need to have a plan for what you’ll be eating. If you can make your menu plan mostly based upon what is on sale at the natural foods store, what is in season at the Farmer’s Market and/or what you’re reaping in abundance from your garden, you’re going to significantly reduce your grocery bill.

2. Practice the “Buy Ahead” Principle

If you happen to come upon an incredible sale on tomatoes at the Farmer’s Market, or the health food store has organic frozen vegetables on a great sale, stock up. Buying items you routinely use when
they are at their lowest price is another surefire way to savings.

3. Plant a Garden (Or Barter With Someone Who Does!)

If you can pull it off, plant a garden. Produce is typically only pennies per item from your own backyard, it’s tremendously fresh and you know exactly what you did or didn’t spray on it. Plus, you can can or freeze your extras–or bless your friends and neighbors with them!

Have a brown thumb? Find a friend who loves gardening and trade services (babysitting, breadbaking, car maintenance?) in exchange for their garden excess.

4. Stick With Simple Meals Using Inexpensive Ingredients

When you’re planning your menu, think about how much your recipes will cost you to make. It doesn’t have to be a scientific to-the-penny figure, but just having a good idea that there is a $10 difference between the price of making one meal as opposed to another meal can help you decide whether you can afford to make something or perhaps should save it for a special occasion.

5. Serve Meat as a Condiment

I shamelessly stole this idea from Family Feasts for $75 Per Week because it’s so brilliant. Serving meat in soup or on pizza is going to be a lot less expensive than serving roast and sirloin,
especially if you’re buying high-quality meat.

Need ideas? Laura shows you how to make six meals out of one chicken.

6. Buy in Bulk

It is usually much more cost-effective to purchase meat and staple ingredients in bulk. Call around to local farmers and see what they would charge you for purchasing half a cow. In many cases, it’s at
least $1 cheaper per pound to purchase in bulk. Buying grains, beans, as well as many other basic ingredients with long storage lives in large quantities will almost always save you at least 20%, if not more.

Costco, as well as many bulk foods stores and local co-ops, offer great pricing. You can also check with your local health food store to see if they’d offer you a discount for bulk purchases.

7. Consider Joining a CSA or Co-Op

If there is a co-op or CSA in your area, check into pricing and details for joining. You might find that it is an affordable and money-saving option for your family. If you can’t find an affordable co-op in your area, you could consider starting your own co-op.

8. Use Coupons on Non-Food Items

I know a number of my readers don’t eat processed foods, but they use coupons to save money on toilet paper, toothbrushes and other non-food items which they purchase. Your savings might not be so exciting as others who use dozens of coupons each shopping trip, but even saving $5 each week by using coupons can start to add up over time.

Crystal Paine is a wife, homeschool mom to three, self-proclaimed minimalist, lover of dark chocolate and good coffee (those can be “healthful” in moderation, right?) and wannabe runner. For practical help and inspiration to get your life and finances in order, check out her blog, MoneySavingMom or purchase a copy of her brand-new book, The Money Saving Mom®‘s Budget.

Interested in winning a copy of Crystal’s new book, The Money Saving Mom®‘s Budget? They’ve offered to give away five copies! Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. I’ll draw five random winners on Monday, January 16. Please watch for a post stating the winner as you will be responsible for contacting me if your name is chosen!

Comments

  1. Cathy says

    I’d love to have a copy of that book. We tend to be very frugal, but I’m always interested in new ways to save more while still eating whole foods.

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  2. kelly says

    I am always interested is saving money and with 3 boys and one girl, we like to eat! =0)

    cooperkelly4@yahoo dot com

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  3. Lisa says

    I received some birthday money and this book is sitting in my shopping cart on Amazon! I just hadn’t purchased it yet. I would love to win!

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  4. Julia says

    I actually found your blog through Crystal’s. I am glad too as I want to feed my family of 6 more whole foods Nd don’t think I’ll be perfect at it. I’m glad that you’re honest (and pretty funny too) about your life. :)

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  5. says

    I’d like to note for those hoping to use coupons that you CAN use them on food items too. Yes, your biggest savings might come from non-food items. But you can absolutely find coupons for food items.

    My advice there is to go to the websites of foods you enjoy. Everything has a company connection. Actually, Pom (they produce the juice AND the whole fruits in the produce aisle) frequently has coupons in the Sunday inserts. There are always coupons for various salad greens too. And frozen veggies. But if you don’t see a brand you like, try looking on their website and/or Facebook page. Olivia’s Organics and Udi’s are two of my favorites and both frequently offer coupons via website or FB. Don’t limit yourself to bulk buying when often smaller purchases with coupons is a better deal. Co-ops often accept coupons too.

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  6. Heidi says

    I am really interested in getting this book! We seem to have gotten a little stuck in our “pay-down-the-debt” plans and need some inspiration and a little bit of how-to.

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  7. Lynne says

    Would love to win this book! I found your website a few months ago and it has been so helpful in learning to replace what we eat with more whole foods. I know I can always look to your blog to find recipes that promote health and don’t compromise on taste!

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  8. Christina Lucich says

    Great tips! I love to shop the deals and stock up! It really makes a difference in how much I spend! I would love to win a free book!

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  9. Cathy B. says

    I would love to win a copy of this book! I’ve been intrigued since I first heard about it. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  10. Martha says

    Would love to win this book. I have two (almost three) teenage boys and constantly work to tweak our food budget – these are great tips!

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  11. Katelyn says

    I’d love this! We live in France where it is hard to find good food for a good price, so tips for stretching the budget would be wonderful!

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  12. says

    I would LOVE a copy! I have 3 Boys in my life INCLUDING my WONDERFUL HUSBAND! I amm on a mission to feed my family well, and have a year supply of food on hand for emergencies, no I am not LDS , but some family members are!…..Here is what Is WE do…….I do BLOG / Newsletter work for a local CSA, in return we get our veggies for free. I ripped out the flower beds along our new house, VEGGIES here I come! My husband works at a lifeflight Eagle base. They have a large raised garden that all can plant and harvest from, Our beens will be planted there. We both hunt so we have two deer in the freezer, I also make homemade deer stock instead of beef stock for use in soups and sauces. I have our local walmart price match EVERYTHING the other grocery stores are 30-40 min. away!I use online coupons when I can.
    THANK YOU! I placed my first order with TROPICAL TRADITIONS, I ordered 2 gallons of coconut oil, coconut flour, and shredded coconut…I can’t wait!

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  13. Claudia K says

    Thanks so much for your wonderful site. You have so many great recipes and resources. I would love a copy of the book!

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  14. says

    Great tips. I’m trying to feed my little family of 3 (including my adorable 10 month old boy) a healthy diet on a very limited budget and I’ll take all the advice I can get!

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  15. Megan says

    I LOVE your tips on feeding a family on a budget! We are about to become a family of 6 and I am already finding that with our family of 5 I have to start doubling most of the meals, but not all of them because our current youngest is a toddler. This summer I planted a container garden (I think I had 20 containers?) and that included 7 tomato plants. My hubby and I were amazed at how much we saved at the grocery store by taking the time to grow just some of our produce. We didn’t have enough to can or freeze, though, because the kids kept eating everything as soon as it ripened? Got any tips to keep the two-legged animals out of the garden? :)

    Thanks for offering the giveaway, too. This would be a great book to read!

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  16. Christina Bagne says

    I would love to add this book to my library. I’ve been following Crystal’s blog for many years. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  17. Laura says

    I’ve been reading both of your blogs for years, so I am excited to see this! We’re working on our budget and could surely find some helpful tips :) Thanks for the chance!

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  18. Mary says

    Great tips. I wish CSAs were affordable where I live–they are around $700 for a very short season. Our local farmer’s market is expanding a bit, though. I’d love to win a copy of the book.

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  19. Gail E says

    I would love to win this book! Thanks for sharing the 8 Great Tips –some we currently follow and others will be something we’ll definitely work on.

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  20. Heidi L says

    I just checked out the Money Saving Mom website–it’s now bookmarked :) I would love to read the book! Hopefully I’ll win a copy. Thanks for the opportunity!

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  21. Brandi says

    Thanks for the ideas. We’ve been planting a garden and just this year started canning/preserving the produce. Your site helps me with that!

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  22. says

    I’d love to win this book. Hubby and I have noticed our grocery bill inching up though we’ve stuck to our regular meal plans. Nothing fancy. This book would be a great help!

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  23. Terra says

    I would love to win a copy of this book for my family! I’m new to all this and need as much help as I can get! :D

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  24. Alisha says

    These are great ideas. We already do some, but can always do better. Thank you Laura for real encouragement and great recipes!

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  25. Tisha says

    Thank you for your wonderful website and thank you for sharing these great tips with all of us! The book looks absolutely wonderful! Thanks so much for the opportunity to enter the contest! Have a blessed day!

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  26. Whitney M. says

    I would love to win this book! I am planning on purchasing several copies to give to mom and sisters for their birthday/Valentine’s Day whatever holiday I can use to give it to them! LOL

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  27. Jennifer says

    I’ve been reading Crystal’s blog for a long time (as well as yours) and am very excited for her this week. I’d love to read her new book.

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  28. Katie P. says

    As always, great tips! Thanks! And I would love to win the book, I found your site through Money Saving Mom, as well as a number of wonderful information.

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  29. Jennifer H says

    Love the tips Crystal is offering. I read both your blog and hers daily. You two ladies are both very inspirational to so many of us. Thanks for the advice, and the chance to win.

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  30. Myra says

    Hi Laura! I just recently started reading Crystal’s blog & I’d love to win a copy of the book! I really need some inspiration & guidance on getting our finances in order!

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  31. valleygirl says

    Great tips! Wish I could find a co-op where I live. I’m sure that would help the budget big time. Jealous of all you out there that have this option….def make use of it! You won’t be sorry!

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  32. Katie says

    I love articles like this one. One of my goals this year is to lower the amount of money I spent on groceries and dining out. So far so good. I just always seem to crave veggies that are out of season :) I can’t wait to read this book

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  33. Jiya Sarma says

    One further tip is to check out farmer’s markets, even in large cities. At the Union Square green market in NYC, the vendors often mark down prices at 4 pm (about an hour before closing) to make the deals even better.

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  34. Jacquie Z says

    I love to win this book! I read both blogs all the time. Great sites and alot of help to my family. Thanks.

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  35. Lisa Hutcheson says

    Great tips! We’re going to be on a really tight budget for the next few months due to purchasing a home and I’m scraping up all the tips I can find on saving money. The one thing I don’t want to sacrifice is our nutritious food. We have a child that is on a wheat-free diet and I’m on a GFCF diet, so food is already more costly.

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  36. Allison says

    Thanks for the great tips! I wish we had a whole foods near by, closest one is an hour drive :(

    I do my best with what we have, though.

    Love that there are others out there concerned with eating whole foods and helping others.

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  37. Michelle says

    I would love to win this book also! I lost my job in September. We were eating pretty much all organic, but then it got to be difficult after the loss of my income. I still try to maintain a mostly organic lifestyle, but we have had to make some compromises. Love these tips!

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  38. Jennie says

    I would love to win a copy of this book. I’m doing my best to implement Crystal’s tips a bit at a time so we can get out of debt.

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  39. says

    Good timing with this post. My new years resolution is to provide healthier meals and snacks for my kids. Their diets aren’t awful, but there is certainly room for improvement. Thanks for the tips.

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  40. Stephanie K. says

    I really appreciate your tips and am doing my best to help my family eat better without blowing my budget. Thanks!

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  41. Monica says

    I’ve enjoyed following Crystal’s blog and I appreciate her advice. I would enjoy reading her book and winning it would be a blessing.

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  42. Heidi says

    Love this! Can feed a family of 4 for $50/week mostly organic, fresh, gluten free, made from scratch foods. It is a challenge and well worth it!

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  43. Heather says

    This is definitely something I can get into! Feeding a family of 5 on $90 a week is difficult, even more so if you’re trying to eat healthy. Bookmarking this one!

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  44. Kim Luedeman says

    I just recently changed my own eating habits to more fresh produce and was excited to find using your article that there are actually CSAs near me. I didn’t think there were. So Thank You.

    I would love to win the book too.

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  45. says

    Another thing you can do if you have time to commit to a co-op is looking for a local gleaning co-op. We take the old produce from grocery stores on a schedule, and take turns distributing it to our members. While it can be unpleasant to deal with sometimes, when you are sorting through rotting produce in bad weather, you are guaranteed more produce than you can use. Roast veggies, real fruit juice, and lots of crockpot soup fills our house. Bread products fill my pantry and freezer.

    MSN did an article on gleaning in general, and interviewed someone from our group.

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  46. Jana says

    You are right. I would much rather have a bag of apples than a bag of chips that only last one lunch because it doesn’t fill them up.

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  47. Stacie James says

    Thank you for the suggestions! I am learning to live on a budget when it comes to healthy eating and every tip helps!

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  48. says

    I would love to win her book :) . . . we do a trade with a farmer for their eggs – we wash out their farm sink and mop the floors and we get two dozen eggs – being creative is so helpful to our budget. Thanks for the ideas today, Crystal :)

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  49. says

    6 meals out of one chicken is absolutely amazing. My husband has asked that we eat less meat in 2012, so I am trying many new recipes, especially bean burgers and soups.

    I follow Money Saving Mom every day, and would love to win a copy of her book.

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  50. Kelly says

    I am a fan of Crystal’s blog and well as Heavenly Homemakers. Both have helped me in my journey to serve my family better. I’d love a copy of Crystal’s book, thanks!

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  51. Randi says

    I LOVE your site and am trying more and more recipes. I especially like the homemade mixes (taco seasoning, onion soup…) and the ranch dressing is one of our favs! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful knowledge!

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  52. Ilyssa says

    Thanks for the tips on how to save on healthier foods… I especially like the idea of sharing with someone who gardens!

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  53. Cyndy says

    Very good points! I really need to work on the meat as a condiment idea. That would help. Thanks for offering the giveaway! Looks like a great book!

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  54. Amy says

    I think this book would be wonderful to have. It is hard for family’s to stretch a dollars these days. Price of everything is going up.

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  55. says

    Thanks for the great tips! I was one of those that believed it was too expensive to eat whole foods. Especially living in a tiny town with no health food stores nearby. But these ideas are very manageable for anyone! I can’t wait to give them a try!

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  56. says

    My goal for this year is to have my own garden, and not to rely on my moms :) It will be a good way to eat fresh and clean without breaking the bank

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  57. Sandy says

    Book sounds like a good and educational read. Living on a fixed income, I do all I can to cut corners and still eat nutritionally. As for coupon-ing…..when I can get an item I don’t use for next to nothing, with a coupon, I do it. Then when I want to give a welcome basket to someone, I can pull together some items and it is my way to give a gift on a dime !

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  58. says

    Great Tips! I have started trying to move more toward a whole food diet for my family, especially now that an organic market just opened up in our area! It does take more planning to make our grocery budget work, but it is worth it to me to be able to serve my family high quality food!

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  59. Bonnie says

    Thanks for the wonderful tips. I so need this book-I have been wanting to purchase this book- But funds are low. So I will wait patiently until the funds are available.

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  60. says

    I would add a #9 to the list.
    #9 Price Matching on Produce!
    We save at least $10 a week practicing this, for example Aldi this week has pineapple on sale for $0.99, 3 lbs of apples for $1.47, some other country super market store has 8lbs of navel oranges for $3.99, green pepper 2/$.099. In my area pineapples are normally $3.99, apples at least $1/lb, oranges at least $0.70 each, green peppers $0.99, so this week alone I will be saving and eating to my delight. Also saving on gas and picking up all the goods at Walmart with their ad match promise!

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  61. says

    Love your tips listed here! We are family of 8 and have a budget for sure! We avoid processed foods, and have dont his for a long time. We do lots from scratch. We do not do all organic, but we do try to stick to organic or becareful of the “dirty dozen” list. A arden is so helpful too! Aldi is a good place for good prices and fruits and veggies. They also have a lot if preservative and msg free items. I have found Kroger’s organic prices to be very competitive as far as produce goes.

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  62. Fiona says

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Sometimes it’s hard making ends meet each month with many mouths to feed!

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  63. Bridget Burritt says

    Would love to win a copy of the book. We always but fruits and veggies in season and it saves us a lot of money. We also shop for discounted meat and freeze it immediately.

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  64. calista says

    I am quitting my job at the end of the month, and I could definitely benefit from a book to help my husband and I save money!

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  65. Lennelle says

    I would love to win this book as I have 8 in my family. I can use all the tips I can get. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  66. KimH says

    I love Crystal.. so shes so open & honest.. Gotta appreciate that.

    I can save a lot by canning or freezing my own foods.. soups, meals, and condiments I’ve made myself.
    I could get by with trimming meat down if it werent for m’honey.. he eats a huge hunk of meat.. He thinks hes dying if he doesnt have it Owell.. we all gotta go someway, I guess. ;)

    Great article.

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  67. chrissy mckinnon says

    I’d love a copy of the book – just had my fourth baby, and trying to get our family out of debt from my husbands 3 years in seminary!

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  68. Christina says

    I love the idea of using meat as a condiment, so many times I plan my family’s meal around the meat.
    I am really exploring ways to eat healthy and to feed my family real food and not chemically altered prepackaged junk food from the store.

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  69. Gretchen in HB says

    We save money by drinking lots of water! We throw in a little slice of lemon or lime, or buy powdered drink mixes to change it up a bit. I’ve found that if we buy soda, we blow through a 24 pack in two days. Not only is that TOTALLY gross and unhealthy, but it’s a waste of money.

    Thanks for the tips, MSM. I’d love to win your book. :-)

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  70. says

    I would love a chance to win this book. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to create a budget and stick to it. Any extra help and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

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  71. Rachel E says

    Those are great tips and ideas in this overly processed world and budget still friendly. Thanks!

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    Rachel E Reply:

    oops i mean and still budget friendly. (mommy and pregnancy brain, haha)

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  72. Andrea says

    Thanks Crystal, those are all great tips! Would love to read your book, and so excited you’re supporting those lovely women and children in the DR with the profits….such a blessing!!!

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  73. Amy says

    Once upon a time I thought I was a freak for the way my family ate now that I am a mom I can’t image feeding my precious family a steady diet of junk. It isn’t that eating this way is too much money, its just a challenge to find creative ways to get it all done! My children help me now that they are older and it has become more like a treasure hunt. Wednesday is ad day and I am not the only one pouring over the ads looking for great food deals. Also, I love that my children are label readers….drives grandma crazy!

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  74. says

    That’s good stuff! It seems like we spend the most money in our grocery budget on fruits and veggies. one thing I’ve found it that it almost always cheaper at the mexican markets. We have one over priced natural food store, and some Walmart supercenters in our area.

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  75. Melssa G. says

    These are great tips. I especially like the buy ahead principle and the possibility of joining a co-op. Thanks for your suggestions and the chance to win a copy of your book. Congratulations, on that by the way.

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  76. Suzanne Pu says

    Wonderful tips! Thanks heavenly homemaker & money saving mom! I would love to have your new book money saving mom! LOVE reading your blog! Keep up good work! I know I’ll keep on reading!

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  77. Janet Badley says

    Not for me but my daughter. She won’t listen to me on several items so maybe if she read it she would get on board with it! She sees me live it so maybe in print will do the trick!

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  78. says

    Great post on saving money ~ we do have several meals where meat is the main dish, but most are casseroles or soups. We also have a few “boxed” meals we buy that we all like ~ great to use for really busy nights.
    The books sounds great ~ whoever wins it will get a blessing!

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  79. Wendy says

    This book would be such a great resource! I’d be honored to win a copy and to learn how to be a wiser steward of the provisions we’ve been given!

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  80. Angela Rajnus says

    Great tips! I try and get our family to eat 5 servings of fruits/veggies a day. I’d recommend looking for a local produce stand. The one near me is much more reasonable than the farmer’s markets nearby and their prices are comparable or cheaper than sale prices at local stores. I also love buying frozen at Costco or Grocery Outlet–both have great deals on frozen veggies and frozen fruit (often Organic).

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  81. says

    These are great tips! I especially like the one sticking with simple meals. People ask me all the time how I manage to feed 7 people(3 being teen boys) on a shoestring budget and one of my responses is simple meals. :)

    I would love to win a copy of Crystal’s book. :)

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  82. saundra a says

    I have even had a container garden when I did not have a place to have an actual garden. It was a lot of fun and I still had lots of veggies to help with my grocery budget.

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  83. says

    Book sounds great! I struggle with the coupons on non-food items because we try to eliminate (some) chemicals from our personal care products. So far, vitacost has the best prices for natural personal care products.

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  84. megan says

    I love the idea of using meat as a condiment. I have just started planning monthly menus and I am trying to got meatless or small amount of meat atleast twice a week. Thanks for the great tips.

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  85. Pat says

    I would love to win one of these books! I’m always glad to find more ways to save money, and live better in the process.

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  86. Leighann says

    What a timely post! Thank you for the link to Local Harvest; when I checked on there about six months ago, there was only one farm in my area, and that farm uses pesticides and chemicals. I promptly dismissed it and forgot all about it. When I checked it today after reading your post, I found three more farms in my area. None of them use pesticides or chemicals and all are organic. Good for the environment, good for our family, and cheaper for our pocketbook. Thank you again!

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  87. Kristy Entz says

    Thank you for sharing this. Always looking for ways to help the make ends meet. I would like to go wholefoods. A goal for this year. I would love to win a copy of your book.

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  88. Meagan says

    would love to win a copy of the book. I also would suggest visiting your local farmers market. Sometimes they beat the prices at the supermarket, but the produce is usually so much better and less likely to be wasted.

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  89. Melissa says

    Let me add: learn to cook new foods! It will greatly expand your options. I never liked brussel sprouts until I learned how to cook them (roasted, with onions and garlic). We do a LOT of stir fry at our house – bok choy is a GREAT veggie packed with vitamins and very economical too. Learn to make a few different stir fry sauces and you can enjoy a wide variety (not just “chinese” flavored meals!)

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  90. Anne O. says

    We’re trying to eat more whole foods, and planning a bigger garden this summer. That is definitely my number one tip: eat what you grow!

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  91. Christa says

    I always stock up on frozen veggies when they’re on sale.
    I enjoy reading Crystal’s blog and would love a copy of her book.

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  92. says

    Yes, yes, yes! I started my food blog just because people have lost the art of eating well on a budget. If you cook from scratch, you save tons of money, and it is in general healthier or you. You’ve got to strike the right balance for your own family!

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  93. Tara P. says

    We have been trying to switch to a whole foods diet while trying to reduce our grocery spending-quite the challenge, this book would be very helpful!

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  94. Colleen says

    Great article, Crystal! I always love when people complain about the cost of tomatoes in winter. Obviously it’s a lot more cost effective to plan homemade salsa in the summer when tomatoes are in season than when they aren’t!

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  95. 1956okie says

    Yes, I would love to win a copy of Crystal’s book! It sounds fantastic! And I totally agree about using coupons for non-food items. It saves us enough money to spluge a bit here and there on really good, fresh food.

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  96. says

    I love using whole foods and fresh all the time. I find if it’s processed food I can figure out a way to make it myself. I make meals one to eat and one to freeze, buy family packs and repackage. I would LOVE to have a copy of your book!

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  97. karla says

    I came here via “money saving mom” and I’m so impressed with both sites! You’re my latest favorite to add to my must-read list.

    [Reply]

  98. Cheri Mullins says

    Laura, you are very modest/humble in your posts. I have learned a great deal from your experiences. I also have been following Money Saving Mom and this book sounds like it will have a lot of good information.

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  99. Heather Z says

    Great tips – we don’t have space for a garden, but my kids love shopping at the Farmers’ Market in the summertime.

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  100. Carli says

    Awesome article full of great tips! As a mother of 4 kids, I’m always looking for ways to cut down on our spending! Thanks! I’d LOVE to get a copy of Crystal’s book!

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  101. says

    These are great tips. We need to start doing this not only to save money, BUT so we don’t stand there night after night trying to figure out what to eat!

    Thanks!

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  102. Chelsea says

    Thanks for the good tips, think I might have to try and incorporate some of these into my life. I would love to win a copy of this book!!! :)

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  103. Connie Hageman says

    Information is interesting. Got celery yesterday that was aging in our local little store for 59@ each, diced and froze the celery and leaves. A big surprise. Did the same with 1/2 price green onions. It can happen.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win a book.

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  104. Tara Moore says

    I have 5 teen boys and a 6yr old boy my husband and I have made this our new years resolution, I love your posts and I think this book would help us alot.

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  105. says

    I appreciate these tips. It’s my desire to get our family (back) on a budget this year in hopes of saving more. I’d love the inspiration from this book.

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  106. Kristin says

    Great tips – now if I could just get my husband on board with less meat and having some beans instead.

    I would love to win a copy of Crystal’s book!

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  107. says

    Always looking for ways to save money and I’d love to see what Crystal has to say and see if there are some additional ways I can be serving my family!
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  108. Gayle Martin says

    I am an older lady (66) raising grandchildren on a very small budget. I use all the tips I remember from growing up in the 50s to save money, but would love to win the book!! Thanks.

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  109. Joan says

    trying to eat closer to the farm!
    Would love to win and get a few more ideas on how to save money AND eat healthier for less!

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  110. says

    My husband just lost his part time job and it will take a chunk out of our monthly budget. I would LOVE to recoup some of that by trimming our current budget and I know this book would be an asset. Thanks for offering it in a giveaway!

    Nicole

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  111. April says

    Thank you for posting this! We are a family with five kids and learning how to eat on a budget. I would love to win a copy of this book!

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  112. says

    I like buying ahead, the only problem is that I continue buying ahead and run out of space in my cupboards. This year I am working on my menu planning skills and will try to keep my cupboards from overflowing.

    I love the idea of winning a book simply by following a blogger.

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  113. aurelia says

    We pair up with friends and buy dairy and anything else they might have in season from the Amish, they live 1 hr away from us. Our friend goes every two weeks.

    I am so blessed to be a blog follower of Crystal, she’s an inspiration. I’ll gladly take a copy!

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  114. says

    New to the site… would love to win a copy.. as I am always looking for ways to cut spending since I work at a commission (only) job.. so some months are better than others and would just make it a habit to cut spending anyway I can.. thanks for the opportunity…Valerie

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  115. Kelly D. says

    Thanks for the tips. We’ve been meaning to look into purchasing meat in bulk! I’d love to win your book Thanks for the giveaway.

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  116. Liz says

    Thanks for the article. I used to eat this way before having a family and with growing kids it just seems impossible to fit in whole foods on a budget. I am going to re-assess and see if I can make it work. Adding to my 2012 goals!

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  117. Wendy W-K says

    Every little bit saved helps and can really add up over time. I am always looking to learn more about how to do this.

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  118. Kathy D says

    I’d love to win Crystal’s book too.

    I love the ideas of buying what’s in season. I am real vegetable lover and would love to try my hand at a very small garden this summer, even a couple tomato and pepper plants. I also would love to serve more meat as a condiment but I haven’t been able to sell my husband on that idea yet!

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  119. CZ says

    We do decently buying fresh fruits and veggies – our hurdle is the desire to buy more organic items – which, I think is hard to do on a limited budget. We do have CSA and coops, but still, it is cheaper to buy conventional.

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  120. Valerie says

    Thank you for the great tips. When you are pinching every penny it is hard to think that you can still eat healthy and organic.

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  121. Miriah says

    Thanks for recognizing how hard it is to maintain a healthy low grocery budget in Alaska! It is discouraging sometimes to see all these great deals & savings people in the lower 48 have available to them. Although we in Alaska can’t take advantage of most of the sales your blog offers, it’s still encouraging & a fun challenge to see what other areas we can save in. Thanks!!

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  122. Cassie says

    Great ideas that I’m currently trying to incorporate into my habits! I would love to read Crystal’s book! Thanks for the chance to win.

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  123. Beth says

    I would love to win a copy. We just found out our income has been slashed by my husband’s company big time. Eating healthy is very important but we struggle to do it during the winter months when the garden is not growing.

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  124. says

    We have a food and household goods (TP, feminine products, etc.) budget of $400/month for 8 of us, and the majority of that is whole foods. We were doing raw milk but our farmer is not delivering in our area anymore, so there are definitely a few areas where we are not all whole foods, but we try to avoid highly processed foods (convenience foods) as much as possible. It’s not always easy, but it can be done!

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  125. Rachel says

    Love the tips! We can either stock our pantries with processed food or healthy. It is all about choices. Not saying we can’t have both but on a budget I need to prioritize. Would love a book to give as a gift.

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  126. Trena Turner says

    Learning to feed a family on a budget is a wonderful way to save money. I really wish I were better at using leftovers, and things just out of the cabinet.

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  127. Emily says

    Great tips Crystal. I really like the idea of serving meat as a condiment……wonder if I could get my hubby on board with that one! Would love to win a copy of your book.

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  128. Mandi says

    I would love to win this!

    Crystal and I seem to have a similar approach to menu planning- although I might not be as disciplined at sticking to it!

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  129. Sarah G says

    Reading that has actually been a relief for me and made me feel like I’m not doing as bad of a job as I thought I was by not being completely organic and still have few processed fooods! Thanks for the pep talk! :) I would also love to win a copy of the book!

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  130. says

    I love your website, it is one of the first ones that really got me thinking about healthy eating on a budget. And Money Saving mom helped me curb my spending in other areas so we could afford to spend a bit more on “real” food for our family. Now thanks to you and Chrystal and a few others out there, I find myself watching what others are putting in their grocery carts and find myself screaming inside saying “that’s not food that’s chemicals”. Oh and my migranes have decreased by 2/3rds! saving us $$ on meds.!

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  131. skinny vinny says

    we do the garden here in northern jersey…extras end up lasting most of the winter – and i’d love a copy of the book!

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  132. Hollie says

    I want to win!!!! I am trying to incorporate more whole foods in my families meals and I too thought it was “too expensive”, but I am finding out otherwise. These are all great tips!!!!

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  133. April E says

    I would love to win a copy because living on less and giving more has been put on my husbands heart but nothings really changing for us because we don’t know how to start. This book sounds like it has practical ways for us to change our lifestyle.

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  134. Heather T. says

    I would love to win a copy, I have been thinking of buying one as I subscribe to her blog as well and she has great tips on saving and of course wonderful meals.

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  135. Lori R. says

    I usually never leave a comment on the web, but this title sounds too beneficial not to try. Thank you for the opportunity to win it free!

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  136. Amanda E. says

    We just started the Dave Ramsey budget and are choosing to only pay cash and not have anymore debt! I glean any tips I can to help me stretch our dollars and help our family of seven save.

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  137. Sarina Warner says

    I have seen mention of this book…i follow her blog and this would be a great way to start the new year! :)

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  138. Lee says

    I love moneysavingmom.com and would love to check out her book. I already have one on hold at the library, but it would be nice to have one that I could mark on. :)

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  139. Nat R says

    Love your site! Great for those of us trying to convert to a healthier diet! Love your recipes! Still working on getting whole wheat breads to not be so heavy though.

    These are great tips on how to save money in other places in order to have more to spend on the healthy foods. I have used coupons in drugstores for hygiene items and then used my “extracare bucks” or “rewards” to then buy the drugstore milk and eggs – especially if they are on sale!

    I also read Crystal’s site. She has great tips as well. Her book should be really useful.

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  140. Kathy says

    good suggestions. I’d like to get some more whole foods in our diets so you’ve given me some things to try. I’d also love to win a copy of the book.

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  141. says

    LOVE the tips – especially love the meat tip & have started to incorporate that into our meal planning. We have had the honor of hosting 2 girls from the African Children’s Choir in the past & were amazed at the differences in their diet. Meat was considered something for a special occasion, while vegetables & unprocessed foods were daily staples. Sugar was to be avoided, if possible. We are hoping to gradually add in more international cuisine into our diet… most recipes are so much healthier & there are so many options for finding the recipes online!

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  142. Rebecca says

    Thanks for sharing!!! Love all your tips and suggestions! They’ve been super helpful to me and my family! Blessings!

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  143. Amanda says

    Your post comes at a wonderful time in my life! This year my family goal is to make the switch to whole/organic foods. In just the two weeks we have been at it, I have lost several pounds and feel wonderful! I love that my seven year old son begged me to buy him asparagus at the grocery :)However, now I need to focus on doing it on a budget. Thank you so much! I can’t wait to read your book :)

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  144. Marisa says

    Thank you for sharing such great ideas! Your website is a great help to me as I try to feed our family of five (all boys, too!) on the GAPS diet, which is all whole foods made from scratch. It’s been difficult to stay within my grocery budget, and my resolution this year is to actually just stay within my budget! :)

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  145. Anna Hutchinson says

    I would love!!! a copy of her book!!
    I really enjoy reading your e-mails that I get. They give me a lot of good ideas!

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  146. says

    Great tips, we have recently switched to eating a lot less processed foods and I agree it can be done on a budget. I am so excited to read the money saving moms budget and would love to have a copy.

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  147. Whitney Moore says

    I’ve been wanting to learn more about feeding my family more whole foods. Thanks for the post and I hope I win the book!

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  148. Mary Sidey says

    I already bought this book and would love to be able to share it with my friend. Thanks for all of the tips!

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  149. says

    I would love to win a copy of the book. Also I should share that I live in Northern Idaho and I am able to feed my family on $75 a week completely whole foods, and we have basically no fresh stuff growing here. You can do it!

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  150. Marie says

    We try to eat organics and whole foods at home as much as possible – so that when we are NOT at home, I can relax and not be rigid about the kids’ diets. We just got back from Disney World and while we ate the raisins and freeze-dried fruit I had brought, we also had ice cream and mega-lollipops! It’s not about deprivation, it’s about balance. Thanks for the tips!

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  151. Kimberly Snider says

    Thanks for the tips! Every so often I try to implement something toward healthier eating so it is not so drastic, and hopefully a lasting change.

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  152. Michelle Johnson says

    I wish I could join a co-op, but am a little too far away from one to join. I would need another freezer for a 1/2 a cow. But I am starting a garden this year…YAY!

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  153. Sarah says

    Two tips on joining CSA:
    1. Buy a half share if you can’t use the full. our family of four purchases an every-other-week share which we receive from June to November here in Wisconsin, and it is a super amount of produce for us.
    2. see if your health insurance will reimburse you. Our insurance has a cap on what they will reimburse, and with purchasing only the half share, we get reimbursed for nearly 75% of it.

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  154. Denice C says

    I totally agree with Crystal’s tips, and would add that some of the healthiest foods are the cheapest: dried beans and whole grains especially.

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  155. Jamie says

    Feeding 4 growing boys on a budget as a Stay-at-Home Mom is a challenge! I would love to win this book and learn more tips! Thank you for the opportunity! :-)

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  156. Michelle Hunt says

    Thanks for these tips! I am so looking forward to reading your book. Winning a copy would be such a blessing. If not, I will work it into my budget next month. Thanks again!

    [Reply]

  157. Wendy says

    I love both your site and Crystal’s…would be grateful to learn more in her book as well, thanks for the opportunity!

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  158. says

    I agree – eating whole foods doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think it might be. Getting creative with how you serve meat is really important!

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  159. Rebecca says

    we are doing the Daniel Fast right now and it really didn’t cost that much more to only buy fruits, vegetables and whole grains. And we feel so much better too in the process.

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  160. Cris says

    Thank you so much for addressing this! I’m new to couponing and making a budget and have found your blog so very helpful! Just yesterday I wondered if it’s possible to save money on a whole foods diet, which I would love to be able to move toward. I would love to get your book! Thanks again!

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  161. says

    Thanks for your tips, Crystal! One of the biggest priorities for me arising for me recently has been to have more of a whole-foods focused diet. However, I wasn’t sure if this was practical. Thanks for showing me it is. I’d love to see a follow-up post on how to save time and eat healthy as well. (For example, it’s easier to buy jarred spaghetti sauce than make it at home, but if I can see that I can do it quickly and it will pay off financially and healthfully, maybe I’d do it!)

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  162. Christine says

    I would love to win this book. But we are in a no spend/ debt snow”blast” right now, so I can not buy for at least a couple months. Thanks!

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  163. Debby Pietrowski says

    I have been following moneysavingmom.com for a while and this is how I found heavenlyhomemakers.com. I would love to win a copy of this book.

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  164. says

    Great tips! I’ve also found that making larger batches of the same food seems to be cheaper. So, for example, if I’m making a particular soup I will double or even triple the recipe and freeze the extras for later.

    Would love to win a copy of the book! My husband lost his job the day after Christmas, and we could use all the help we can get!

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  165. Brynn says

    I would love to win a copy. Crystal has helped me so much in the year I have been reading. Not just saving money, but organizing, goal setting and giving myself grace when I need it. She really is an amazing person, and role model.

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  166. Morgan says

    would love to win!

    I don’t cut coupons but I do shop sale ads. Wal Mart will price match any competitor’s ad so I gather all the ads and price match sale meats, fruits, veggies, and other un-processed food items. I don’t buy organic though. I have also found buying local meat in bulk (except chicken-still trying to figure that one out) is cheaper than grocery store and you always have something to eat in the freezer!

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  167. Coby says

    I would love to win a copy of Crystal’s new book!

    I’ve tried to do coupons, but they’re just not for stuff that I would buy (we try to eat a healthy, whole foods, made from scratch diet, with a few Cheetos thrown in occasionally); I kind of feel like I don’t “get” couponing, like maybe there is something I’m missing! I do ad-matching at Wal-Mart, which really helps.

    You know, one of the things I appreciate about your blog is that you’re human – you eat healthy, but aren’t afraid of a brownie! Thank you! (from a fellow brownie lover who also likes to soak her grains) ;-)

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  168. Lee S. says

    I love all of these suggestions and we use most of them already. We are hopefully going to buying a home in the next few months and one of my big requirements is garden space!!

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  169. jaimie says

    the book looks great. Thanks for the opportunity to win, & for sharing these great ideas to promote healthful & budget-friendly eating.

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  170. Jill says

    Would love to win. I also love she keeps in real with the fact that they do eat ice cream occasionally – we do too!

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  171. Becky says

    Fresh food turns to brown mush a soon as it passes through my door, but probably because i don’t have a plan in place

    I’d love to win

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  172. Alyson says

    We do a lot of these things, and it definitely helps keep the grocery bill down. We do still eat some processed foods, but it is better than it used to be.

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  173. says

    We try to eat mainly a Paleo/whole food diet but two of our kids don’t because they don’t like meat. The easiest way I have found to save money at Whole Foods is to save their previous months fliers as those coupons don’t expire until 2 months later which is when they tend to also put them on sale. That stacked with a manufacturer’s coupon leads to cheaper than Walmart organic food!
    Would love a book!

    [Reply]

  174. Katrina page says

    This is always a concern with my family! Thanks for the ideas. And I’m dying to win a copy of this book!! :)

    [Reply]

  175. Kathleen says

    I’m so excited about this book. I love both Heavenly Homemakers and Money Saving Mom. Thanks for the great tips and inspiration!

    [Reply]

  176. Larissa Willfong says

    We were part of a CSA this year and while it was an upfront expense, it was one less think out of my grocery budget.

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  177. Jenna says

    Thanks for the article. I, like you, try to feed my family fairly healthy but do use processed food on occasion. I would love the chance to win Crystal’s book as I have been reading Money Saving Mom for a few years now and really appreciate her advice and like her style of writing.

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  178. Julie says

    We just received our first Azure order delivered to our area this week. I love looking in the pantry and seeing my good deals. This book would be great.

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  179. Paula Meyer says

    Your book would be great to read and to glean some more ideas on how our family could cut our budget and save money!

    [Reply]

  180. Jessica M. says

    I started a co-op in my area recently. (There are VERY few in Northeastern PA.) And we are all saving so much money!

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  181. Tiffany says

    I’d love a copy of the book! After doing a lot of research, we have decided to go vegan (no meat, no dairy, and no oils). I must say, we will save a lot of money on groceries and on health bills by doing this! (For more info on why we made the change, watch the movie “Forks Over Knives”–available on Netflix streaming or at the library.)

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  182. Nancy Thyfault says

    I would love to win a copy of the book. I am a huge follower of yours and Crystal’s website. Thanks. Nancy

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  183. Natalie says

    Great article! Some of those tips are awesome! I especially liked the idea about starting a garden & joining a co-op. We just joined our co-op & I bought 50 lbs of organic beans for a great price! (we are vegan, gluten free, & eat primarily organic)

    & I’d love to win that book! I’ve been following Crystals blog for years!

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  184. Rachel Garmers says

    I have followed Crystal for a year now, and have learned so much about saving money because of her. I’m so excited about the book and how I can even further improve our financial situation. Best part? Crystal is donating ALL of the proceeds of her book to women and children in need! Go Crystal, and God bless you!
    Rachel G.

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  185. says

    Great suggestions. This is perfect timing for me, as one of my goals this year is to go further with whole foods. I’m hoping to find good affordable resources for some of the foods I’m still not using. (like free range chicken and eggs, organic veggies, etc.). It’s encouraging to be seeing people like you online who are eating a whole foods diet on a budget.

    I don’t guess we’ll ever get to a completely whole foods diet but we can always make one more change and get one step closer. (but never say never to the brownies and ice cream!)

    Of course I’d love to win your book!

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  186. Sandi says

    I would love a copy! I’m thinking about teaching a money-saving course at church with the goal of increasing giving to charities via savings, and I need all the help I can get! :)

    [Reply]

  187. Amanda says

    Great post! We are currently transitioning our family into a healthier diet, in part due to my son’s short attention and hyperactivity. Thank you for helping me do this without breaking the bank! Thanks to Crystal for the great information she posts- would love to win her book.

    [Reply]

  188. Cheri says

    I was so excited to get start getting seed catalogs in the mail today! Fresh from the garden is so much cheaper – and tastier – than the store!

    [Reply]

  189. Kori Ireland says

    This book sounds wonderful. I’m needing to work on budget and eating right – so this book would be wonderful. :-)

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  190. Bonnie says

    I love that you are open about your families approach to eating. One of my favorite sayings ins “Everything in moderation including moderation”. Doing what you can is so much better than saying if I can’t do it 100% then I won’t bother.

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  191. Elizabeth says

    We struggle with maintaining our food budget, thanks for the tips. I would love a copy of Crystal’s book!

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  192. says

    I’m pretty sure I NEED this book – I’m a single mom going it alone and I NEED to get back to frugal healthy eating too. We’ve been doing without most “extras” so the food budget has to get serious now.

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  193. says

    I agree. We eat very well at home practicing all of these tips. Especially the gardening and freezing. When fresh (not frozen) turkeys were on sale for Thanksgiving we cut up a few and they sit in the freezer for later meals. Learn to freeze your summer abundance and you’ll be eating well all winter. You can even garden on a small porch (which we do in addition to the raised beds) and don’t think gardening ends in the summer.

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  194. Shannon says

    I love Crystal’s ideas. She is such a creative mind when it comes to being frugal. I’d love to win this book!

    [Reply]

  195. Erica Bolticoff says

    I’ve been feeding my family like this for over 12 years, and have found that the times when we’re traveling and eating mostly processed foods, that there is a huge health difference!

    [Reply]

  196. Ginger May says

    Thanks for all the tips! I’ve got a cabbage/ham hock soup simmering in the crockpot as I type this. I was able to use up most of the odd ‘n’ ends in my fridge that needed to be used, so I’m pleased. I’d love Money Saving Mom’s book!

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  197. Melissa F. says

    I just started back to work this school year, after being home for eight years. I can’t believe how much harder it is to feed my family well while I’m working outside the home! Thank you for the tips…We have got to get back to eating a good, home-cooked meal every night!

    [Reply]

  198. Jen B. says

    I’d love to win a copy of Crystal’s book! I’ve been following her blog for a while now and love all the money saving ideas. Thanks for the tips!

    [Reply]

  199. says

    Even though there are just the two of us now, eating healthy is still a priority, and meat isn’t a main centerpiece of our meals. We share a lot of meals when we eat out, picking a special we both like. We just ask for an extra plate and share. Most waitpersons are very understanding and are so helpful. It keeps us from eating too much.

    Sometimes when we’re really hungry, we each order a special and bring our extras home. Helps the budget a lot! Thanks for all the tips. J.

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  200. Nicole says

    Love all the money saving ideas you have brought us! Winning a copy of this book would be fantastic, having hit a rough patch any & all tips are needed! Thanks again for tips:)

    [Reply]

  201. Rebecca says

    Thank you for the article, it’s great motivation in the depths of a new england winter. I would love to win this book!

    [Reply]

  202. Samantha Dunlow says