Rising costs on all fronts are no secret to any of us. The national gas price average breaking $5/gallon is sobering. Human nature is to sacrifice in areas we shouldn't, such as deeply nourishing food. Stress plays a major role in ones' health and vitality and most of us are likely experiencing a little more stress these days. The best way to combat the insidious affects of stress is to take care of yourself;
Eat well, Be well.
Obviously, sunshine & exercise play significant roles as well but our gut is the foundation of all. That said, here are a few simple things to keep in mind as we all start having to make some hard financial decisions.
Buy less shipping, more food. We have a $250 free shipping threshold to encourage bigger buys, less often. Buying more, less frequently, does 3 things;
1) It saves you money on shipping.
2) It puts more nourishing food within easy reach so you incorporate it more throughout the week.
3) It reduces carbon footprint.
Fill your freezer, buy a freezer, co-op a freezer with some friends or a neighbor... do what you need to in order to have good food within reach without breaking the bank. If you buy enough to earn free shipping it's no more expensive (sometimes less) than buying from the grocery store. Buying a 6 pack of ground meat instead of just a couple, a 24 pack instead of 10, will save you $$$! Bundles are also a great way to save.
Buy more economically priced products like ground meats, roasts, and value steaks. Nutritionally, our Ground Steak has the same value as our Ribeye Steak but is half the cost. Now, we know as well as anyone that it's pretty hard to beat a good Ribeye and you can still have your Ribeye, just make sure you're covering your meal quantity first. We put our heads together and came up with an exciting, affordable, new-to-us steak called a Chuck Eye Steak that is similar to a Ribeye (click here if you want to try a Chuck Eye Steak!). Top Sirloin Steak, Fajita Strips, Hanger Steak are a few more overlooked steak-type options in addition to the Chuck Eye. A Sirloin Tip Roast or Short Ribs equal a lot of affordable, satiating servings and are super easy to make from frozen to ready in less than an hour in an instant pot. Explore some new recipes that can turn a generally boring cut into a top 10 meal for you or your family. Our Ground Blends are off the charts in terms of nutritional value per dollar spent!
Shop Nutrition Panels
In similar thinking to the last note but a slightly different way to think about it. Not all nutritious foods are most expensive, not all expensive foods are most nutritious. Bison Tongue is higly nutritious yet is readily available and very affordable. Ground meats are the same. 16 oz of ground bison yields nearly 50 grams of protein and a host of vitamins & minerals our bodies crave that aren't easily found elsewhere in our modern diets. Our bodies crave instinctually. Just because our bellies are full doesn't mean we're satisfied or well-fed. Cheap food isn't cheap as your body, for the most part, is still starving. Nutrient density is the key. We can eat less of the good stuff and feel good vs fighting the signals our bodies are using to try to tell us it isn't satisfied yet even though we've fulfilled our calorie allotment for the day.
Cook Once, Eat Twice
Meal prepping isn't only for body builders and professional athletes. Meal prepping is efficient and practical, saving money and making eating well easier. I bake an entire package of Bison Bacon or hand-pressed Breakfast Sausage Patties all at once and then just heat and eat throughout the week. The first meal of the day is the most important not because it has more nutritional value than any other meal but because it sets your metabolic tone for the rest of the day. When you break your overnight fast, you're telling your body what it's going to be using for energy today... blood sugar from sugars and carbs OR fats from meat, eggs, and fat from our own body fat stores. (*Note: good carbs are good but almost none of us get enough quality protein so we must place more focus on that.) Making a bunch of taco meat or baking a few Chicken Breasts ahead of time also make eating well throughout the day more doable. Our ready-to-eat Bison Ham Slices are another excellent grab & go option.
I completely realize the 'meal prep hack' seems too simple to make much difference. The late Jim Rohn says; "What is easy to do is also easy not to do."I've found in my own life that I eat so much cleaner when I have nourishing heat & serve options at the ready. Life is so busy so small efficiencies like this can be the difference between a nourishing meal and take-out. Meal prep takes some planning but after a while it becomes habit. Meal prep also allows you to control 100% of the ingredients used. You'd be shocked to learn how the pre-cooked products that are on the shelf at the store are made. Meal prepping for yourself is better on all levels. Don't let the immediacy of your hunger cost you.
Half Now or Twice Later
This last point goes hand in hand with the first point of buying in bulk. If you prepare now to have plenty of good food in your freezer, you'll find yourself spending a lot less in the long run. When we aren't prepared, we're left with expensive options that pays others to prepare for us. The cost of one take-out meal could pay for heap of good meat. Convenience isexpensive. If you're looking to cut, look there first. And, 99% of the time, a convenient meal is nutritionally poor at best.
Well, what I've shared here is nothing new to most of you but I do hope I've given you a little "meat nugget" or two today or at least cleaned out the cobwebs to help refocus your vision as to why you're doing what you're doing. It's been a while since we've had to really tighten the belt like this but, as with anything, if we aren't completely conscious about our choices now, we'll find ourselves in a place with a lot less choices, and none of them very good. With that, I'll leave you with a little Benjamin Franklin...
"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."