When the Real Food Journey Needs to be Filled with Grace



Eating nourishing, real food is very important to me. Yet the fact of the matter is that real food costs more. There are many loop-holes but sometimes they just don’t cut it. Over the next couple weeks I simply want to share what I try to do to cut costs. These are things that have worked for me over the years in my real food journey. Simple things like saving bones for broth, vegtable scraps for other meals and buying “seconds” are all things that we are going to talk about. First there is something that I need to make clear.

The #1 thing to remember is this:

Every real food journey needs to be filled with grace.

We all come from different walks of life, with different size families, different incomes and pretty much different everything. My story will not look the same as your story; your story will not be the same as your neighbor’s,

I’m going to be honest here for a moment.

As many of you know, I spent the last 10 years living in Mexico. Surprisingly in many ways eating real food was easier there. Rent for a decent house could be found for about $400/month. There were farms within a 10 minute drive where I had access to local, simi-organic vegetables, raw honey, whole chickens and raw milk. I raised my own chickens for eggs. I had a small garden. There were lemon, orange, lime, mandrine, pomegranate, olive and fig trees free for the picking. Mexico by nature does not overly refine their white flour or sugar. Their corn products are now GMO free. So with the money I was saving I could buy other things I wanted like Kerrygold butter, grass-fed beef and some special extras when I went to the San Diego for the day.

My story has changed a bit, now I am back in the States.

Can I just say there is a huge difference? I knew it would be but, wow. Currently I am blessed to be living with my parents and helping out with what I can while I adjust to life State Side, see what God has next and look for a job. To be honest if I didn’t have their support I might be able to apply for Section 8 housing and food stamps. It wouldn’t be the first time in my family; when we were little my mom was on WIC. ( I talked a bit about this in the book I coauthored with a few other bloggers earlier this year.) Hopefully in a few months when I am on my two feet it will be different, still, just acknowledging that fact is humbling.

Raw milk that used to be free or less than $4/gallon is $15/gallon. Cheap local grown/raised food is gone now as well, with a couple exceptions. The garden, for now that’s gone as well. It’s hard on this homesteader’s heart.

Real food starts to take on a whole new perspective. Yes I will always be an advocate for organic, farm fresh foods, but at the same time I remind myself that if the non-organic chicken and broccoli are all a person (including this person) can afford, then it is still “real food”.


We all try to nourish our families the best we can with what we have. It’s a reminder for me to have grace on others and even myself.

We are all on this real food journey together. We need to support one another. We can’t belittle someone for doing the best they can with what they have. We aren’t anyone’s judge. It’s hard – I know it! I have been guilty more times than I can remember for analyzing someones cart selection. Where is the grace?

There are many people who don’t buy “the extras” who simply buy what they can afford. Just because the chicken, rice, beans and carrots in someone’s cart aren’t organic or from the farmer’s market doesn’t mean that it isn’t real food. Sure organic is better, but eating from a real whole food source, even if it was conventionally grown/raised, is a far cry from processed food.

That person might be me, that person might be you. It’s okay. There is grace in the real food journey. There is no shame in doing the very best you can.

Shame off of you, grace on you!


More thoughts on the topic

Dear Middle Class America, I Have a Bone to Pick with You @ Red and Honey

Dear Mom Who Can’t Afford Organic Food @ The Humbled Homemaker

Real Food Compromises @ Just Making Noise


Β This post is part of The Homestead Barn Hop,

About Katie Mae Stanley

Katie Mae Stanley is the writer at Nourishing Simplicity, where the focus is on nourishing foods, herbal remedies, simple living and faith. Ethnic and Mid-west foods are always a favorite in her kitchen and on her blog. She is also the author of the book Steeped: Simple Nourishing Teas and Treats. Katie Mae spent 10 years as a missionary dorm "mama" for a gaggle (almost 40) of amazing deaf girls at a school for the deaf in Baja California, Mexico. Now she finds herself state side ready to embrace God's next adventure. A cup of tea or coffee and a bit of dark chocolate make an appearance at some point in any given day. You can connect with the Nourishing Simplicity community on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


  1. Serafina says:

    It’s good to have this voice out there with the rest of the real food/whole food articles.
    Thank you for keeping “it” real too! πŸ™‚

  2. Beautiful post. You are so right about judging – it’s difficult not to (while watching a mom put ‘bug juice’ in a baby’s bottle.) Thank you. I needed this reminder. Our garden is just coming on & I am so thankful.
    Have a beautiful day.

  3. Great post, Katie! Thank you for the link!


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