A busy local food filled summer!

It’s August already and we’ve been busy.

First, let me start this post by saying–“Happy August to you!”

I’ve got into they way we eat in prior posts but here’s a quick refresh-

We try to eat as many whole foods as possible. What are whole foods? Whole food are foods not processed or processed very little. We strive for not processed at all. So a potato is something out of the ground and we buy it. We don’t eat fries unless they are homemade fries. We eat vegetables out of our garden or someone else’s about 9 months out of the year. We rarely eat fast food, but I’ll confess that I do like a Burger King whopper a couple of times a year. I also eat a fish dinner at Culver’s (a Midwest chain) a couple of times a year as well. Aside from those times everything else we eat is either organic, natural, or whole food items from the garden. Four times a week our meals contain meat, potato or rice, an 1-2 veggies, we usually have at least one or two meatless meals a week. I generally leave one meal a week as an easy meal–homemade pizza, meatless homemade soup, meatless pasta, soup and sandwich, other meals similarly as easy. We don’t do leftovers in our home–we never have. I also do not and never have made casseroles. I cook according to my husband’s requests and that is generally meat, potatoes, and veg. I, myself, could live off of fresh fruits and veggies all year long. I generally cook enough for 2 plates leaving no leftovers to sit in our refrigerator. That said there are times it’s easy to make up 6 or 7 bbq pork chops and freeze 5 for other meals within the next week. The same with meatballs for spaghetti–I will make up to 20 meatballs and freeze 16 for other meals within the next week or two. Most of our meals are very simple and easy to make. Part of the reason our meals are so affordable is that they never include cheese, unless I make lasagna, never any seasonings, except salt and pepper, no cream cheese or sour cream or heavy creams.

I use a revolving menu broke up into quarters–spring, summer, fall, and winter. Every other week for the spring quarter we will eat the same meal –so week 1/3 are the same meals, and week 2/4 are the same and we do this for 3 months. Summer meals are lighter than fall and filled with fresh veggies. Fall meals are root vegetables, stews, soups, and roast chickens. Winter is basically the same and Spring is the start of salads and quick veggie roasts, lighter soups, omelets, or other kinds of meals not eaten throughout the rest of the year. No meal costs us more than $3.00 a plate and I’ve managed to do this or less for all the years we’ve been married (26). As far as desserts–we don’t really do desserts anymore. Though I do make homemade cookies once a month for hubby’s work lunch and the occasional pie, because I love pie. We try to eat a lot of fresh fruits from early summer through fall–eating as the seasons dictate (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, pears, melons, and apples). I’ve never used fresh fruits in desserts because that just seems counterproductive.. Though as I said above I do make the occasional apple or pumpkin pie. I find that my kitchen, meal plan, and shopping are pretty efficient and I very much like things that way. We eat for nutrition, but we also eat for pleasure. I wasn’t always the foodie that I am today.

Our food budget is $500.00 a month–we usually spend around $350.00 on our food, nearly $100.00 on our cat, and close to $50.00 on soda, juice, coffee, and milk. We shop twice a month and travel over an hour from home. From the time we got married until just 13 years ago our food budget was around $200.00 for everything. We could not afford to travel far and Farmer’s markets were too expensive or too far away for us to visit.

I hope your summer is going well. My next post is going to be about Farmer’s markets–the ones we go to, how much we spent, and what I process and how? for the winter months.

Until then 🐝well and 🐝safe!