web analytics

Feeding Your Family Well Without Breaking the Bank

Joette Calabrese, HMC, PHom M

September 27th, 2012  |  18 Comments

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Despite what you may believe, eating well doesn't have to mean a huge grocery bill. Here are some tricks I've employed over the years that helped me save money while ensuring that my children grew into strong, healthy men.

  • Cut out the non-essentials. Eliminate all junk foods, including organic cookies, juice, crackers, chips and cereals. Commit to never buying anything that’s pre-prepared. If there are ingredients listed on the package, that means someone else is charging you for their pre-preparation. Costly and vacant.
  • Make your own bone stocks by saving the bones from the dinner’s roast. Use the stock as a soup base to cook your rice or anything that requires water. I serve soup almost nightly, especially in cooler months. Ask hunters to give you bones, hooves and even antlers to make your rich stock.
  • Get into a routine of making crackers, mayonnaise and salad dressing. The commercial versions of these are not only expensive but are also chemically-laden.
  • Make your own snacks and cookies. Popcorn is cheap and easy; cookies are fun to make, and the variations are infinite. Even gluten-free is easy.
  • Brew your own beverages: kombucha tea, kvass, beer, wine and herbal teas.
  • Buy beans in bulk and make bean soup. Soaking the night before not only makes them more nutritious but renders them a fast food. Then, cook them up in bone stock.
  • The cost of butter is high, so make your own cooking fats by skimming off the fat from your chicken soup (smaltz) and store it in the refrigerator to fry eggs or blend into biscuits, etc.  Then, learn how to render lard and tallow…easy, inexpensive and nutrient dense. Many farmers give fat away.
  • Enjoy old-fashioned breakfasts: eggs and ham, oatmeal with butter and soufflés. Eliminate breakfast cereals; they’re costly and nutritionally vacant. Start with protein and fat-laden foods.
  • Make your own yogurt, sour cream and simple cheeses from raw milk.
  • Use cast iron, ceramic coated or enamel cookware. Most humble enamelware can be found at rummage sales and hardware stores. Avoid aluminum and Teflon; they’re unsafe.
  • In spring, search around your lawn before the dandelions bud. Harvest the leaves for a tender spring salad or sauté in butter or lard and garlic to top a steak and cheese sandwich. The buds are also delicious when sautéed. The roots are prized as a tonic.
  •  Just after the lilacs bloom in spring, learn to recognize wild burdock (cardoons) and fry them up for a spring liver cleanse and a delightful meal.
  •  Learn to identify wild edibles in your area: lambsquarters, nettles, rosehips, wild strawberries, Queen Anne’s lace and more.
  • Include gelatin in meals often. It keeps bones and nails strong, joints supple and skin radiant. Drinking 1 teaspoon of gelatin in a glass of water daily is a good practice, too.
  • Grow your own culinary and medicinal herbs: oregano, basil, calendula, oatstraw, etc.
  • Eat organic free-range eggs often, in fact, daily. They’re versatile and inexpensive. If you can trust your source, make a practice of using egg yolks in their raw form. They add richness of flavor and abundant nutrients.
  • Employ slow-cooking methods that make a savory meal from a chunk of an inexpensive cut of meat and wild vegetables.
  • Find wild berry patches and harvest enough to freeze or dehydrate for pies and blender drinks.
  • Employ homeopathic cell salts instead of costly, synthetic vitamins. They’re tried and true, and you needn’t worry about additives and bifurcated nutrients. We carry a kit of cell salts in our office. Contact us if you’re interested.
  • Make your own herbal tinctures. They are a fraction of the cost found at the store and a good way to prevent or treat illness. Consider St. John’s wort, comfrey, colt’s foot and many more (How to make tinctures will be featured soon).
  • Keep an organic vegetable garden. If that’s not possible, join an organic subscription garden or buy organic vegetables from your local farmer.
  • Forage and brew your own wild teas for their nutrients, medicinal qualities and flavors.
  • Plan your meals in advance, the way our grandmothers did. It keeps waste to a minimum.
  • Never throw out food scraps from your family’s plates or roasting pan. Recycle them into a stock pot and make tomorrow’s dinner with the stock.
  • Stop feeding the cat. If you live in a safe, rural area with lots of critters running around, let her find her own raw meat by giving her leave at night to hunt mice.

I found that one of the best ways to raise a family is to teach the importance of knowing how to find and prepare quality meals. These are some of the routines and practices that have helped me to raise three healthy boys while leading a busy life as a homeopath, writer and educator.


What has helped you save money while nourishing your family?



Joette laughingI am a homeopath with a worldwide practice working with families and individuals via Zoom. I'm also a teacher and most importantly, a mom who raised my now-adult children depending on homeopathy over the last 31 years. I lived decades of my life with food intolerances, allergies, and chemical sensitivities until I was cured with homeopathy, so I understand pain, anxiety, and suffering. You may feel that your issues are more severe or different than anyone else’s, but I have seen it all in my practice and in my work in India. My opinion is that nothing has come close to the reproducible, safe and effective results that my clients, students and I have achieved with homeopathy.

Call today and learn how homeopathy might just be the missing piece in your health strategy.

Joette is not a physician and the relationship between Joette and her clients is not of prescriber and patient, but as educator and client. It is fully the client's choice whether or not to take advantage of the information Joette presents. Homeopathy doesn't "treat" an illness; it addresses the entire person as a matter of wholeness that is an educational process, not a medical one. Joette believes that the advice and diagnosis of a physician is often in order.

We've provided links for your convenience but we do not receive any remuneration nor affiliation in payment from your purchase.

The Author disclaims all liability for any loss or risk, personal or otherwise incurred as a consequence of use of any material in this article. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


18 thoughts on “Feeding Your Family Well Without Breaking the Bank”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Love these tips! I do many of them, but sometimes struggle with the TIME to do them all. I am sure you faced this too. Sometimes I feel like I need to have something quick, easy (in a package?) to throw in my bag as we head out the door for the inevitable cry of “I’m hungry!” Any suggestions for something like this? Maybe something that can be made quickly and inexpensively and then frozen in individual servings?


    1. admin says:

      Time is always a factor for busy moms, but I’ve found in my own life that the more I planned my meals in advance, the easier it was for me to consistently serve my family the healthiest options I could. Soup freezes beautifully and is a nutritional powerhouse.

  2. Lorna says:

    It certainly helps to have a hunter in the family! Although the hunting licenses are not cheap, the 2 deer that my husband got cost about $2 a lb for processing and provided us with a year’s worth of venison in the freezer.

    As far as the cats go, we have four. Out of the four, only one could feed herself pretty well if we weren’t around. The other three are pretty clueless. Two will eat what they catch, when they are lucky enough to catch something. The other one we adopted at 1 1/2 years old, and she had only ever been an indoor cat when we got her. She’s not a bad mouser, but she doesn’t have the sense to eat what she catches, even though I make an effort to give her raw meat and chicken giblets so that she will understand what raw meat is for.

    Any tips from you cat people out there?

    1. admin says:

      It’s the beginning of hunting season here in Western New York and it sure does make me hungry for some fresh venison.

  3. Laura says:

    Great tips! We’re trying to feed on an ultratight budget ($500/mo for 6 + nursing infant) and these help to get me back on track. Sounds like Risi e Fagioli and Ham Hock Beans & Rice are my friends. We’re planning our spring garden now. It will be our home school science project. That and teaching cooking to my 9 year old.

    My only question: how do you make homemade chicken stock taste good? I’ve used the recipes in Nourishing Traditions, as well as the variants in my Marcella Hazan and Br. Victor Antoine. No dice. It turns out fine if I’m using already cooked bird (especially if it’s store-bought rotisserie, but goodness know what are in those) but If I start out with raw, I could have a gorgeous free-range organic roasting hen and it still smells foul and gummy. Is there a trick I’m missing?

    1. admin says:

      At the Weston Price regional conference I recently attended there was an excellent presentation about making your own stocks. Some of the tips included making sure that the broth doesn’t ever boil (or is immediately turned down if it does), skimming the scum semi-regularly, and letting the water and bones sit out at room temperature for about an hour after you add something acidic like vinegar or wine. Good luck!

      1. patty says:

        I always first roast my chicken in the oven. I then cut off the mear and use the bones for making the bone broth (filtered water, veg peels:carrots, onions skins, celery threads, parsley stems, brocolli pieces, etc (collected and frozen), and 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar to get the goodness out of those bones.
        Once the broth is done cooking, I like 8-10 hrs or it gets bitter when adding vegetables, I reuse the bones for another pot of bone broth, re-adding another 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar and more fresh vegetable peelings.
        Broth gets strained, add seasonings (thyme, parsley, garlic, salt pepper etc) it is delicious! Roasting your chicken first is a must to roast your bones for flavor!

        1. patty says:

          I wanted to mention, I roast the chicken in a cast iron skillet. The drippings are amazing and can be poured in a plastic baggy, add a bit of water, and once the butter/fat separation occurs, I cut a hole in the bottom of the baggy and drain out the richest azure that turns into gelatin upon refrigeraton. Not sure what to do with the top layers, fat/butter drippings. Probly should saute with it I’m guessing but for now I pitch it.

          1. admin says:

            You can definitely use the solidified fat to cook with, just like lard.

  4. Jan says:

    I love all the suggestions you have offered and follow nearly all of them already. However, I vehemently disagree with you on the last one. I am a “cat person” and am active in the animal rescue community. We often see atrocities relating to people who refuse to feed or care their animals and leaving them to fend for themselves.

    It is not wise advise to suggest that people stop feeding their cats. Cats are domesticated animals and they rely on their owners to care for them, including providing their food. Yes, cats are usually good mousers but even so, they are not able to healthily sustain themselves solely on hunting. As they eliminate the local mouse population they will have to search a wider and wider area for more and that can lead to being killed by automobiles, people, and wild animals such as foxes and coyotes. In addition, cats will kill birds, chipmunks, squirrels and other wildlife folks like to have visit their back yard feeders. If you want to make enemies of your neighbors, let your cat loose in the neighborhood!!

    People should be encouraged to feed their pets and not send them out to fend for themselves. I imagine if many people read this suggestion you will receive much unhappy email about it.

    Please retract this poorly thought out recommendation from an otherwise excellent posting.

    1. admin says:

      I certainly hope that readers would understand that there’s a distinct line between animals that are not cared for and those who are permitted to live wholly. This advice requires a bit of forethought, but your point of view is well taken. I admit that perhaps I should have made it clearer that I was talking about cats that live in rural areas. No one wants harm to come to a kitty, but on the other hand, I witness many cats who are sickly because of the commercial foods they are fed in the name of being “natural.” And the cost for the food is over the top. Cats are smarter than cat food manufacturers and most vets. They understand that raw meat, fresh from the pasture (mice, birds, small rodents) comprises a superior diet. After all, hunting outdoors is what cats are meant to do. Following this advice also guarantees that the claws would not removed and that he/she has a good life that’s natural. Our 15 year-old cat is one of the healthiest feline specimens I know. She started out as the runt of the litter and nearly died within a few days of our taking her in. Since treating her at that time and one other with homeopathy, she’s never had fleas, has clear eyes, a luxurious coat, is sprightly and I’ve never given her cat food. Occasionally, some raw milk and an egg if it appears pickings are slim, otherwise, she proudly hunts daily.

  5. sarah says:

    For quick snacks for kids/on the go/road: homemade popcorn seasoned well (YUM!), fresh raw vegetables (I think kids LIKE to eat broccoli trees and carrot sticks washed and cut by you if given the chance and encouragement from the start), kimchi and other fermented vegetables in a glass jar travel well and don’t necessarily need to be always refrigerated….

    1. admin says:

      Great tips, Sarah!

  6. Vicki says:

    As a homeopath I’m wondering how you can recommend herbs and tinctures. Are you making these recommendations to people who are not your clients? Just wondering because I’ve always been told that herbs and other supplements are “suppressive” and should not be used by a person under treatment by a homeopath.

    Maybe you mean these for the non-homeopathic clients.

    1. admin says:

      I don’t find herbs to be suppressive. In fact, I believe them to be compatible with homeopathy. I am particularly fond of them because they can be mastered by a mother or grandmother and my passion is to see families take charge of their health at home. Bifurcated or synthetic vitamins are potentially suppressive. Not surprising, since they are usually manufactured by the pharmaceutical industry.

  7. Linda says:

    I’m intrigued by using homeopathic cell salts instead of vitamins and would appreciate more information on how to go about doing this. Would love to see you do a posting on the subject or provide a link for further or detailed information.

    Many thanks for such wonderful information.

  8. Hi! I’ve been following your weblog for some time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Illinois. Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent work!

  9. Megan says:

    My hubby put the chicken in the crock pot and cooks for hours. He says because he does it this way the broth we get when hick in done…12 to 24 hrs…..is bone broth???? is it????

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Joette


Books & CDs

Joette’s Materia Medica

Materia Medica Cover sm

I designed it especially to provide a framework to guide you through your remedy choices. It is perfect for busy mothers and others who love curing their families themselves.

Protect Yourself from the Flu


Deal with the flu without drugs and expensive commercial products.

Combo Pack: Top 7 Products

Combo pac lg

Go from clueless to clued-in…in the fastest way possible.

Cell Salts: Learn Homeopathy at Home

cell salts300x200

The easiest, safest and most inexpensive way to treat your whole family.

Homeopathy in First Aid


Learn to choose the correct homeopathic remedy to give on the way to the emergency room or better yet,
avoid the trip altogether.

Cure Yourself and Your Family with Homeopathy


Homeopathy is inexpensive, non-invasive and profoundly curative.

Secret Spoonfuls: Confessions of a Sneaky Mom with Kid Pleasing Recipes – CD & Booklet


Boost and maintain optimum health with simple foods, instead of vitamin pills.

See More Products