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Food Bill – Eating NT Style

I’ve had many many questions from people about the food bill our large family has while trying to eat a healthy.  So I thought I’d sit down and work it out for ya’ll.  I’ve been meaning to do this but well…there was always something else stealing my brain cells.

This post is part of Real Food Wednesday.

Go visit Kelly the Kitchen Kop and check out the other RFW folks.

First I’ll post the menu for this week and then the cost breakdown.



B – Rice Cereal

L – Cassoulet

D – I don’t remember. ;)


B – Rice Cereal

L – Cassoulet

D – Custard and broth



B – Eggs and kefir smoothies

L – Wild Cod, carrot/raisin salad and sauteed cabbage

D – Shepherd’s Pie



B – Rice Cereal

L – Cassoulet

D – Custard and broth


B – Eggs and kefir smoothies

L – Liver meatballs, mashed potatoes and cabbage

D – Broth and Salad


B – Rice Cereal

L – Tongue tacos and beans

D – Custard and broth


B – Eggs and kefir smoothies

L – Tava over lentils and shepherd salad

D – broth and salad

Now the cost break down.

Rice Cereal

Milk – free

Rice (3lbs) – $1.32

Stevia – nominal

Cinnamon – nominal

Total – $1.32 (x4 = $5.28)

Eggs and Kefir Smoothies

Eggs (24) – free

Kefir – free

Strawberries -  $2.00

Pineapple – $1.00

Total – $3.00 (x3 =$9.00)

Cassoulet (bean casserole)

Bacon (1lb) – $4

Bratwurst (1lb) – $4

Beans (8c) – $1.35

Tomato Sauce (32oz) – $1.00

Diced tomatoes (6) – $3.00

Sour Cream – $2.20 (this will be free when I start making my own)

Total – $14.55 (x3 = $43.65)


Eggs (12) – free

Milk (2c) – free

Cream (2c) – free

Vanilla – nominal

Stevia – nominal

Total – FREE

Tongue Tacos

Dent corn (3lbs) – $3.60

Cow tongue (2lb) – $2.00 (some friends sold us this – CHEAP!!)

Beans (8c) – $1.35

Sour cream – $2.20

Total – $9.15



Salmon (5lbs) – $20

Cabbage (2 heads) – $3.00

Carrot Raisin salad – $3.00

Rice – $1.32

Total – $27.32

Liver Meatballs

Ground Beef (2-3lbs) – $4-6

Liver (1/2 – 1lb) – $0-1 (friends of ours gave us theirs and other friends sold us theirs)

Onion – $.40

Pepperjack cheese (2c)- $1.25

Cornmeal – nominal

Mashed potatoes – $4.00

Cabbage – $3.00

Total – $14.65



Roma Tomatoes (5lbs) – $5

Lentils – $2.60

Cucumber – $1.60

Chicken – $9.00

Total – $22.20

Shepherd’s Pie

Beef Roast (3lb)- $12.00

Frozen mixed veggies – $2.00

Potatoes – $4.00

Total – $18.00

Grand total – $149.00

How is that possible?  Do we really spend that little?  I want to make it clear that there are ways to make meals even cheaper if you have to pay for all of your eggs and milk.  We used to eat broth soup almost every night.  It’s cheap and filling and it makes your meat go a long way.  Eggs are typically very inexpensive.  They have to be cheaper than cold cereal.

So there you have it.  Our food bill has been reduced dramatically since moving here.  This summer when our garden is producing something it should be even cheaper. :)

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77 comments to Food Bill – Eating NT Style

  • This was a AWESOME read! Thanks so much for posting!
    I think your menu is awesome and I’m so envious that you can think like that. I struggle sometimes because I have a picky husband who wonders where’s the beef every night. I typically have to explain – you can’t eat it every night.

    I thinkt hat the amount of food you show in the photos is PLENTY for 1 person to eat, in fact – I eat 6 times a day and half of what’s shown on the plate per time.

    I ate a bunch of sliced bbq beef tongue in Japan, it was lovely with a nice sweet sauce and rice – yakiniku style.

    I too have my own chickens – I wish I had a few goats – but I’m in the “city” and it isn’t possible. I make my own cheese, yogurt and bake all of my breads etc. I have found that it is so much more economically feasible.

    I’m sure you are very proud of your life and your family and you should be – you’re doing an awesome job.

  • Kim

    OH and Katie tell me about your broth. Where are you getting all these bones? I need to get on it and get a good source.

  • Good job, Katie! We’ll be having eggs someday, since we have a few chickens now. :) Eggs are good and filling and cheap. They were .49 cents this week at Aldi, actually. I bought 3 dozen. And I have to laugh at all the folks who say that’s not enough. That’s about as much as my teen girl would eat, and the rest of my kids barely eat a mouthful unless it’s a favorite meal. So I can stretch food a good way. I’d like a cow, but I wonder if it would be more milk than we could use. How are you finding the volume of milk, Katie? Doc says we should all be drinking 24 oz. a day, apiece. Wow!

  • Good idea about the bands… I need to do that.

  • Julia

    Your kids don’t look underweight in the least bit. And they definately don’t look malnourished. Just look at their healthy skin and hair. I was always very thin and it was hurtful and annoying to be called malnourished or anorexic in the same way overweight ppl don’t want to hear they’re “fat” or have it pointed out.

    Your meals are very thought out and carefully planned, and you obviously spend a lot of time considering the nutritional needs of your family. Your portions are about what I would eat too.

  • 54 comments! Wow, who knew healthy eating was so controversial? ;)

  • Gil

    I, too, went to the “About Us” page to seek out the malnourished children. Since I couldn’t see them I guess you’re keeping them in the basement, allowing them out in the dead of night to work off their indentured servitude, and throwing them scraps of moldy Big Macs when their work is complete.

  • Hi Katie!

    You really kicked me in the pants with this post! For years now I’ve sort of had the mentality that “better food costs more money, oh well, that’s just how it is”. I know of a lot of ways to save a little here and there, but overall, that was my thinking. Well now that I’m not doing day care, I need to stop being lazy (yes, that’s what it is, in my case anyway), and do better planning. If you can pull it off so inexpensively with such a big (beautiful) family, then I can do it with our family of 6. Thanks for the butt-kicking! :)

    Kelly p.s. Thanks for joining in on Real Food Wednesday, what a perfect post for that! OH, one more thing – how do I get notified of follow-up comments?

  • When Jeff buys me my Jersey cow I’ll be making our own soured cream. Rosie just can’t keep up. :)

  • I leave my broth on the stove for a week and just keep adding water as I use it. :)

  • It was overwhelming at first. She was giving 6 gallons/day. We’ll easily drink a gallon each day but that other 5 gallons were quite intimidating. It got better as we got a couple people buying from us and then there is a single mom we are blessing with the abundance. I also just got better at managing it by making cheese and yogurt and custard and kefir. But really it took several months to find my groove. The dogs, cats, pigs and chickens were very happy in the meantime. :)

  • You are killing me, Gil!! :D

  • Kelly, You know I’m not always so organized, right? LOL I kicked myself in the pants this weekend. :)

    I put my IT guy on the follow-up comments plug in. :)

  • i am so jealous! i have wanted goats and chickens for years. almost got dh convinced on the chickens. and i have started serving soup more often, it definitely goes farther. so i agree with gil, i dont see your malnourished kids anywhere, my second daughter is so skinny, and can eat more than me some days. people really need to get the facts before they open their mouths. you are doing a great job feedin your babes.

  • Your wish is my command.

  • Katie,

    Your post is so inspiring! I want to post a link to you in an upcoming post to share this! I love that your menu is gluten-free as well. So often we think that ‘allergen-free’ cooking also has to be so expensive. I love the resourcefulness and simplicity, yet they are so nourishing and nutrient-dense! You have given me many ideas.

    Oh, and I’m so jealous of your land! I am praying for the day when we can move to the country and raise goats, cows, and chickens. And grow lots of veggies, of course!


  • Gil

    Katie, one more comment, regarding the cow’s tongue… Tongue is pretty popular among the (mostly older, now) Jews at least in the northeast. I haven’t had it in years (because I made the connection that “tongue” actually meant tongue and wasn’t just another word like calling cow beef or sheep mutton and somehow now the texture of the knubbly parts kind of gets me) but taste-wise it’s served in delis as basically a corned beef. I mean yes, seriously, it tastes like corned beef. So, if you ever get a bug to give it a shot, maybe try corning a tongue sometime. I know there are many recipes online (Alton Brown might be the one I used when I corned a brisket) and from what I remember it’s basically a soak in a briny peppercorny bay leafy pot for a couple of days, then a long boil in a change or two of water, followed by another long boil with goodies like potatoes and carrots and cabbage. Just a thought, because it’s very late and I can’t sleep.

  • Jessica

    Thanks for sharing this helpful information. With a 1-year-old and one on the way, I’m looking for ideas to serve healthy, affordable meals. We depend a lot on cooked millet–which has proven to be such a wonderfully nutritious grain that’s high in protein. We drink raw grassfed milk, and try to buy grassfed beef when affordable. It’s true that when you return to eating natural, basic foods you can save a lot of money. You’ve given me some good ideas for meals. Thanks!!

  • Laura in UT

    Great post Katie..I wondered too if purchasing some of the items wold be expensive. Getting the free range animals is great.
    We try to figure in the feed as part of our groceries too. We don’t have the advantage yet to have enough free range to satisfy our animals.
    Also you kiddos look very healthy, their skin and hair. Has it help with some of the neuro stuff?
    I bough the NT book..really need to immerse myself.

  • Becky

    What a great post! My DH and I have been talking about cutting down on how much we eat at meal times…we eat WAY too much. We all have fast metabolisms though and the kids are really active (me not so much lol). DH is in the Army so he has to be! I am wishing the switch to eating as healthy as you are would be easy! But I am trying! It’s the trying to keep the grocery budget down and eating healthy that seems to be killing me. We have a family of 7 and one on the way. And we live in town so no livestock allowed. Basically I need to get off my rump and do some much needed research about places to buy in our area. Again, thank you for such a wonderful post!

  • LindaNJ


    I am in awe of your farming abilities~

    While I wouldn’t/couldn’t eat much of what you made, it is super nutritious and certainly eye appealing enough.
    I probably would even like it……. if you told me it was something else besides liver & tongue;)

    I think your children look incredibly healthy. Their hair and skin are flawless and beautiful!!!

    My skinny kid could easily eat a few plates and be asking what time is the next meal….but he always was a HUGE eater and must have the matabolism of a gnat. He’d eat it, no matter what it’s called! If it’s food he’ll eat it!

    I’ve made several things you’ve pictured. Those meals are a huge hit here!

  • LindaNJ

    I have a question for you.

    I recently bought a ice cream maker and was wondering how I can make cream…any hints, tips etc..? Cream is super expensive here.

  • Well, the only way to obtain cream is to skim it off whole milk that has not been homogenized. You could look at the website and see if you can find raw milk locally.

  • My friend told me about this post since we are eating a lot different than normal. We were forced to change our whole way of eating when one of our children came down with a serious illness. His digestive system quit working and he was starving to death. After months of doctor visits and searching for answers he is a normal boy again and he laughs and plays and does more than sit on the couch. After lots of testing in the hospital we found a natural doctor to supplement him plus we found a diet to heal his intestinal tract. I say ALL of this to encourage you and to compliment you on what you are doing for your children. We all went on the Gaps ( Diet to encourage our son so he wasn’t watching us eat things he couldn’t have. WOW! What a difference this made in our life. We eat a lot of broth soup. We eat only foods with honey right now and almost all fresh or frozen veggies and fruit. Meat (no processed), eggs, cheese, fish (didn’t eat before). We bought goats and make all their milk into yogurt (milk isn’t allowed right now) and we have noticed HUGE changes in our health. One thing right off the top is we all have fungal issues (yeast overgrowth) from eating too many sweet foods like HM muffins, coffee cakes, cookies, etc and too many breads like noodles, oatmeal and HM bread with every meal. We are now bread free unless we use coconut or almond flour. Unfortunately, our grocery bill is through the roof during this time but we feel we are cutting out a lot of “medical” care we will need later. There are 10 of us and this has been a challenge but so worth it!!!! My husband has a wonderfully, muscular abdomen that he didn’t have before and he believes it is because he cut out the junk and his body is actually being nourished. We have three girls who had eczema and it cleared up completely with one and the other two who had it more severe don’t itch anymore. My endocrine system and thyroid weren’t working and now they are right on track and I feel great. I have energy I haven’t had in years. Our kids eat things they wouldn’t before and ask for more. Once you clean out the wrong foods other foods taste good and your body says, “Hey, I like that, it’s what I’ve been asking for.” Cleaning up your digestion is the key we discovered to good health. This diet is a transitional diet until he is healed so when we are “off” (don’t know that we will ever go back) this diet we will be all Nourishing Traditions. I am trying to chronicle our diet experience here but am busy gardening, raising chickens, goats and kids so am a hit and miss type person. God Bless.

  • Mrs.MegLogan

    Now THIS is hilarious… Poor Rosie can’t make enough milk!! ROFL… I wish I had a cow…

  • Leah

    Katie, I have a question for you…was it difficult for Jeff and the kids to switch to this kind of a diet? I am working on transitioning into a NT diet but I am the only one who likes a lot of the food. I can make my boys eat some of it, but there are some things that they just will not go for. Also, dh has a super-high metabolism and likes a lot of variety in our meals so doing something like broth for supper every night is not an option. How did you sell your family on the menu changes?:)
    Can’t wait to try the breakfast tacos. Yum!

  • Michelle


    I haven’t visited your blog in ages and you probably don’t remember me, but I just wanted to let you know you have me salivating over most of those yummy plates! :) Have you posted recipes for any of these, or can they be easily found? I really need to dig out my NT book and get going… I am ashamed to say I have put it on the back burner and I think our family’s health is suffering for it (lots of colds, etc). Do you have some good websites/forums/groups to point me in the right direction?

    You all look like you’re doing so WELL out there! You are such a good mama. :)

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