What I Look For When Buying Food From the Grocery Store


Things to Consider When Buying Food | What to Look For When Grocery Shopping | What to Avoid At the Grocery StoreIt’s late February, and that means that all of the food that we grew, preserved and put up last summer and fall is beginning to run out. This also means that we’re beginning to make more frequent trips to the grocery store to supplement the things we need.

Before I go on, I will say that I still try to shop local first and foremost.

We’ve switched to buying all of our meats locally. This is one area where I’ve made a commitment to purchasing only local, ethically-raised, grass fed/pasture raised meats (save for the odd pack of bacon or organic whole chicken from Costco).

This is important to me for a number of reasons, including quality of life for the animals (I feel strongly that livestock should experience a happy, healthy life and am very much against factory farming), health reasons (you are what you eat, and so I believe in eating meat from animals who led happy, healthy lives), and ethical/economic reasons (I believe in supporting local farmers and small businesses who are also running their businesses ethically, as well as keeping my dollars within my community as much as possible).

Besides our meat, we never purchase eggs from the grocery store since our small flock of backyard laying hens provide all that we need and have been laying right through the winter. If we did run out, I would only source local free-range eggs for the same reasons as listed above.

But we’re also privileged to live in a place where there are tons of small-scale and hobby farms with lots of people who sell fresh eggs. If I had to eat eggs from the grocery store, I would always choose organic free range.

Oh, and I also never really buy bread anymore. I’ve been on a real sourdough kick lately, so we’ve had more bread than we can even eat! Every now and then though, I will buy bread products from the grocery store.

Aside from that, in the summer we literally never buy fruits and vegetables from the grocery store as we grow most of our own produce and source everything else locally. (Again, we’re lucky enough to live somewhere where there is a big farming and local food culture, and I know that not everybody has access to these things nearby).

Save for the odd “exotic” ingredient like bananas or pineapples, we get pretty much everything from as close to our home as possible in the summer and preserve it to eat throughout the winter.

But like I said, come late winter/early spring, a lot of those food stores begin to run out, so this is the time of year (between now and late spring when things start to come on in our garden), when we tend to use the grocery store the most.

That being said, when I do need to purchase foods from the grocery store, be they “fresh” foods like meat, produce and dairy products, or processed foods and grocery items like grains and pasta, snacks, oils, sauces, condiments, etc. I don’t just throw my ethical and health concerns out the window. And neither should you.

Related: 10 Tips to Help You Save Money At the Grocery Store

 

3 Things to Consider When Buying Food From the Grocery Store

Like I said, I truly believe that you are what you eat, and while I certainly haven’t always thought this way, this is one of the main reasons I got into homesteading in the first place.

This thought process has evolved over the years and continues to evolve all of the time. I’ve upgraded my food choices, slowly but surely, one-by-one, day after day and year after year. And the more I learn, the more these food choices evolve.

I say this so that you know I am in no way perfect with all of our food choices all of the time, and I’m still learning about the dangers and downsides of some foods while continuously learning about the health benefits and advantages of others.

Likewise, wherever you’re at in your journey to a healthier, more natural life, know that you don’t need to be perfect to be better. Improvement happens little by little, one step at a time.

That being said, I believe in doing the best we can with the knowledge and resources we have. This applies to all sorts of things, but for me, it’s extra important when it comes to what we put in our bodies and what we spend our money on.

In general, I’m pretty intentional about the food choices I make for myself and my family, so when it comes to the grocery store, there are three main questions I ask and things I look for when I’m buying food…

 

1. What are the ingredients?

The first thing I check on any packaged food is the list of ingredients.

This might seem obvious, because (duh) I just rambled on for multiple paragraphs about how I care about what we eat. But I’ve learned that many grocery store foods can be pretty deceiving, and if you’re not diligent about checking the list of ingredients, you could very easily purchase something that looks healthy, but really isn’t.

This has mostly to do with smart marketing and packaging, as well as where things are located in the grocery store. For example, there are many things in the “health food” aisle that really aren’t very healthy for you at all.

Some of the ingredients I try to avoid at all costs include any type of food additives and artificial sweeteners, including (but sadly not limited to):

  • High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) 
  • Synthetic Food Dyes (Blue 1, Yellow 5 & 6, Red 3 & 40 are common ones to avoid)
  • Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc.)
  • Artificial Flavours
  • Natural Flavours (they may be derived from natural foods, but they’re still extracted in a lab)
  • Xantham Gum
  • Guar Gum
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Sodium Nitrite
  • Sulfites
  • Carageenan
  • Maltodextrin
  • Dextrose
  • Phosphates (sodium phosphate, calcium phosphate, etc.)

I’m sure there are many others ingredients that I’m missing, but that’s a pretty good place to start as far as things to avoid.

I also try to avoid high amounts of added sugar. Especially if sugar is the first or second ingredient listed, I generally try to avoid it. I also prefer organic cane sugar when possible.

Same goes for salt;  I try to avoid it in excess and opt for sea salt or simply “salt” over sodium (ie. sodium phosphate or sodium chloride), and definitely over MSG!

When it comes to oils, I avoid highly refined vegetable oils, including canola oil, grape seed oil and sunflower oil. These types of oils are often extracted with chemical solvents and refined at high heat, which chemically alters their composition. They’re also high in Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause dangerous and even chronic inflammation in the body. Whether I’m purchasing oils for my own home cooking or checking the ingredients list on a processed food, I try to stick to healthier cold pressed oils like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil.

I also try to avoid modified milk ingredients, although from my research these aren’t as dangerous as many of the ingredients listed above, so it depends on the product for me.

What I’m reading the list of ingredients on a food label, I look for simple, whole, natural ingredients.

The fewer the ingredients, the better.

For example, I went to the store to buy sour cream the other day, and almost every brand that I checked had a laundry list of ingredients including thickening agents like guar gum, xantham gum, carrageenan, carob bean gum and modified corn starch, sodium phosphate, propylene glycol, cellulose, sodium phosphate and sodium citrate, not to mention those pesky modified milk ingredients.

After checking the ingredients on a handful of different brands, I finally found one brand’s premium version of sour cream that listed only cream, milk, skim milk powder, bacterial culture and microbial enzyme. That’s as close to all-natural sour cream as you’re probably going to get in the grocery store, so I opted for that one.

However there was literally nothing to distinguish this sour cream from all the rest aside from the list of ingredients. And it was the same price as all the others to boot. But even if it was a couple bucks more, for me it’s worth the extra investment in my (and my family’s) longterm health.

Clearly checking the list of ingredients in processed foods is super important, but it’s worth mentioning because too many people are caught up with the nutrition facts but fail to consider the actual ingredients and the sources of the nutrition in the foods they’re eating.

While nutrition facts are certainly helpful if you’re trying to stick to a particular diet like low-sugar, low-sodium, keto, etc., I generally don’t even look at the nutrition facts. I really believe it begins and ends with the actual ingredients used.

 

2. Is the food organic?

Just as important as what’s in our food is what’s not in it. Chemical pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified foods are high on my list of ingredients to avoid, so I always opt for organic foods whenever possible.

According to the Environmental Working Group, “nearly 70 percent of the fresh produce sold in the U.S. contains residues of potential harmful chemical pesticides.”

When choosing produce, I always try to avoid the dirty dozen (the 12 foods that typically are found to have the highest concentration of pesticides and chemical residues). 

The Dirty Dozen includes:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Pears
  • Tomatoes
  • Celery
  • Potatoes

I also only buy organic lettuce, broccoli, herbs, carrots, peppers and garlic.

I’m a bit more lenient with some of the foods that on the “clean fifteen” list; Produce that has been found to have the lowest concentration of chemical residues. These include:

The Clean Fifteen includes:

  • Avocados
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Asparagus
  • Papayas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew Melons
  • Cabbage
  • Kiwi Fruits
  • Eggplants
  • Sweet Peas
  • Mushrooms
  • Cauliflower *
  • Broccoli *
  • Sweet Corn *

(The foods marked with an asterisk (*) are foods that I still personally try to buy organic. While I can peel the outer layers off a cabbage to avoid any pesticides that were sprayed, I can’t do the same with a head of broccoli or cauliflower, so I tend to opt for organic. Likewise, sweet corn is often genetically modified, so I typically steer clear of conventionally produced corn on the cob).

As for professed and packaged foods, I look for organic products as well. This isn’t always possible, but I’ll almost always choose organic ingredients when I have the option.

When it comes to dairy products, I do tend to buy conventional. However in Canada there are much stricter rules about how our milk and dairy products are produced and sold, including a complete ban on growth hormones and antibiotics. So for almost double the price for certified organic dairy products, this is one area where we do still tend to buy conventional. However if I lived in the US where the dairy products are not as regulated, I would definitely choose organic 100% of the time.

Not only are organic foods healthier for us, they’re also healthier for the planet, as well as for the workers who grow them and who are otherwise subjected to ingesting many of the chemical pesticides and herbicides sprayed on conventional produce.

And don’t get me started on Monsanto and GMOs. If you’ve never seen the documentary Food Inc., lets just say it was a catalyst for me when I first started exploring homesteading as a viable lifestyle “alternative.”

I believe we vote with our dollars, and so I always try to cast a vote for health, people and planet. This definitely applies to grocery shopping, among many other things.

Related: 3 Ways to Get Free Organic Food (Without Growing It Yourself)

 

3. Where does the food come from?

I’m a big believer in eating as locally as possible. As I mentioned earlier, if I can’t grow something myself, I typically try to source it locally from our farmer’s market or direct from local farms. But this isn’t always possible, so when I have to buy food from the grocery store, I try to be mindful of where it was produced.

I generally try to source food from as close to home as possible, so even if something isn’t necessary local to my community, I’ll still choose food from elsewhere in my province first, and after that I’ll look for either Canadian, American or Mexican produced next, then South American, European, African and finally food produced in Asia.

In general, Asia (China, specifically) tends to have some of the worst food safety practices and the highest use of pesticides in the world. According to this article from Stanford University, “China is the world’s largest consumer of agricultural chemicals, using more than 30 percent of global fertilizers and pesticides on only 9 per cent of the world’s crop land.” This equates to almost 1.8 MILLION tons of pesticides sprayed on Chinese crops each year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

While not all locally-produced foods are necessarily organic, they do generally tend to be safer than a lot of conventionally-produced foreign foods coming from places with very little regulation pesticide use. Not to mention, the less miles my food travels, the better it is for the planet.

To learn more about my philosophy on local food and tour a few of my favourite local farms with me, check out the YouTube video below:)

 

Other Things To Consider When Buying Food

While those are the three main things that I look for in when buying food from the grocery store, there are also a few other things that I consider (and I hope you will too!)

 

Ethically Raised Meats, Eggs & Dairy

I already touched on this above, but it’s worth mentioning again, because while we don’t tend to buy meat from the grocery store, I know many people do.

When purchasing meats and animal products I try to look for words like “organic,” “grass-fed” (and grass-finished), “pasture-raised,” “free range,” “hormone-free,” “no antibiotics,” etc.

While some of these catchphrases can be deceiving (and warrant a blog post all their own), they’re a good place to start.

 

Local Vs. Organic (And What’s With All the Packaging?? 😡)

Sometimes local food isn’t organic, and sometimes organic food isn’t locally produced.

When faced with the choice between organic OR local, I usually choose organic. However if the food falls into the “clean fifteen,” I will sometimes opt for local over organic. It’s a bit of a toss up and it’s a conundrum that confounds even the most discerning among us.

Another thing I consider is how much packaging comes with a particular food item. I try to avoid single use plastics like the plague, but somehow they still they find their way into our home on almost a daily basis. Still, packaging is something I’m conscious of for environmental reasons.

Plus I can’t STAND how quickly our recycling box overflows with plastic packaging when we’re not careful. It drives me BANANAS (just ask my husband) and I actually get a bit offended when Im forced to accept a bunch of plastic packaging or bags with my groceries).

This is one major downside to eating organic foods from the grocery store: SO. MUCH. PACKAGING!!!

Okay, that was a lot of bolding and capitalizing, so you know how strongly I feel about this one.

While this isn’t always the case, I often find that organic produce comes wrapped in more packaging than conventionally-grown produce, which poses another moral dilemma for folks like me.

Luckily we have an awesome zero waste store in our town called the Local Refillery where you bring your own jars and purchase in bulk. This is where I prefer to do my shopping for things like spices, flour and baking ingredients, nuts, seeds and bulk ingredients, as well as refillable hand soap and shampoo. If you also live here in the Comox Valley, I highly recommend checking them out!

When it comes to certain ethical dilemmas or even having to choose between what you can afford and have access to and what’s best for your health, there just aren’t any “right” or “wrong” answers in some cases. It just comes down to what matters most to you, what you’re most comfortable with and what resources you have.

Like I say, we vote with our dollars, and the money we spend on food should also be considered an investment in our health. And no matter how much money you’ve got to spend, there’s always something small you can do to improve your family’s health and, if nothing else, avoid the very worst processed foods lurking on store shelves.

At the end of the day, my best piece of advice for you is to continue learning about healthy food choices that align with your own personal ethics and values, and then head to the grocery store armed with that knowledge.

And of course, don’t forget your shopping list;)

 

 

 


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

3 Comments

  1. Gisele Sharun

    Hi my name is Gisele and I do have a comment, this article really pushed local and organic, I live in Edmonton Alberta, and know the island and British Columbia very well grew up in BC anyway I have noticed that the place you get your seeds are from the USA, why aren’t you getting your seeds local or Canadian at least, I understand that the place you get your seeds is organic but there are a lot of organic seed stores in BC, Alberta and throughout all of Canada, pushing local and buying cross border is really not a good thing hope you find something more local

    Reply
    • Anna Sakawsky

      Hi Gisele,

      I actually do get my seeds locally. I get most of them from West Coast Seeds, which is from Delta, BC. I do work with True Leaf Market as well (I’m assuming this is the company you are referring to). They are based in the US and are a great source of seeds for many people in the US. As the vast majority of my readers are in the states, it makes sense for me to recommend True Leaf Market rather than West Coast Seeds. They have also sponsored my magazine and provided me with a discount code for this month, which is why I have been promoting them in emails. I do get my sprouting seeds and microgreens from them, however, as they carry full kits and these are grown indoors. However if you have a local seed source already, I would absolutely recommend going that route first.

      You can check out my full seed-starting process in one of my latest YouTube videos here (where you will also see my stack of West Coast Seeds;).

      I hope this clears things up!

      Reply
  2. A.S.

    Love this!

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
How to Shop From Your Pantry Like A Pro

How to Shop From Your Pantry Like A Pro

Every year around this time I go into total organization, budgeting, planning and goal-setting mode. After the frenzy of the holidays, I’m more than ready to settle into a routine and get back on track with my spending, simplifying and health goals. I know I’m not...

read more

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

11 Frugal Ways to Use Kitchen Scraps

Save money, reduce food waste and and improve everything from your soil to your gut health with this list of 11 frugal ways to use kitchen scraps in your home and garden. *** We’re such a wasteful society, especially here in the west. The mounds of waste we...

read more

Did you know, that this is the first lasagna I’ve ever made??

Yup, it’s true... For as much as I love cooking, in all my years I have never made homemade lasagna. It’s just another one of those things that I thought was too much effort, what with all the different layers and everything.

Plus, if I’m being completely honest, I never really loved my mom’s homemade lasagna. Nothing against my dear mother, but the store-bought noodles always seemed a bit mushy, and she just layered it with the same sauce she made for spaghetti. I’ve always loved the delicious bolognese lasagna with the ricotta and béchamel sauce; The kind you get from an Italian bistro or something.

But since I made my own ricotta cheese last week and needed to use it all up, I figured now would be a good time to learn how to make lasagna at home from scratch.

And so, here we are: almost 34 years into life and finally a homemade lasagna to show for it!

I even made the noodles and the sauce from scratch:) (Ryan helped too, which made it a fun team effort).

And ya know what?? Just like most things, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought;)

Cheese-making and home dairy in general is one of those kitchen projects and skills that can definitely be at least as intimidating as a homemade lasagna, if not more. But once you learn the basics and try making cheese and yogurt and butter and (name a dairy product) at home, you’ll soon find that it’s not nearly as complicated as you might have thought.

While I haven’t posted the recipe for this lasagna yet, I do have a recipe for my homemade ricotta cheese (which, by the way, is the best ricotta layer in a lasagna that I’ve ever had!), in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine.

To get the recipe, along with recipes for homemade yogurt and homemade mozzarella cheese, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/magazine to SUBSCRIBE for FREE, and get the Home Dairy issue delivered right to your inbox:)

#homemadecheese #fromscratch #cookingfromscratch #homedairy #homesteadkitchen #homemade
...

❄️ We rarely get snow days here on Vancouver Island, but when we do, we make the most of them.

Come along for a sneak peek at what a day of fun and farm chores looks like on our little 1/4-acre homestead on the edge of the forest on a slow, snowy winter day.

From feeding the animals to collecting eggs to gathering firewood and sipping bone broth, to just spending good ol' fashioned quality time together... This is what winter is all about. THIS is what a snow day looks like for us:)

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://youtu.be/eETHA2Wl_-0 to watch the full video.

Don’t forget to hit “like” and subscribe while you’re there!
.
.
.
#snowday #slowliving #simpleliving #homesteading #seasonalliving
...

♥️ There are five love languages:
1. Gifts/tokens of affection
2. Acts of service
3. Quality time
4. Physical touch
5. Words of affirmation

I read a book recently that explained how FOOD embodies all five of these love languages.

ie. I baked this humble loaf of bread for a friend who just had a baby (along with some other homemade goodies). It’s my way of offering both a gift and an act of service for a new mama who could surely use a meal cooked by someone else.

It will also help to foster quality time for her together with her family; Time spent around the table enjoying a homemade meal together, without the stress of having to cook from scratch while tending to a new baby.

Of course, when it comes to physical touch, nothing touches us more deeply than the food that we put in our bodies. The ingredients matter, along with how it was prepared (personally I prefer my food prepared at home with love rather than prepared and packaged in some industrial building somewhere).

Finally come the words of affirmation. Words like “mmm...” “yum!” and “this is delicious” come to mind when I think of good, homemade food. Whether I’m there to hear those words or not, imagining them uttered around the dinner table is what motivates me to serve others with the food that I make.

Food touches us all so deeply in so many ways, no matter what our own personal love language may be. And so, what better way to say “I love you” or “I care about you” than food... GOOD food, made from scratch with real ingredients.

I’m excited to be able to deliver a care package full of delicious homemade food to my friend and her family later this afternoon. It’s a small act of service and it cost me very little other than my time, but it can have a really big impact for someone else.

If you know someone who could use a home-cooked meal; Someone with a new baby; Someone who’s struggling or going through something hard; Someone who’s stressed out or overwhelmed; Or just someone you love... Consider taking a little time out of your day to prepare a little home-cooked care package for them. It may be the smallest thing you do in a day, but it might just have a big impact on someone you love.
...

And then there were five 😔

I always knew that raising livestock would inevitably lead to some hard losses at some point. We’ve honestly been pretty lucky up until now with our animals. We’ve built them sturdy shelters and given them a good life, safe and secure as possible on our property. But we do back onto the forest, and many predators roam nearby.

Raccoons, eagles, hawks, cougars, bears and mink are the main ones to watch out for around here.

Still, we’ve had a false sense of security because our hens ALWAYS head into their coop when the sun goes down and the automatic chicken door closes behind them and keeps them safe. But last night, for some reason, only four hens went in. Two got stuck outside, and it wasn’t until about 8:30 (roughly two hours after they normally go in), that we heard the frantic squawking of one of our hens.

We rushed out to see what was going on and realized she had been left out of the coop. We tried to calm her down and put her back in, but when we checked, only four hens (plus her) were on the roost. One was still missing.

We found her laying in the run behind the coop. Something had got her by the neck and some of her belly feathers had been plucked out. We now believe it was a mink, and that we scared it off before it could finish the job. But it was too late for her.

Luckily we made it out in time to save the other hen, or we’d have surely lost two.

I had a bit of a cry this morning as I know this wouldn’t have happened had we checked that they all went in. We got lazy and complacent, and we’ve learned a hard lesson because of it.

This homesteading lifestyle is full of hard lessons; Mistakes and failures, hardships and bitter losses. But without the bitter, the sweet wouldn’t be quite as sweet, and the good would be taken for granted.

Homesteading is bittersweet, but even through the hard stuff, I’ve never felt more alive or grateful for all of the good.

Chicken little, you’ll be missed, but we thank you for the lessons you’ve taught us and for all of the joy you brought into our life. 🪶
...

🌱 Even though it's still winter, now is the time to get many of your seeds started if you want to ensure an abundant harvest later on.

Join us as we plan our garden and and start our first round of seeds indoors!

We'll show you how we start various different types of seeds indoors and how we set up our own easy and affordable DIY indoor grow lights using a few standard shop lights and an adjustable (and super versatile) metal shelving unit.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://youtu.be/K_FI5GlrW8o to watch. Make sure to “like” and subscribe while you’re there:)

Have you started any seeds yet? What are you most excited to grow this year??
.
.
.
#seedstarting #seeds #gardenersofinstagram #humanswhogrowfood #homegrown #seeds #growfoodnotlawns #growyourowngroceries
...

🥶 Baby it’s COLD outside! And nothing warms the body and soothes the soul on these frigid winter days better than some nourishing and delicious homemade broth.

I hate paying top dollar for broth at the store, and have you seen some of the ingredients in the cheaper brands?? Dextrose (which can lead to dangerously high blood sugar), and highly processed vegetable oils (which can cause dangerous inflammation). Plus the sodium levels are often through the roof!

Not only can you avoid all of that by making your own broth at home, you can actually make a super healthy and nourishing broth for next to nothing by using chicken bones (saved after a meal) and veggie scraps (which you can just throw in the freezer until you need them).

Whether you want to make your own chicken, beef or veggie broth/stock, the process is the same. Make sure to roast those bones first! Then add your veggies, herbs, a little salt and pepper and water, and in a matter of hours you’ll have your own better than storebought homemade broth which you can enjoy right away OR freeze or pressure can for later.

And if you have an Instant Pot you can cut your cook time down by about 3/4!!

If you want to learn more about how to make your own broth at home, including why it’s so healthy for you, how to make it super frugal in an Instant Pot OR on your stovetop AND how to pressure can it afterward, click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/how-to-can-homemade-broth/ to get my full recipe and cooking/canning instructions. Oh, and I’ll also tell you what the difference is between broth and stock. Hint: not much 😉

Warm up this winter with your own homemade broth! And remember, spring is just around the corner (thank God).
.
.
.
#homemade #broth #bonebroth #makeithealthy #nomnom #frugalkitchen #frugalliving
...

If there's one thing this past year has taught us, it's that we can't always rely on someone else to take care of us.

We CAN'T always rely on grocery store shelves being full, or on prices always being affordable.

We CAN'T rely on things always going as planned, or on always having access to everything we need.

What we CAN do is focus on the things we can control, like taking more responsibility for our food security and our emergency preparedness (not to mention our health!) by learning how to grow and preserve more of our own food at home, so that we never HAVE to rely on others again.

Right now, I'm offering access to both my Seed-to-Soil organic gardening course, as well as my Yes, You CAN! home canning for almost 40% off the regular price!

Alone, these courses sell for $79 each. But for a limited time only, I'm offering them both together as part of my Homegrown Super Bundle for just $99.

You'll get access to both courses PLUS a whole bunch of awesome bonuses too, including bonus video lessons and mini-courses, eBooks and printables and access to both the Seed to Soil and Yes, You CAN! private Facebook groups, where you can ask questions, post photos and updates of your progress and get support and encouragement throughout the growing and preserving season(s).

BUT WAIT! There's more...

I'm currently offering a FREE PREVIEW of both courses during the sale. You can check out the first two lessons of each course until the sale ends tomorrow at midnight, so you can decide if this bundle is the right fit for you at this time.

If you're ready to take control of your family's food security once and for all, this bundle was made for you. But hurry, because this offer is only available until tomorrow at midnight!

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://schoolofmodernhomesteading.com/p/homegrown-super-bundle to check out the free preview or to learn more about the Homegrown Super Bundle!
...

If there's one thing that doing a pantry challenge each January has taught me, it's that meal planning is KEY when it comes to sticking to any sort of "diet" plan.

Now, when I say "diet," I don't mean some weight-loss regimen. What I mean is simply being intentional about what our diet will consist of (ie. what we put in our mouths and what we serve to our family), and sticking to it.

Throughout the pantry challenge, our diet has consisted of all homemade foods made from ingredients that we've stocked and preserved ahead of time. Because our intention for the month was to stick to creating meals ONLY from the food that we had on hand, we had to get really intentional and disciplined about our meal planning.

Meal planning is definitely one part of the pantry challenge that I'd like to continue with all year long. But if I'm being honest, I'm not naturally inclined to writing out a meal plan each week. It's one area in my life where I could honestly use a little help, especially if I want to make it a consistent habit. And I know I'm not alone! So many of us have trouble with meal planning, and it leads to all sorts of unhealthy choices (for our bodies and our wallets).

If this resonates with you as much as it does with me, then I want to share a pretty amazing resource with you that can help you get your meal planning dialed in from here on out. It's called the Healthy Meal Planning Bundle and it's currently on a quick flash sale for two days only (today and tomorrow).

If your goals for 2021 include cooking at home more, eating healthier, saving money and/or getting more organized then THIS may be the solution for you.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to check out all of the resources included in the bundle, and if it’s the right fit for you then make sure to grab it before the sale ends tomorrow at midnight:)
.
.
.
#homesteadpantrychallenge #mealplanning #eathealthybehealthy
...

Despite the fact that it's snowing outside, our garden is mostly dormant and we're not producing much food on our little homestead right now, January is one of the busiest times in our kitchen.

This is the time of year when we get to enjoy all of the fruits of our labour; When we get to put all of the food that we've preserved and put up throughout the previous summer and fall to good use.

This is also why I always do a pantry challenge in January, since this is actually the time of year when we've got the most food on hand and we can just focus our efforts on using all of that food to create delicious, belly-warming meals to get us through the rest of winter before the garden starts producing again.

I always get a lot of questions about how we actually use the food that we grow and preserve throughout the year, so I figured this week would be a great time to show you what a full week of meals looks like for us (in January, anyway).

Homesteading means cooking from scratch (A LOT!) and eating very seasonally. In the winter, this means lots of homemade breads and pasta, root vegetables and winter squash, sprouts and microgreens, meats from the freezer, preserves from the pantry and lots and lots of coffee:)

I invite you to join me in my kitchen to get a glimpse into what we actually eat in a week during our annual Homestead Pantry Challenge (when we go an entire month without going to the grocery store, relying only on the food that we have on hand already).

I hope this week's video inspires you to get creative in your kitchen with the ingredients that yo have on hand, whether or not you're participating in the pantry challenge.

Click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead to watch the full video and don't forget to like and subscribe to our channel while you're there:)
.
.
.
#homesteadpantrychallenge #homesteadkitchen #homecooking #cookingfromscratch #homesteadersofinstagram
...

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Crafted with ♥ by Inscape Designs