After all this talk about how you should eat real food and stay away from not-real food…many of you are asking WHERE I get all of my real food and how I find it to be affordable. I decided my Frugal Friday post for this week would offer some suggestions about great real food sources!
Now of course, I only live in one place. So, I don’t know all of the real food sources you might have in your community, and every community offers different things. I’ll just tell you what I do…and hopefully it will at least give you some ideas!
1. I grow as much produce as I can and preserve it for the winter. (Check out this post about putting up corn and this post for putting up green beans…then stay tuned for more posts about putting up more produce. It IS that time of year when I always have a very achy back from freezing and canning foods for hours. Ah, but I love it!)
2. There are many things that I can’t grow myself that others around me are growing…and they are happy for me to take their extra produce off of their hands. So might I suggest to you: Mooching is a great way to gain access to awesome, often organic produce. MOOCH as much as you can. Woohoo for mooching. (P.S. Is that the right way to spell mooch?) :)
3. What I can’t grow or mooch…I try to find at our local Farmer’s Market. Often if I buy in bulk from some of the venders, they offer me a discount. LOCAL PRODUCE IS THE BEST!! Supporting local farmers is a great thing to do! Go load up at your Farmer’s Market!!
Okay….that was mostly all about produce. Now, on to my resources for other real foods:
4. Health Food Coops. There are several out there. My favorite by far is Azure Standard. If you’ve hung out here much you’ve heard me talk about them over and over. They don’t service every U.S. state, but they are expanding all the time. They have great customer service and great prices on great foods. They even have organic produce for VERY reasonable prices. Go to their website and check them out. Give them a call and see if there’s a coop near you. If not…talk to them about starting one. That’s what I did. They make things very simple. I love Azure Standard! (Really, they should be paying me to say all these things…)
Here’s a picture of my Azure Standard order this month.
Check out that gallon jar of raw honey!!
I also am a part of a Frontier Coop, which my friend organizes. I order a few times a year from them, mostly spices, vanilla, shampoo and dishwashing stuff. (Soon I’ll post more about the soaps and cleaners we use and where I get them all.)
5. Local Farmers. Oh how I love them. These people work HARD so that I can have fresh free range eggs and chickens, grass fed organic raw milk, grass fed organic hormone free beef and lamb…all for very reasonable prices. I found most of these farmers pretty much by just asking around. But, there’s a great website called Local Harvest which may help you find what local farmers in your area have to offer. Even if the farmers you find through their site don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they might be a good resource to finding other farmers.
6. Local grocery stores. I don’t have any cool stores like Whole Foods within 90 miles of me (bummer)…but I do find a few organic foods I need at our regular grocery stores and of course at Walmart. And, a couple of years ago I called one of our grocery stores and talked to the produce guy who happily ordered cases of organic produce for me. He even gave the produce to me for a price less than what he would have charged if he would have shelved the items for normal sale. My friends and I then divided up the cases and ordered as often as we needed to. It never hurts to ask!
Okay, that pretty much sums up my sources for the food we eat. Here’s a link to a post about our food budget and break down of what we spent where.
Anybody else have a great suggestion about resources for real food?!