Is going to the grocery store as tiresome to you as it is for me? It just isn’t something I typically enjoy. But, since I love to cook and I run two cooking sites– oh and I do have that family of mine that likes to occasionally eat–I do find myself having to go grocery shopping from time to time.
So among the constant chatter of “Mommy can I’s” I shove my cart through the aisles trying to find a week’s worth of answers to that ongoing question at my house “What’s for dinner, Mom?”.
And as I do, the aisle scream at me… telling me that if I don’t choose their product over another, surely to goodness (or GOODEness 😉 ) I most definitely will be poisoning my family or something worse… making a bad choice.
Decisions, decisions… sometimes I wish some of my decisions were made for me and then again my independent nature kicks in and then I don’t like being told what to do… at all… hmm… that must be where Miss Add gets it 😉 Nah… couldn’t be, could it?
Affordable Food Tips
Now, over the years, I have learned to tune a lot of the marketing messages thrown at me at the grocery store thanks to my circle of farm girlfriends… who are always so helpful in helping me learn how food is raised, processed and marketed… something that doesn’t always come easy… despite growing up on a farm and literally working with food for a living.
I think as moms, most of us want to make good choices for our families and a long time ago, my friend Heather (a pork farmer and told it to me straight.
“Always skip the front of the label– the marketing label– and look at the nutrition label, that is the one that matters.”
(You can learn more about labels from Heather here.)
On the tour, Kim would have us pick some of our favorite products from the shelves and the first thing she would do would be to flip it to the back and then give us advice on what said product could add to our diet be it wanted or unwanted ;).
I was impressed with Kim’s enjoyment of food. I have rarely thought of eating healthy as something I could actually enjoy… but Kim had a passion for food and for finding your nutrients in food you actually like vs. forcing you to eat things you don’t like. It inspired me. In particular, I started introducing new snack food choices (nuts, popcorn, etc.) for my family that were both healthy and items we didn’t normally snack on but really enjoyed.
The tour was so informative and kind of fun. As someone who thought she knew her way around her groceries, I was actually kind of shocked how much I learned from Kim… and how much–despite my farm girlfriend’s advice– I was still getting sucked into marketing labels!
Here is a list of the actual regulated labels on food… everything else, is marketing baby.
Some of my farm girlfriends were also on the tours (I attended two!) and they were such great resources in helping us understand where our milk, eggs and meat come from and how a lot of the food in the grocery store might just be a lot more local than you think.
In the end, while I might be overwhelmed with choice at times, I am grateful for it… and I’m grateful for the affordable food options that would be considered a luxury in other countries despite how crunched my budget feels at times.
But I am also grateful for the knowledge that the labels that really matter when it comes to feeding my family aren’t the ones that always come with a higher price tag.
That was perhaps the biggest take away for me from the tour. And, that ultimately leaves more room in my budget for the preference of taste… which you know I’m all for!
This post is a part of my Affordable Food Tips sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers (Did you miss my first post when I was challenged to stretch $50 to make as many meals as I could?!– Check it out here.) I was compensated for this post, but all opinions and a-ha moments are all my own, as always 😉
Looking for some affordable recipes for your family? Here are some of our favorites: