Clean eating on a budget

I’ve been addicted to food my entire life. It’s been a battle since I was a kid and I fight it every day. Now that I’m a mom, I want to make sure my kids never have to experience the pain of being morbidly obese. The constant teasing, stares, physical and mental pain are something I would never wish on another living soul and especially not those I love most in the world.

Between improving my health, wanting my husband healthy, and hoping to teach my children good habits from the beginning, I’ve steadily moved toward “clean” eating. Basically, I want my family filling their bellies with natural, healthy foods.

Here’s the kicker. Eating clean can be expensive! Six months ago, I could have blown $200-300/wk to feed us. But, life changed and my old habits of doing as much as possible with as little as possible kicked back in. However, I refuse to go back to cheap processed food. So, my updated goal is to eat as clean as possible as our budget will allow.

I’m starting to do some research on food budgets with “assistance” be it WIC, SNAP, etc… We aren’t quite there yet, but once unemployment runs out, I need to be prepared. Also, after living in a community where the more have more and the less have less, it reminds me that my life goal is to help others. Long term, my goal is to take my findings and spread it to the community. How I’m going to do this, I’m not sure. My idealized view would be to take what I’ve learned and hold community classes for those receiving various types of assistance and walk them through budgeting, shopping, meal planning, and cooking. Ideally, it would be awesome to take that group and create a freezer meal group where they could get even more bang for their buck.

But, this all starts with me and our family journey. So, I plan to document the ups and downs and then one day, I hope to take this to others.

Tonight,is the first Friday of Lent. We need to be meatless. For lunch, we had tuna salad on bread with a slice of provolone and tomato. Yum!

For dinner: white fish (ours is Swai from Walmart. It’s about $7 for 2 lbs. I’m baking it with asparagus ($4), tomato ($2), lemon ($0.50), and basil (free- dried from a friend’s garden), and 1c of brown jasmine rice($0.50). That is about $14 or $3.50 p/p. It is not 100% clean and it isn’t our cheapest meal. The kids and the husband all loved it, so success!

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