We’re only one month from IFBC17!!! If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, don’t miss out.
The below post comes to us from IFBC17 sponsor, Zaycon Fresh, whom you will be able to meet September 29 – October 1 at the IFBC.
Have you ever thought about where your food comes from? Have you ever considered the importance of it? The quality of it? The freshness of it? Even the value of it?
My name is Cassie and I am a frugal living blogger, stay-at-home mom to six kids. I run a family on a tight budget and share with others what I am doing to accomplish this goal. It isn’t always easy, but there are many things I have learned over the years that have improved our lives and our budget.
One of the turning points in our budget and in our diet was the use of food co-ops.
When I first started my frugal journey, as a young, new mom many years ago, I was only concerned about getting the lowest possible prices. I wasn’t as concerned about what we ate. If it was in the “grocery” store, then there should be no issue with the quality of what we ate because they couldn’t sell it otherwise, right? I was just thrilled to get as much food as I could for nearly nothing.
As time went on, I learned that there is responsible food buying for health and for the community, but how do I reconcile this against my tight budget?
As I dove into this topic more, I realized that I could buy foods in bulk and spend my time better preparing fresh foods from home, from scratch instead of spending my time clipping coupons. Once I began to implement my more simple food solution with just a bit of prep, I was actually saving time! Even with me becoming a pro at couponing and store sale shopping, it still took a few hours per week to get those foods at such a low price. But once I began implementing my new system, I was spending even less than that, staying in budget and eating healthy!
Our journey into a healthful diet has been a gradual one over many years, but one of the best ways that we have found to accomplish our goals in eating healthy on a tight budget is the use of food co-ops.
Today, our diets consist of nearly all fresh, plant-based foods, adding in a few healthy bulk grains like quinoa and wild rices, along with fresh, direct from-the-farm-to-table meats.
With those three basic categories, a handful of homemade rubs, sauces, mixes and dressings, we have an endless menu of delicious, fresh, healthy, budget-concious meals every day.
So where do I find my basic three groups of foods?
- I can buy my fresh produce with the rock-bottom produce sales that week at the grocery store, fill-in with produce from my local produce co-op and my own garden, along with being able to get fresh, delicious options through our abundant farmer’s markets.
- I can buy my healthy grains in bulk at the big warehouse stores and bulk food stores in my area (Winco and Honeyville), Amazon.com, and a few other online sources are a great place to grab wild rice and many other healthier, hearty grains for much less.
- The biggest and most revolutionary area of change in budget was when I found a source for farm fresh meats in bulk, Zaycon Fresh Foods. Once I discovered this, I haven’t purchased meats in the grocery store for seven years.
I simply place my bulk meat co-op order of 40 lb of fresh chicken a few times per year, and I pickup my order in my local area at the specified date and time a few weeks later, which comes direct from the farm and is to my table in about three days time. This one trick has not only saved me about 40% on average for my meat purchases, but I am getting fresh, not frozen, farm fresh chicken with no added hormones or added antibiotics. I am also buying the meat for the exact poundage, not being charged for the liquids grocery stores add to their meats. I was also thrilled to find out that they use farms that treat their animals humanely.
I was first hooked on Zaycon Fresh Foods with our amazing chicken orders, but they later added meats of all kinds from Wild Alaskan Caught Salmon (nothing farmed), steak, to ground beef, and any other meats you desire all for that great value.
With these three tips, I have successfully stayed within that same budget I had as a crazy couponer, but now a farm fresh, healthy cooking, simple menu family!
As a blogger, late last year, Zaycon Fresh Foods started an affiliate program. You can bet that I was super excited to now be earning money off of something that I have already been telling all of my readers about for so many years!
You can join the Zayon Fresh affiliate program. Then visit their booth at the International Food Bloggers Conference and tell them Cassie sent you!
If you want to try the program yourself – I would encourage you to sign-up as a customer as well and try those fresh farm-to-table meats for your own family as well.