Saturday, September 10, 2011
Good Food, Good Price
I live in a town that is full of diverse people but as different as they are a lot of them have one thing in common, fresh organic food. Although Southern Oregon has its share of your big box grocery stores, its also has a farmer’s market that can be found almost any day of the week, plus farms you can pick your own produce or have it delivered to your house, along with several co-ops. Recently near where I live in Medford Oregon opened up a new co-op grocery store based on the well-established one in Ashland, Oregon. I was really excited to have somewhere in town to buy products I could normally only find in Ashland. It had been so long since I have been at a co-op, that when the bill came to me, I was a little shocked by the amount. I bought, maybe, 2 paper bags of groceries that would last about two days, and spent about a weeks worth of typically spending money for groceries. I know all the food will be amazing it just got me thinking about how I can eat well while being thrifty.
If you live in the Southern Oregon like I do, there are some things you can get that are really affordable, especially when you buy in large quantities. Such as Terra Nova farms that have great deals on tomatoes and peppers, and you can often find random great deals on other types of produce. Also, I absolutely love Rogue Valley Local Foods, which is a community of farmers selling their different products. You can call ahead and they will put your orders together. You can usually pick your orders up weekly in several areas in throughout the valley. Getting your food directly from the source is one way to get high quality in ingredients at a fair and inexpensive price so that you can eat healthy while being thrifty.
Where you get your ingredients is a very important part of the thrifty eating plan. I have found that the most valuable tool in eating wealthy and well on a budget has been my kitchen skills that I have picked up over the past 10 years of my personal experience and the 10 plus years I have gleaned from my partner. A grocery store is run just like any other business, anything that takes time costs money. So the more prepared your product is the more they can charge for it. This is why buying in bulk always seems and is cheaper; you are the one who adds the skills to create the food!
As an example a box of granola bars at the store will cost you about $3.50 for six bars. Not those sugar and candy coated bars that are really a desert but the ones that are actually healthy and supply energy for you. Just this past weekend we made a whole pan of granola bars, the equivalent of about 12-15 of the store bought size. From the bulk section we bought oats, almonds, mixed dried berries, puffed rice and used some peanut butter and honey that we had at the house. All of those ingredients cost us about $6.00. You are thinking that isn’t cheaper!?! Ah but you see after we made those first 15 bars we still have enough ingredients to make another three batches. That is almost 60 bars for $6.00!
Check out this article we found on the Huffington Post website about chef Chris Cosentino who is living a healthy and full food lifestyle on a food stamp budget (about $4 a day!) for two months. Proving that with food knowledge and technique you can live a healthy and delicious lifestyle for a cheaper price.
Also check out our recipe below the link for the delicious granola bars that saved us over $28!
Granola Bars (No Bake):
2 ½ c oats
1 c puffed rice
1 ½ c chopped nuts (prefer almonds or walnuts)
½ c dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, etc.)
½ c honey
½ c peanut butter
1 t cinnamon
Place peanut butter in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave about twenty seconds. Add the honey in and mix well. Add the cinnamon, puffed rice, oats, nuts and dried fruits. Mix all together, then place in a baking dish, press down and cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for at least one hour. Cut and enjoy!
For ideas for taking them on the go, you can you plastic wrap or cut up paper bags with string.
Sorry for being late this week on the blog we are making some big changes and adding new things and got a little caught up. We promise it will be worth it, just wait for next week!
Darren and Shannon @ True Treats
Posted by Shannon Rodrigues at 4:56 PM