- Eliminate soda: It's going pretty well. Hubby brought how 5 two-liter bottles from work one day last week and I've had a couple glasses. Both times it tasted sickening sweet and I had to have a glass of water to combat the sugar. I'm definitely over the addiction. I drink mostly water and tea with the occasional glass of orange juice.
- Salads: Still buying organic lettuce and making my own Caesar and ranch dressings. I'm not overly thrilled with the 1000 island recipe and need to do some more searching.
- Crackers: I'm making all graham crackers, cheese crackers and animal crackers. I've given up on the snack cracker for right now and I'm buying Kashi 7-grain crackers. They are a little pricey, but so is using pound upon pound of flour for crackers that are ok, but not "to die for."
- Eliminate GMO sugar: I finally purged the last of my cheap powdered sugar stash over the weekend. I am now buying evaporated cane juice (and trying to use less overall), and C&H brown sugar and powdered sugar. Eventually I'll probably get rid of brown sugar and add a bit of molasses and extra cane juice in substitution in recipes, but for now C&H is cane sugar so no genetically modified sugar beets and that's good enough. Down the road, when I have more money to devote to groceries, I'll buy large quanitities of Rapadura, but right now that's not an option. I will make this change knowing that there is better, but what I'm doing is better than nothing at all.
- Organic apples have been reasonably priced, so not buying them hasn't even been a consideration. As of yesterday, they were within $.10/pound of conventionally grown apples. That's not enough of a difference to justify buying the cheaper ones.
- MSG and nitrate(ite) free meats: I'm doing reasonably well. Yesterday I bought nitrate/nitrite free deli meat and bacon. I like the Hormel deli meat (if not the company), so 2-3 packages/month will work there and I bought Applewood Farms Bacon. It's on the menu for tonight, so hopefully it's tasty. For now, we are really limiting ham. In the past months, I purchased a whole ham and we used it for 4-5 meals. I'm steering away from that. There isn't a nitrate free version that is remotely affordable, so we will still eat it on holidays or family gatherings, but not as part of our normal meal rotation.
- Following superfoods recommendations: Meal planning was a little harder than I imagined, but not too bad. The food that I found getting skipped most often (and it really surprised me) was tomatoes. Hubby's digestive system doesn't do too well if he eats a lot of acidic foods, so we try to only have tomato-based foods every third or fourth day. Therefore, we are lacking there. Since canned tomatoes have BPA in the lining of the cans, not consuming so much might not be a bad thing anyway. We'll see what happens with our garden this summer.
- Meal planning: I did a lot better last week and with this month's plan, I tried to incorporate several easy meals and easy alternatives. I also bumped up the budget back to $500/month (including any eating out). If I were feeding just the 5 of us, I don't think $300 would be unreasonable. Feeding the daycare kids and providing the variety of options is proving more difficult than I had imagined, especially since food prices have gone up even in the last month. Additionally, I've added a consistent morning snack which increases the cost as well, but I think it helps the little ones focus more and play together better, which is important for their development. I'm hoping (fingers crossed here) that once I start buying in bulk and get the garden going, that I can bring that number back down. We'll see.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Updates on the baby steps
I just thought everyone might like to see how the project is going!