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Budget Foodie

Art by Hollyleonardson.

I believe that what we decide to: eat/not eat, has become one of our biggest political and ecological choices.

Supporting local, organic, unprocessed, food is best for our bodies, the environment, and our local economy.

As a self-supporting artist, I can’t afford to buy organic raw goat cheese or pints of real Michigan maple syrup whenever I feel like it — (which is often,) —  So as a young person on a very small budget, how do I stick to my eating standards?

Here’s a list of some of my tricks// recipes ♥

Photo by natala.

1. Peanut Butter/nut butter: The Hen House goes through nut butter like crazy, and it’s about 6-7  dollars for your average sized organic peanut butter! So, what I’ve started doing is putting peanut butter in the food processor with 2-3 cups roasted sunflower seeds and 1/2 cup flax seeds and blend. (I’ve never needed to add more oil.) You can also use other nuts. (I’ve found sunflower seeds the cheapest.) Get creative and add sugar/spices — this is a great way to double your amount of “peanut butter”.

Photo by Forestlass1.

2. Eggs: I eat free range eggs for breakfast nearly every day! They are an affordable source of high-quality protein and vitamins.

Photo by shutterbean.

3.  Bacon: (I’m about to get real old school.) I only buy meat at the farmers market and I can usually only afford bacon… I think of it more as a condiment than a main dish (to be added to salad — or sandwich.) But my favorite part of bacon is the grease! I save the grease by pouring it off into a little jar that I keep near the stove. You can use your bacon grease like you would butter —  bacon flavored butter… Use it to cook potatoes, biscuits — or spread on a slice of crusty bread. (My favorite treat is a bacon grease & honey sandwich.)

Photo by Knitting iris.

4. Buying food in bulk: My roommates and I bought a lot of good quality staples in bulk like beans, rice, quinoa, flour, lentils, honey, etc. It was much cheaper! just be careful to store you bulk food safely, we got a nasty moth infestation in our rice because we left it uncovered. (lesson learned.)

Photo by forestbound.

5. Vegetables: I love riding my bike to the farmers market and filling my backpack with a veritable rainbow of produce! If  you’re eating with the seasons you can usually get your veggies pretty cheap.

Photo by smartsandcrafts.

6. Fruit: Organic fruit can be expensive, If you’re at a farmers market, ask the farmers if they have any seconds, seconds are what you call fruit that is ready to eat or has bruises — or both. You can get seconds for half the price of the pristine fruit. Make sure to eat, cook, or freeze your seconds soon after buying them! I like to make jams or smoothies.

Photo by kristin :: thekitchensink.

7: Potatoes: potatoes are wonderful cheap and filling, they are the perfect comfort food! Oven fries have gotten my family through some dark winters.

Daily Summer BVG haul! Photo by me.

8. Gardening: I’ve been a member of The Barefoot Victory Garden for 3 years! I grow tomatoes, greens, herbs, radishes, beets, watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers etc. It’s a lot of time and effort but so rewarding.

Photo by a c o r n.

9. Dumpster Diving: Although this isn’t always healthy food – it is a very real option. Even If you’re finding things you’d never normally buy,  sometimes that can be fun! If you try this, be safe and don’t go alone. There are diving clubs in most big cities that go as a group and split the up haul.

Photo by me.

10. Host potlucks: A Great way to foster community, plus you end up with a feast and only have to contribute one thing.

Photo by Becky Spencer.

11. Food Swap: I recently went to my first food swap! A food swaps is simple, you and your friends get together and trade (homemade) food. For instance, I made pesto and put it into 12 baby food jars, then proceeded to trade my jars for home-made jams or pickles or whatever people were willing to give me for some homemade pesto. Everyone has a recipe they make really well and a food swap is a great chance to showcase that!

I love to cook/eat and I’m always looking for better ways to do it! If any of you have a favorite food blog or money-saving recipe please share in the comments!



About rosebeerhorst

My name is Rose Beerhorst I'm 20, I love working with my hands whether that means crafting, gardening, or cooking. I've always dreamed a little too big for my own good!

2 responses »

  1. jennifer edwards

    Rose, you always have such fun ideas! I never thought to combine peanut butter/ nut butter.

  2. I love the nut butter idea! I’m dairy free so I use almond, rice, or coconut milk in place of dairy milk in recipes. It’s cheaper to make your own rice milk than buy it- plus it’s way healthier and better for the environment… and you can just as easily make horchata! Which is delicious! It is rather time consuming, but it’s actually a really fun process. Black beans are a great, cheap staple food- they’re a pretty big portion of my diet. Hm.. That’s all I’ve got right now:)


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