How We Afford to Eat High Quality Food

When I first started eating a healthier diet I whined and complained about how expensive it was. In fact, my main excuse for not buying organic grass-fed beef was the cost. I knew that it was so much healthier that it was practically a different food altogether, but the fact that I would be paying $4.25  a lb for ground beef was a major sticking point for me. Here’s how we did it (and something I didn’t even consider at the time). By eliminating a TON of other things that we used to purchase!

Things that we no longer buy:

  1. Boxed dinners, helpers, roni’s etc
  2. Pasta (make it myself)
  3. Pasta Sauce (make it myself)
  4. Pizza Sauce (so simple to make)
  5. Tortillas (make them myself corn and flour)
  6. Bread (bake it myself)
  7. Muffins (make them myself)
  8. Crackers (make them myself)
  9. Breakfast cereal (make it myself, recipe coming)
  10. Coffee (We quit caffeine and we feel great!)
  11. Purified water (bought a Berkey and love it!)
  12. Paper towels or napkins (we use cloth napkins)
  13. Pre-made frozen food (pot pies, pizza, burritos etc)
  14. Ice cream (make it myself, recipe coming)
  15. Potato chips (stopped eating them, but I have made them myself once)
  16. Lunches out (we pack our lunches every day)
  17. Trail mix (I soak and dry the nuts first, then make the mix)
  18. Nut butters (very easy to make at home, tutorial coming)
  19. Jams or chutney (make and can)
  20. Yogurt (make it myself from raw milk)
  21. Sour cream, cream cheese, butter, buttermilk (make them from raw milk)
  22. Dry mixes like pancake, brownie, cake etc (make it from scratch)
  23. Cigarettes (yay!)
  24. Condiments (make most from scratch)
  25. Salad dressing (very easy to make)
  26. Soda pop (we drink homemade Kombucha or Ginger Beer)
  27. Canned spaghetti or pizza sauce (make and can)
  28. Salsa (make and can)
  29. Seasoning Salt and other blends (easy to make)
  30. Worcestershire Sauce (yes you can do this yourself)
  31. Cocktail Sauce (very good homemade)
  32. Canned vegetables or fruit (make and can)
  33. Vanilla Extract (very easy to make)
  34. Shaving cream (coconut oil is an excellent shaving cream!)
  35. Shampoo (I use soap nuts liquid)
  36. Conditioner (don’t need it since I started using soap nuts liquid)
  37. Bodywash (make it myself)
  38. Perfume (either don’t use it, or use essential oils)
  39. Windex (so easy to make)
  40. All-purpose cleaners (make it yourself)
  41. Dishwasher Detergent (easy to make)
  42. Scouring Powder (very simple to make)
  43. Orange Cleaner (make it myself)
  44. Facewash (make it myself)
  45. Hand & body lotion (make it myself)
  46. Wrinkle cream (make it myself)
  47. Manicures or pedicures (I keep my nails short and plain)
  48. Pro hair cuts/color/style (I have very long hair and cut it myself)
  49. Toothpaste (make it myself)
  50. Mouthwash (make it myself)
  51. Hairspray (make my own for a penny)
  52. New clothing (we buy 95% used from a few different thrift stores)
  53. Food at restaurants (we eat out maybe once a month)
  54. Movies at the theater (we watch Netflix movies on the computer or read)
  55. Cable TV (we actually don’t own a television)

Things that we buy in bulk

  1. Herbs & spices (once a year from Mt. Rose Herbs, see link in blogroll)
  2. Makeup $35-40 a year (once a year from Everyday Minerals)
  3. Plain un-scented soap (once a year from a local soap/candle store)
  4. Organic vinegar (Sam’s Club 1-2 times a year)
  5. Rice (once a year)
  6. Baking soda (1-2 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  7. Washing soda (1-2 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  8. Borax (1-2 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  9. Toilet paper (2-3 times a year from Sam’s Club)
  10. Coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut cream and dry coconut (once a year from Mt. Rose Herbs see blogroll)
  11. Beans (once a year)
  12. Organic, sprouted flour (often from a local health food store)
  13. Nuts & dry fruit
  14. Raw honey (twice a year from a local beekeeper)
  15. Maple Syrup (once a year from a farm in Northern MI)
  16. Half of a cow. 100% grass-fed and finished. 320 lbs of meat (from a farmer that we know and trust)
  17. Rob is raising heritage breed hogs for us this year and he is growing 30 chickens and 5 turkeys for the freezer. He also has a laying flock of 25 hens that keep us well stocked in fresh eggs. In the future we plan to raise our own beef cow and I would love to have a dairy cow! Mmmmm cheese…..We would also love to buy bulk wheat and oats and grind them ourselves. Someday soon we will have a large vegetable garden. Always more projects on the way!

My point here is not to sound like I am perfect (because I am SO not), but to let everyone know that for me the cost of properly grown, properly prepared, nutrient-dense, real, whole food is worth it! We have sacrificed a lot of convenience and time and effort to make this happen and guess what? We saved $6,000 in insurance premiums last year because we are never sick. I had 2 teeth cavities remineralize themselves. No more expensive dental visits for me! We don’t spend any money on prescription drugs, over the counter drugs or co-pays for doctor visits. By starting with just one thing at a time we have saved ourselves thousands of dollars. We are now spending that money on the highest quality meat, cheese, milk and vegetables that we can find, from local farmers that we know and trust. By really making our health a priority we have been able to slowly make these changes, and have a lot of fun along the way. (It also helps that we both hate to shop! It takes an act of God to get us into the store 🙂

P.S If you’re wondering how we have time for all of this, see #55

Homemade Hippie Orange Cleaner

This is almost too easy to post about. I feel like I should have been doing this my entire life, and somehow I got tricked into paying $4 for a spray bottle of orange cleaner. Craziness.

I have a juicer now, and I am really enjoying fresh vegetable & fruit juices. However, I now have citrus peels coming out my ears. This is just one of the many uses for them. I’ll keeping posting more ideas to get rid of them, as I find them. Unfortunately chickens don’t like citrus peels, which is what I do with the rest of the veggie pulp, and I can’t bear to throw them away! (no I’m not a hoarder, just a crazy hippie)

Homemade Orange Cleaner

  • Vinegar (just plain organic, white vinegar will do)
  • lots of citrus peels (orange, lemon, lime or a combination)

Place peels in vinegar. I cut mine small and put them right in the original vinegar bottle, because I’m crazy like that. Let this sit around for 6 weeks or so. When you remember to shake it, shake it. This releases oil from the peels and makes it more a more potent grease cutter. I shook mine a lot and vigorously and let it sit around for about 2 months. You’re going to love this and use it like crazy, so I would recommend that you start a new gallon every month or so, so you never run out. Also, writing the date on the jug/jar really helps 🙂

Strain out the citrus when you think it’s “done”. Refill an old spray bottle (because I know you’re saving those right?) I honestly don’t think I will need to make any other cleaners now. This one just takes the cake. I have cleaned my oven, stove top, kitchen counters, sink, added 1/2 cup to the mop water, and sprayed the whole bathroom. It is very excellent for dusting! The only thing it won’t work for is windows/glass or to polish faucets and such. It is also excellent added to your sink full of dishes. If you are soaking some kind of baked on nasty lasagna or something, this does the trick. We all know that vinegar is great for cleaning and is a natural disinfectant, who knew that adding a bit of citrus oil would improve it so much?

Related Posts:

Homemade Hippie All Purpose Cleanser and Disinfectant

Homemade Hippie Windex for 0.12 a bottle!

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

Homemade Hippie Dishwasher Detergent

Homemade Hippie Lip Balm

Homemade Hippie Wrinkle Cream

Homemade Hippie Mouthwash, Face Wash, Body Wash

A COMPLETE LIST HOMEMADE HIPPIE RECIPES

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

I have been experimenting with making homemade cleaning and beauty products as I run out of them. So far I have made my own dishwasher detergent, window/glass cleaner, all purpose cleanser and disinfectant, lotion, wrinkle cream, hair spray, toothpaste, mouthwash, and lip balm and now it’s time to tackle scouring powder.

I happen to be in love with a handsome mechanic. He comes home with much grease and leaves the shower and sink with nice dark rings and smudges.  I need a serious scouring powder to tackle this stuff 🙂 I have used this powder 3 times now, and I find that it works just as well as comet, and rinses off much better. I don’t feel like I’m wasting zillions of gallons of water trying to wash the comet residue down the drain….I have tried plain baking soda before, and a baking soda/vinegar mix and in my opinion this is much better.

Homemade Hippie Scouring Powder

1 cup Baking soda

1 cup Salt (I used kosher for extra grit)

1 cup Borax

Mix all ingredients in a container. I usually just refill the bottle/container of whatever I ran out of. Do you guys have a whole bunch of bottles and tubes that are full of homemade concoctions too? However, you can’t refill a comet container very easily, so I took a small coffee can (see saving those coffee cans isn’t weird! You really will find a use for them. You will!) and poked holes in the plastic lid. You can use a canning jar, or any old container you have been waiting to repurpose. Fill with powder, top with lid. Sprinkle and scrub to your hearts content.

I think next time I will dry some orange or lemon peels and make them into a powder. I think that would smell great and add some extra scrubbing power. Plus I have a juicer now, and I’m dying to come up with a use for all of these citrus peels.  I already made orange oil, and I love it! I’ll post that recipe for you tomorrow.

COMPLETE LIST OF HOMEMADE HIPPIE RECIPES

Homemade Pot Scrubber

Finally a use for the net bags that onions, potatoes, lemons and oranges come in. I have been saving them up, because I just knew there had to be a 2nd life left in there somewhere. Now I never have to buy a brillo pad again. One more thing off my list of things to purchase from the store.

Homemade Pot Scrubber

2 plastic net bags

Flatten the bags out and lay them on top of each other

Fold in half, and continue folding until you have a tight little square.

Tie with fishing line, twine, heavy thread, or a rubberband. If you have more time on your hands than I do,  you could sew the edges and make them into a perfectly square scrubbie.

This is so excellent for scrubbing a cast iron pan. Actually better than the brillo pad method I was previously using. I’ve been using the same one for a month now, it seems they are rather indestructable little buggers. I’ll let you know how long they last. I throw mine in the dishwasher so it doesn’t get all gunky.

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