Eating Well When You Can’t Afford To ~ Part 1

Eating Well When You Can't Afford To

I am sure that almost everyone, at least once, has looked into their cupboards and thought, “What am I going to make?” And probably nearly as many of us have looked at near empty cupboards, bank accounts or wallets, asking the same question.

How do you manage eating well when you can’t afford to?

That’s a tough place to be. But let me say, you’ll not always be in this place.

I know these things because I have been here before and, actually, it is where I am right now…

Real Food

I have long been an advocate of eating real food. Natural and organic. Local foods. Homemade. Less refined carbs, less sugar, less processed, and more veggies. I started reading all the catchy titles posts and articles on the topic of a healthy diet and made the decision to offer all the above-mentioned things to my family.

It was a good thing.

To me, it was such a good thing that it became our business (literal – farm business) to know how food was raised, harvested, and processed. I loved the constant reading, from both sides, learning and, of course, brushing off the ol’ soapbox… After all, why wouldn’t someone choose to eat this way?!

Eating Well When You Can't Afford To

Real Life

Then, it happened: I was no longer able to afford to adhere to all of those food standards. I had to add in foods that I had deemed unworthy of our menu in order to make it stretch. I spent months feeling guilty and, frankly, disgusted by what I was now reduced to feed my family. Months and months.

Then it hit me: In our culture, the food we eat, whether straight outta colorful cardboard boxes or fresh-plucked from the vibrant, organic earth, makes us in some way shame-worthy.

In our culture the food we eat, whether straight outta cardboard boxes or fresh-plucked from the vibrant, organic earth, makes us in some way shame-worthy.     

I was allowing every opinion – in defense of or against the way we lived – to change the way I viewed the Lord’s provision. When I began to hate preparing food, from menu to table, I knew I had a problem and it needed to change.

Here’s what I did: I gave it to the Lord.

Real Solutions

I told Him that I couldn’t afford to feed my family all the good things that I used to and I didn’t know how to be okay with that.

He’s a good God, y’all – He took that burden of guilt and pride away. With a renewed determination and creativity, I tackled our menu. The great Jehovah Jireh let me appreciate and truly praise Him for what He was providing.

That, friend, is the very first step to eating well when you can’t afford to.

I promise you, you’ll never eat better than you do with a praise on your lips and gratefulness in your heart.





In the upcoming posts, we’ll go over the ways to save, but for now: Have you been at this place in life? What did you do?

Eating Well When You Can’t Afford To ~ Part 2

Author: Katie

Welcome! I'm Katie. Here at Forging Iron Hearts, I will be sharing the experiences of our family here in our intentional community in East Texas. You will likely see occasional posts from my wonderful husband Kevin and the other Iron Heart families, as well.

8 thoughts on “Eating Well When You Can’t Afford To ~ Part 1”

  1. Katie- thank you for sharing your heart. Our family has went through many changes over the last couple years financially and food wise. And this post really resonated with me. We have went from one extreme to the other, from couponing for processed foods and being as creative as we could, to spending double what we spend currently to eat organic everything from the most expensive grocery stores in town.

    (And that was with less mouths to feed)

    We have a family of 6- 4 kids 6,4,2, and newborn.

    It is totally real-you can feel guilty either way. I’ve felt both.

    Now I realize that just because I work to make the best foods I can for. My family, and that does not give me the authority or ability to be “holier than thou” when it comes to food. Or anything for that matter!!

    Some days making good food for my family means preparing all from scratch meals from someone’s garden, and sometimes that means picking up a frozen pizza at Aldi’s and having dinner ready when my husband comes home after it’s been a long day.

    Giving yourself Grace and realizing you don’t have to be perfect -you don’t have to have a gourmet your Instagram picture for every meal three times a day…. just do what you can, and take care of your family in the best way that you know how.

    Truth is, the mamas that look like they have it all together, they don’t. The moms that spend all of their paycheck on food, and you feel almost envious of their pantries, they don’t have it together either.

    They are simply focusing on one area of their life, and not letting you see some of the other areas that are harder for them. I know, because that was me 2 years ago.

    1. Shanna-Kaye, what a beautiful reply… Encouraging mamas to be honest and to be thankful regardless of the circumstances is something we need more of. Accepting and giving grace is one of the most wonderful things we can do for each other. Thanks,friend! <3

  2. Katie,

    I am a “real food” girl too! I do the best I can and have grace with myself when I don’t have the time or the option for fresh food.

    Thank you for sharing your perspective about gratitude when it comes to food. We should always be grateful for our provision.

    “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

    Blessings, Misty

    1. Misty, yes grace and gratitude go hand in hand here, don’t they?! Thanks for stopping by and sharing one of our favorite verses. Great reminder, friend!

  3. This is great! What a real encouragement. The Lord provides our food. Whatever it is. My kids are getting older, and I’m shocked about how much they eat. But this reminds me to keep taking it to the Lord to provide.

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Yes! I imagine as our children continue to get older, we’ll have to revisit this… 🙂 Thankful that we have such hope in Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider! So, glad that this can be an encouragement to you – that was our heart’s prayer while we were sharing. Thanks for stopping by, friend!

  4. Yes!! What a blessing to be able to have *anything* in our cupboards at all. We’re so privileged in America to even have the options of choosing from such a huge variety of plentiful food options <3

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