I struggle with this. I have 2 bottomless pits, err I mean growing kids, and 2 adults to feed. I’m also on a limited budget, $250 every bi-weekly paycheck to be exact. That covers food and most of the household needs (non-food items like paper goods and toiletries). It’s easy to spend more than half of my budget at Costco and not get much to make meals with. I want to make meals that don’t come from a box as to avoid things that I find to be questionable like HFCS and GMOs.
I also go back and forth about meat. A lot. More often than not I’m skeeved out hardcore by traditional meat.
Which of those two would you want to feed your kids? I can tell you that just looking at the CAFO pictures makes me glad I have no beef in my house right now. I am though looking into local ranchers for a 1/2 or 1/4 cow. It may cost us upwards of $1,500 for a half, but I can go see where our food will come from before I even commit to buying.
For $5.10 I can get 2 gallons of milk at Costco. For about $4.50 plus $1.50 refundable bottle deposit I can get 1/2 gallon of organic milk in a glass jar (hence the bottle deposit). The Costco milk goes further, but how are the animals treated? I try and push it out of my head, but it always creeps back in. Do I spend more for quality foods, or “settle” for more food that I find to be lacking in quality?
Last week I had made a menu plan and then I found out my dad had been admitted to the hospital for a potential cardiovascular issue (he has known issues already, and has had multiple procedures). It made me take pause long enough to think about quality vs. quantity of food for my family. I changed my entire menu. I didn’t go to Costco. I shopped at Whole Foods. I payed more than I would have at a normal grocery store, but I got way more veggies than we had been consuming, and the quality is much better as well. Though much to the displeasure of my 4 year old, I did not get a block of cheese the size of her head to munch on. I did get strawberries, grapes, and a little extra milk to make a fresh batch of yogurt with.
Roasted Veggies with Quinoa
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Curried Cauliflower & Potatoes
Baked Chicken and Broccoli
Cabbage and Potato Soup
Curry Chickpeas with Rice
Split Pea Soup
This is part of my new menu plan. One day of chicken in 9 days. It’s to use one of the 2 packages I have left in the freezer. Meat Monday, as opposed to “meatless Monday”. Nothing from a box save for the pasta (but that’s not boxed food like Hamburger Helper or anything).
Quality is currently winning over quantity, and I hope I can keep it that way. My girls, and David, deserve the best.