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How to Eat Right On A Budget…….Contest Winners, part 3 of 3

Margareta Jeppesen of Eagle Mountain, Utah, and Hilary Day of Nellysford, Virginia, are our last 2 winners. I think you’ll find their ideas useful. Share them on facebook or pinterest!

Tips from Margareta J., a mom of four who says she lives paycheck to paycheck on one income, eating whole foods:

  1. Go to the health food store and ask for manufacturers’ coupons.
  2. Go online and print manufacturers’ coupons.
  3. Write the manufacturer for coupons.
  4. Download multiple ads and shop from the ones that feature the lowest prices on organics.
  5. Keep your Costco membership current.
  6. Make a trip to Trader Joe’s once a month.
  7. Frequent your local farmers’ markets
  8. Own a deep freezer.
  9. Sell your old unopened, never used, processed boxed good facebook-advertised yard sale to earn money to eat right.

10. If strawberries are $6.99 a lb., buy them frozen at Costco. Get organic when you can afford it, and not when you can’t.

11. When the end of the month comes, live on beans and brown rice. Cook big batches of dry beans and freeze them in smaller quantities. Rice and beans go great with quinoa, broccoli, cauliflower, and tomatoes, that are cheap and delicious.

12. The GreenSmoothieGirl Readers’ Favorites Volume 1 and 2 books are budget friendly.

13. When you make something, write down how much all the ingredients cost. Decide how much you want to make it next time based on that. A $5-$7 meal gets made a lot, a $9 meal happens twice a month, and anything over that, I can’t afford.

14. RAISE A GARDEN! Cheaper, no pesticides, and much tastier! You don’t have to build a fancy box thing. All you need is dirt and non-GMO seeds.

15. Stay out of the mall. Spend your small discretionary income on your health, in the form of good nutrition, instead of “stuff.”

16. I take GreenSmoothieGirl recipes to parties and talk to everyone. The more people I can get eating organic, whole foods, the more the cost of those items will go down. Even and especially my friends on food stamps!

Tips from Hilary D.:

1. Quinoa is one of the few perfect proteins in the plant world, and it’s cheap. I make a quinoa salad with chopped home grown tomatoes, diced avocado, diced onion and a handful of pumpkin seeds, mixed together with a little red wine vinegar and olive oil. I’ve also mixed quinoa in the tomato paste that I use on homemade pizza. It looks a little like ground sausage when it’s in the sauce, and it tastes great on a pizza!

2. For finicky eaters, put the fruits or vegetables that the kids (or hubby) don’t want to eat in your smoothies. My husband doesn’t like bananas with brown spots. But he can’t see what they look like in the smoothies.

3. Don’t ever pay for tomatoes at the store. Grow your own! A tomato plant costs as much as a package of tomatoes that are gone in one sitting. Too many tomatoes? Can them, or make tomato sauce and freeze it. You can also dice them and freeze them for winter recipes. They go with EVERYTHING! Any fruits or vegetables that you can grow at home are real money savers.

4. Eat weeds. Dandelion greens and plantain are bitter, but wood sorrel (the “clover” with yellow flowers”) adds a nice lemony flavor to smoothies and salads. I’ve even used it to make “green lemonade” in the blender, strained and sweetened with stevia. Goose foot and chickweed both have a nicer mild flavor that works well in smoothies and salads. Chickweed has the added bonus of being high in magnesium, which is deficient in the unhealthy fast food diet. I can harvest loads of chickweed from my vacant lot and freeze it for green smoothies all winter long. Purslane, the succulent, red-stemmed weed that grows in sidewalk cracks, is delicious chopped up with potatoes, and celery with a (vegan) mayonnaise dressing. It gives the potato salad a nice mild peppery bite. In the late spring, the daylilies are in bloom all over the countryside. The unopened flower buds are delicious sauteed in coconut oil.

5. I love wheat grass smoothies. Wheat grass is one of nature’s true super foods and it’s cheap when you make your own. I bought a 50 lb. bag of organic hard red winter wheat for sprouting. It’s kept me in wheat grass smoothies for 2 years. No need to buy an expensive juicer. Just cut the wheat grass, wash it, and put it in your blender for a minute. Then just strain it with an ordinary kitchen sieve. Then add your favorite fruits with some chia and ground flax seed (and perhaps some weeds, and a slice of an organic red beet for color).  It makes a beautiful and healthy drink.

P.S. Save the pulp from the sieve to mix in with the dog’s dinner. It’s good for the dog, and won’t cause the familiar “barfing” when Fido eats grass outside.