Eating Real Food…Does it really cost more?

Eating real food is a growing trend. How sad is it that that statement is actually true? It’s actually been in existence for thousands of years. The whole length of Earth’s existence, actually. But society has been overrun with over processed and manufactured foods. And by manufactured I mean just that. 80% (Ok, it’s probably MORE than that, but still…insert any percentage you feel happy with) of ingredients in food products you buy on the shelf of a store, you can’t even pronounce, or it’s chemically made. Gross, right?

Head to your local Natural Grocers or Whole Foods, and you often find that prices seem to run a bit higher than your general grocery stores, or Walmart. I HATE Walmart, yet I continue to shop there because of the prices. One day, I will stop…maybe. But would you rather have Yellow dye #4 and Sodium Die-carbon-I-don’t-even-know-what-this-word-is-but-i’m-going-to-ingest-it-anyways in your food, or ingredients you actually KNOW what they are (and are for sure an actual FOOD)?

Trust me, I know how it is to struggle with money. We are a single income military family with two small children. We struggle to make ends meet nearly every month, and we don’t live beyond our means. Seriously. My parents came to visit and said “WHAT ARE YOU WEARING” and then proceeded to take me clothes shopping. I think the last time I went clothes shopping was like, 4 years ago?

So what can you do to make eating REAL FOOD more affordable? A package of Ramen is cheap, so is a jar of spaghetti sauce. I’m not even going to touch on Ramen (it’s the bain of food subjects in my marriage…well that and the necessity of eating vegetables. Yes, I hide vegetables in food so my 28 year old husband will eat them…shhhhhh) but how much MORE expensive is it to make your own spaghetti sauce, without all the yucky stuff? And the good thing, you can make things in BULK and can (or freeze) them. But I digress…tomatoes, garlic and spices can make a beautiful sauce, that really takes no more time than it takes you to cut up some tomatoes and throw in your favorite spices. Like marinara style sauces? Blend that chunky sauce up, and there ya go!

Bake your own bread. It’s super easy, and there are SO many healthy recipes! Try soaking your flour before baking if you have gluten intolerance issues. Soaking and sprouting help make grains more digestible! Keep a sourdough starter going, sourdough bread is easy to digest, and super easy to make. It’s water and flour people. You can do it, I have faith in you!

Buy meat in bulk…do it sometime after tax return season if you can. Instead of spending the money on other things take a chunk of change ($500) and buy yourself a half, or quarter depending on your local market, of a cow and put it in the freezer. Sure, it seems like a lot of change up front…but think of all the times you WON’T go to the store and buy a ton of meat. Buy whole, organic (pastured if you can) chickens and cut the pieces yourself. Then you have different chicken parts AND bones for stock. Now that’s what you call a WIN WIN right there, folks!

Back to Walmart vs Natural Grocers. I issue you this challenge. Go to a Natural Grocers/Whole Foods. See what the prices are ON THE STUFF YOU WOULD ACTUALLY BUY AND EAT. Because it’s a giant waste of money if you AREN’T going to eat it, but buy it because it’s healthy. Don’t like flax seeds? DON’T BUY THEM. Don’t buy liver because it’s good for you and then let it sit in your freezer until it’s freezer burned and gets thrown in the trash. I often find that quite a few things, like apple cider vinegar (I use the raw unfiltered kind of AVC) is cheaper at Walmart, but the same brand. I buy most of my “basic” products at Walmart like flour, sugar, EVOO, sugar, spices etc. I just take an extra moment to look at labels. Ones that are Non-GMO Project Verified and Organic are top choices for me. Don’t have access to raw milk to make your own sour cream or yogurt? Look for labels with TWO ingredients, milk and cultures. Like Daisy Sour Cream. Yes, those horrible dairy facilities are a terror to imagine, but start somewhere reasonable.

Make GRADUAL changes. Don’t go throw out your entire pantry just because it’s not organic. Use what you have, and slowly get into the habit of buying better. Make meal plans. Don’t get meat out and then say, “Let’s go out to eat, I’m tired.” You are wasting money in TWO ways. PS I am TOTALLY guilty of doing this from time to time, but no one is perfect. Improvement is a funny thing…you have to keep doing it for things to change. 

I should probably mention that there are multitudes of benefits to eating Real Food, including healing food allergies, skin and weight issues, overall health and energy…the list goes on and on. So if you discount all the money you are probably spending on all those medications, or diet pills etc, you are going to end up saving a lot in the long run. And you will only be happier for it. Written by Nichelle of

Getting Prepared for winter with chickens

This is the time for “Preparedness” in our line of work, first let us who raise white birds prepare them for winter by feeding them white corn instead of yellow, this is to keep them from becoming creamy and yellow, which yellow corn most certainly will do although the analysis of both white and yellow is identical, the color pigment in the yellow will add the color, to both lobes and plumage, and is particularly to be avoided if they are to be exhibited or sold. Not that it injures them in the least for utility purposes or for profitable use.


This is a good time also to “Prepare” for winter, put the fixtures needed in the early growth of the chicks up, and be sure that they are in the condition that they should be next spring when you are rushed with the care of incubators and baby chicks. There are always the small drinking vessels and hovers and heaters which were needed in the spring but which they have outgrown now, which can be packed away out of the winter storms and where they will be handy to get at when wanted.

Then there are always little things to make ship shape around the winter houses, window panes have a way of getting broken, and it is much more comfortable to stand in the shade some day and replace them, than to be obliged to stand in the sour fall rain someday. Two of our winter houses are getting new cement floors. The ones which have been used for several years, have a way of getting damp altogether too quickly, so a layer of tar paper is placed on top of the old one and another coat of cement laid, with the expectation that they will keep drier and thereby lessen the labor of cleaning and also lessen the cost of straw.

Homemade Natural Lip Moisturizer

Lip moisturizers are an essential item (for me at least), it’s quite cost effective to make up batch, and you at least will know what ingredients haven gone in to it – so why not try this recipe and make your own lip balm. Feel free to adapt the ingredients as you see fit (you might like to try coconut oil or almond oil for instance).

honeyFor this particular recipe you will need

4 tbsps. of colorless beeswax,
4 tbsps. of fragrant oil,
½ tsp. of lime oil,
and 1 tbsp. of fresh honey.

This recipe is very easy to complete and can be prepared in the microwave using a microwaveable bowl or in a pan on the hob.

You can purchase the ingredients in whole food stores or even online at somewhere like Amazon. You can even get the lip balm containers there in packs of 50 for something like $9

If you already are keeping bees in your garden then sourcing the beeswax (filtered) and honey shouldn’t be too much of a problem 🙂 Beeswax pellets can be quite expensive to purchase so an alternative if you do need to buy them would be to go to somewhere like wholefoods and buy a small beeswax candle and shave that down.

Begin by combining the beeswax and four tablespoons of fragrant oil into the bowl or pan you will be using and use the microwave or hob to melt the ingredients. Stir them together until they are mixed well.

Turn off the heat, and add the lime oil and fresh honey to the pan. Mix all of the ingredients until a pasty consistency is achieved. Pour the contents of the pan to a clean glass container (or several mini containers), and let the mixture cool down and set.

You will need to wait at least thirty minutes for the mixture to set completely. Once the natural lip moisturizer has set and hardened in its container, take a small amount and apply to your lips. Enjoy!




I wonder if the roses know

The beauty and the charm they yield.

Or if the daisy how it decks

The gradual grayness of the field.

I wonder if the heart that sings

Hears how the other hearts it wakes

Are happy for the joy it brings

In what it does for other’s sakes.

I wonder if the star’s aware

Of all the sweet content it spills

Upon the little lives of care

That catches its beauty on the hills.

I wonder if the violet feels

The tender and responsive gleam

Of love that in the woodland kneels

To worship at the shrines of dream.

I wonder if all the beauty shares

The knowledge of the good that grows

From out its all unconscious sweet –

The song of bird, the bloom of rose.

Or whether it is not as when

Some life that blossoms like a flower

Moves gently mid its fellow men.

More like a perfume than a power.

~by Folger McKinsey