Posted by: Ingrid | June 30, 2012

{June: You Pick Two}

Another month, another couple of changes.  I am a little sad though, that there is a feeling of “one step forward two steps back.”  I’d hoped at the start of the year that making little changes here and there would give me the momentum to make bigger (i.e. pricier) changes.  Raw milk!  Grass fed beef!  Honest food at honest prices (darned Michael Pollan is still in my head)!  The changes, they were a comin’.

Which reminds me, if you can, check out Food Inc. from your library.  And eat at Chipotle.  (As if anyone needs urging to do that.)

So anyway, I was hoping for all of these grand changes that I knew might cost a little more.  I personally find financial changes of any kind jarring, so I figured I would give myself a year to hopefully ease slowly into the idea of spending more for quality food while also trying to cut costs by making things from scratch.  Enter husband losing his job.  Actually, he lost his job in February but is still working until the end of July.  This has been a springboard for hundreds of posts in my head, none of which have actually made it to the blog.  We are spending the next year living on roughly a third of what he was making before.

So the little changes that I felt I could justify before, little steps towards organic, are being cut for the sake of finances, especially come August.  And can I just say, trying to cap the grocery budget at $200 was much more fun as a game than as a reality?  I would much rather restrict myself than be restricted by circumstances.

But we will soldier on.  I still plan on making monthly changes and I feel like this month I was actually able to make an investment in organic produce that far outweighs simply choosing organic Romaine hearts over normal because they are only fifty cents more and I can live with that minor expenditure.

And so, I give you….

THE GARDEN. (In all caps because I have never ever had a garden before – more garden blogginess coming soon!)

I also canned roughly 30 jars of strawberry and blueberry jam (and took no pictures!) in a friend’s kitchen.  We are set for the year, I think.

Being a sucker for energy bars (more on this later too), I have turned to making my own knock-off Larabars.  I have re-discovered how delicious dates are!

My basil plants in the garden are already flourishing and I was finally able to make my own pesto sauce!  I have wanted to do this before but have never had on hand several cups of fresh basil.

I also made homemade taco seasoning off a Pinterest recipe and was pleased with it.  No more store bought packets!

While making yogurt I accidentally made something akin to ricotta cheese when I used a too hot water bath.  (I am horrible at being all scientific and paying attention to the temperature.  I throw my yogurt in the water bath, pray it’s the right temperature, and eagerly await the results the next morning.)  Sort of weird looking but tasted great on graham crackers with a little jam on top!

I discovered the Walmart (where I do not do much of my shopping) has delicious whole milk mozzarella cheese (why have I been using low fat all these years?!?)

and that their milk comes from cows not treated with hormones, which I appreciate.

I would post the picture of the homemade pizza with tomatoes, fresh basil, and chunks of cheese that I made, but we ate it too fast!



  1. Sorry to hear about your husband’s job. Financial stress is never fun, but if anyone can make it work, clearly that person is you! Canning! Making your own yogurt! I am ridiculously impressed 🙂

    • Thanks! I think that trying all the new stuff and trying to make changes is keeping me sane. Or maybe less insane.

  2. You are really remarkable to make these changes happen in the face of the financial/emotional stress. Gardening! Go you! Brava!!!!

    • Well, the gardening came down to putting the work into organic produce over putting in the money. Now that I’ve seen how quickly weeds grow, despite the lack of rain, maybe I will re-think my decision!

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