Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Where Do I Shop for Real Food?

I would love to tell you that the grocery store in your town that has the lowest prices on everything is the best and only place to get real food. The fact is that most of the food in your grocery store is probably not completely real. Even if you stick to the parameters of the store like health professionals advise now; you will pick up produce sprayed with chemicals that are possibly genetically modified, meat from animals that have been shot with antibiotics and fed foods which God never intended for them to eat, and dairy products from those same animals.

So where do you get these real foods created by God? Unfortunately (unless you enjoy shopping for food as a recreational activity like I do), you will have to go to more than one place, especially if you don't want to spend a fortune feeding your family. There are many ways to do this, so I'm not telling you the "one way" to do it. I'm just going to tell you what I do in case it sparks some ideas for your own situation.

The Farm
I get as much of our food as I can from a local farmer. We buy half a side of grass-fed beef every year so the price per pound is very reasonable. Last year, we bought our chickens from them, too. I buy our eggs, cheese, and butter from them as well as honey and maple syrup. I purchase our grains in bulk through Something Better Natural Foods. Our farmer does a bulk order from them, and I purchase from him. If you want to find a great farm in your area, check out or Word of mouth is also helpful---that's how we found ours.

Grow/Catch it Ourselves

We don't have very much space for a garden in the city; but we grow our own lettuces, tomatoes and peppers and a few other things we try differently every year. We pick our own strawberries every June at a pick your own farm. (You can find these at My husband fishes, so most of our fish is what he has caught. A friend hunts, so we purchase venison from him.

Wholesale Club
We have a membership to a wholesale club in our area. They have the best deals on contact lenses, but we also get some of our food products there. I love a brand of fresh salsa they carry. We also get lunch meat there (this is not a real food item, but we only eat it once a week along with our nitrate-free beef bologna from the farm). I get shampoo there for all of us and frozen fruit. A few grocery items are cheaper there in bulk like tea, coffee filters and tomato sauce. Sometimes I buy produce there if I need a bulk amount.

Health Food Store
Next to the farm, my favorite place to shop is Earth Fare. My 3-year-old says, "We're at the Fair!" when we pull in. He has never been to a fair, so you can see what his mommy's source of entertainment is! :-) I can't buy near as much as I'd like there for budget reasons, but they do have great coupons, freebies and discounted items weekly so I take advantage of those. I like to get small quantities of bulk items to try (like quinoa, raw nuts, demerera sugar, etc.) there. I get some organic produce if they have a good deal on it. I only buy our fresh fish from there (other than the fish my husband catches).  I get my kids' Emergen-C there as well as any of my Garden of Life products. I occasionally buy natural toiletry items there (although the ones I have right now, they gave me for free for exchanging my "bad" ones!).

Discount Grocery Store
We have a great chain of stores in our state that has a lot of closeout items and is the best overall store for low prices. I get everything I can't get at the other sources here. They have a small organic foods section and they carry a wide variety of Bob's Red Mill products at great prices. Their produce is very reasonable and some is even organic.

The more things I get delivered to me, the less I need to shop for. I love the Amazon Moms program for more than just food items. I get diapers and wipes through them and save 30% plus get them delivered straight to my door for free! This makes them cheaper per diaper than I can get at stores in my area. I get some personal products from them as well through the subscribe and save option. I order my cleaning supplies and coconut oil online from other companies.

Regular Grocery Store/WalMart
This is my least favorite place to shop, but I do have to run here for some toiletry items and for the occasional pork we might buy. There are a few things my discount grocer doesn't carry, so I stop by the regular store once in awhile for those.

I think that just about covers it. If you're thinking, "But what about all that gas running from place to place?!" be assured that I do not go to all of these every week. I  go to most of them monthly except for my discount grocer which I visit each week.

Where do you shop for real food?

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