We’ve heard it said before: real food is a journey. You can’t expect it all to happen overnight. It’s a process. A lifestyle change.
However, as passionate as I am about whole foods, I still compromise sometimes. I have to, for the sake of sanity. For example, even though I love making homemade pasta, I usually keep a couple boxes of whole wheat spaghetti on hand, just in case. Or, while I make many batches of homemade yogurt in the summertime, I often grab a carton of whole-milk yogurt when the cow is dried up.
That being said, there are a few food items that I will never, ever buy from the grocery store again. Not just because they are filled with chemicals or preservatives, but because their homemade counterparts are so frugal, so easy, and so far superior in taste, that I simply can not think of any reason to buy them, even in my weakest moment.
So, in no particular order-
Six Foods I’ll Never Buy Again
1. Bread Crumbs. I’m embarrassed to admit that back in the day, I frequently bought those little cans of seasoned bread crumbs. Yes, I paid money for bits of stale bread. Not mention the fact that they are filled with all manner of strange ingredients (monocalcium phosphate, anyone?). Now, I save back my dry or stale bread (we have no shortage of failed bread experiments around here) and use my food processor to grind them into crumbs. They are practically free and so much healthier than store-bought!
2. Canned Broth. This is another “bonus food” that can be made from things that would normally end up in the garbage. It’s easy to create wholesome, nourishing broths and stocks with leftover bones and veggie scraps. Not only will you avoid the MSG found in conventional broths, but it’s frugal and incredibly easy, especially if you let your slow cooker do all the work for you. And then use your trust pressure canner to stow it in the pantry for later!
3. Vanilla Extract. Fake “vanilla” may be cheap, but it is nothing more than a bottle of artificial flavoring. Unfortunately, real vanilla can be costly, especially if you do a lot of baking. Thankfully, it’s a no-brainer to make vanilla extract in your own kitchen. All you need are vodka and vanilla beans. It practically makes itself!
4. French Fries. Yes, I used to purchase those bags of frozen fries and tater tots every single time I when grocery shopping… UNTIL I figured out how easy (and delicious) it is to make your own. Potatoes, beef tallow, and sea salt are all it takes to make legendary homemade french fries.
5. French Bread. Don’t laugh… But I think I was approximately 24 years old before I finally realized that French bread didn’t have to come from the store… Learning how to make it myself has been life-changing… OK, maybe life-changing is a little dramatic, but it’s sure nice to be able to whip up a quick batch of French bread anytime we are in the mood for creamy tomato soup or spaghetti.
6. Hot Cocoa Mix. If you still think making the switch to real food is a sacrifice, then you’ve never had a cup of real hot cocoa. It’s rich, decadent, full of healthy fats, and there is absolutely no comparison to the powdered stuff. So unless you have an attachment to those Styrofoam-like marshmallows, I suggest you try making it yourself. You can find my favorite cocoa recipe here– I love using raw milk, real vanilla, and a tiny drop of Peppermint essential oil.
So compromise is totally acceptable (at least in my book!), just choose your compromises wisely.
The farther I venture into real food, the more I am amazed at how so many of the foods that I once assumed impossible to make, are in reality, some of the simplest.
What are some of your “never buy again” foods?
Can't Get Enough Homesteading Goodness?
Join over 67,000 others who get the weekly Homestead Toolbox delivered fresh to their inbox. It's packed full of recipes, ideas, and homesteading tips you can actually use (no fluff), plus a copy of my very popular mulch gardening how-to guide.