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Feb 26, 2012 06:12 AM

When being 'good' costs to much.

I have a problem. I am on welfare and food stamps, also I eat meat. I love meat pig meat especially, also lamb and goat. And I want to buy organic, free range, farm raised meat. But with a budget of forty dollars a week I can't do that. When a pound cut is sixteen dollars or ten dollars I just can't afford it. I feel guilty buying 'normal' meat. But it's so hard. Veggies are the same organic is pricey. Thank god for the farmer's market! At least there the prices are more reasonable at my local green-market and they discount 'ugly' veggies.

I suppose I could live on rice and beans. But I want to be healthy and cheap. It's a battle I'll tell you. I'm kinda leaning towards blaming the government for not giving farm subsidies to produce farmers. Also why is honey filled with good things but so bad for a diabetic?

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  1. I hear ya. There was a time that we needed to stand in line for commodities. We still need to stretch our food dollar. I buy regular supermarket food, and can't afford the high end "organic, free range, etc..." stuff, either. I still had to feed the family.
    We lived on lots of beans and rice, and whole chicken.
    As far as organic vegetables go, there are some that are better when organic, and some that are really no different. There are lists on the internet.
    That said, it pays to learn how to use every last bit. Do you like chicken? They are a little better priced, and one really can stretch it with them, using the meat, the bones, the liver and gizzard.
    But yes, I hear ya. Good, healthy food is expensive. Some say that it satisfies more, can make do with less, but try telling that to your kids that are hungry, right?
    With rice and beans, I look to other cultures, finding that spices can really add to the dish. I get my spices in bulk (the store has them packaged in bags), and are not as expensive as the tins. I also look for sales. But, if you are diabetic, I'm sure that folks will tell you that you need more than beans and rice.(and should probably avoid them).
    So, what to do? Find balance. Feeding the family with something comes first, in my book. Where the food comes from comes second. I simply don't have the luxury of a fat paycheck to get all moral about my food. I just try to do my personal best.

    1. this is also true if you want to go on a diet. Diets are expensive because fruit and veggies and fish, lean meat costs more than sugar and carbs and fatty meats.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. That's a tough one, YAYME.

          Proteins fill you up and keep you full longer and more satisfied than anything else. Here are some ideas:

          Eggs are cheap and versatile, be like the French- top your meal with them and use the runny yolk for a sauce.

          A big pork shoulder (12 bucks) in the crock pot can last a single person *weeks*...freeze some after shredding (but before saucing) to use to stuff things with (sandwiches) or to add to soups.

          Mapo tofu (using ground pork) is also a protein packed meal that can last for days for dinners and lunches.

          Ground lamb can be stretched by adding bulgar to make many wonderful middle eastern dishes.

          Expensive "designer" sausages (chicken and pork) or gourmet bacons can be diced and used in smaller amounts in all kinds of dishes.

          Buy better bulk beef and grind your own hamburger (food processor works for this). Better quality for the money.

          Ground chicken (also grind it yourself in the food processor) ensures more quality control -and when you purchase in bulk- it can last for weeks or months. I have no problem substituting chicken for beef in many recipes.

          Cottage cheese and al dente veggies are my breakfast and lunch of choice!

          2 Replies
          1. re: sedimental

            Agree there are lots of way to stretch your meat into many meals, but the point is that you are not going to find a big *organic, free range, farm raised* pork shoulder for $12. In fact, its hard to find period!

            1. re: firecooked

              Of course not. I think it is recognized by the OP that she will not be able to eat her fill of free range, organic, farm raised meat at every meal. Maybe there is a "happy medium" especially for the meats she said she really *loves* pork.

          2. YAYME, can you add some fish to your diet and delete a little of the 4-legged protein? Just a gentle suggestion...sardines are very cheap and healthy protein and you can usually find a can for around $1 (Brunswick in olive oil just to name one) ... and the AMOUNT of protein we Americans eat is usually out of whack...3 or 4 ounces is all most of us need at each meal and you can obtain protein from non-meat/fish sources too, just to try and help a little more here. I realize you LIKE meats but perhaps subbing in some fish might help out a little?