You’re Gonna Thank Me In the End.

Welcome to The…Saving Money While Feeding Your Family Good, Healthy Food Blog. SMWFYFGHFB. Well, we’ll work on that title later. After all, this is about saving money, not words.

Now, full disclosure, I am…not the best at heeding my own advice. Not that I’m a hypocrite exactly (ok, I’m totally a hypocrite sometimes), but more that I am better at knowing what I should do than I am at actually doing it. I could name off a list of excuses…but if you follow this blog, well, that won’t be necessary. WAIT! I mean – making that list won’t be necessary! Please, DO follow the blog!

Anyhow…I’ll bet you want to save money (who doesn’t), BUT, you also want to lose weight, eat well, be healthier, reduce your carbon footprint, increase your sustainability, or just give your kids more veggies. Maybe you want to do all of those things. You might be intimidated by the idea of spending a lot on fresh foods, or maybe you’re afraid you won’t be good at preparing meals from scratch. Perhaps you’re worried your kids won’t eat the healthy meals you cook, or maybe you feel like you just don’t have the time. I’m here to show you why you should stop worrying, and start saving (money, health, and occasionally time).

I’m sure you’ve seen this viral meme with words like “this is so backwards”, or “this is why obesity is an issue” :

Well, it’s not a lie – those are the (pretty close to) actual prices…if you eat convenience food. IF.

Consider for a moment, how much you pay for your water at home from the tap. If you live in the countryside, you probably have a well and pay nothing (other than land taxes) for your water. Assuming you live in or near a city, you likely have a water bill, where you pay per unit. According to USGS, the average person uses 80-100 gallons per day. Take that number and compare it to the average cost for that consumption rate in the US ($70.39 per 400 gallons daily for a family of four according to Circle Of Blue ), and it works out to a little less than 18 cents per gallon. At 128 ounces per gallon, that 20 oz bottle of water only costs you about 3 cents. If you drink just 1 bottle of Dasani a day, you’re wasting around $697.76 per year and throwing away 365 plastic bottles (or, maybe you’re recycling them), each year. That’s certainly enough to buy a re-usable water bottle, right? (By the way, you aren’t just saving $697 per year buy drinking water instead of Coke. You’re also saving yourself 87,600 calories, 23,725 grams [that’s over 52 POUNDS] of sugar a year. FIFTY TWO freaking POUNDS.)

And let’s pick apart that salad (because EW, radishes), and see the waste there. In a McDonald’s Chicken Bacon Ranch salad there is about 2 oz of actual greens; plus a few slices of carrot. It also includes your choice of fried or grilled chicken (4 ounces or so), about an ounce of shredded cheese, one and a half thin, crumbled slices of bacon, and 4 grape tomatoes.

I’m not going to bother putting the math for each of those things here, but sufficed to say, I did do the math, and if you purchased those items as whole foods from your local grocery store and made the salad yourself, it would cost you about $1.84. Again, that’s MUCH cheaper (and fresher) than buying fast food. (By the way, that was without couponing of any sort. I used regular prices of produce, averaged between in season and out, to reach that number.)

So now we’ve established that a soda and burger for $2.48 are actually more expensive than a salad with chicken and a water for $1.87 if you’re willing to forgo fast food…so don’t let those silly memes scare you, and don’t be afraid to start living healthier! In this blog I’ll be sharing lots of great money saving tips, including ways to coupon, buying locally, and buying in season (and how to store and preserve those savings). I’ll also share with you tips for how you can grow your own foods (yes, even if you have an apartment), including meat animals if you’re brave enough for it. I’ll share recipes that worked, ideas that failed, and have a few entries just to answer any reader questions I’ll have along the way. I’ll even share helpful advice on getting those picky munchkins to eat their fruits and vegetables (and whole grains).

Be sure to also check out Attempting Simplicity, where I will go into even more in detail about growing your own foods, raising your own meat animals, and enjoying every day life to the fullest around our home, Hidden Barn Farm. You’ll frequently see links back and forth between the 2 blogs, but I promise to try to avoid posting the same exact content in both. Leave a comment; leave a question. This is my first blog post (like, ever), so, do me a solid and tell me how great it was. *wink*