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My husband eats almost exclusively cured meats, which I am trying to dissuade him of. He is poorly organized and likes the sense of safety and keeping quality -- false or not.

And yet something tells me, that's NOT IT!
 

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There's also a HUGE difference in Ham, Bacon or Sausage you get from a Butcher, and those you get from a mass-producing company...

Ham and Bacon from the mass-producers is somehow smoked/cured in only a few HOURS... Scary stuff, that.
 

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I was thinking the same thing, beefy . . . for years we had our hogs processed at the local butcher who did whatever we wanted according to the level of curing/seasoning we chose. One time they ground up the sausage pork but didn't season it at all, so we just bought a pint jar of the seasoning mixture & seasoned each pound as we needed it (the hog having been processed & frozen by the time they realized we'd ordered sausage, not just ground pork).
 

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In western NC (a lot of you know this I guess), they sell fresh pork sausage ("Country Pork Sausage") in waxed brown paper - not shrink-wrapped, no interior plastic, nothing added, just pork and salt. This is in the large chain markets. You bring it home, and just open the package without needing to use scissors, your teeth, or even your nails! This would be unheard of in a market in CA.

I looked for fresh pork sausage here. So far I've come up empty. Everything has some preservative of some sort, or other additive.
 

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I am way lucky...we have a German butcher that's been making the most delicious small goods for a few decades....no yukky chemicals...he is more expensive but I've learned to eat less and better quality...he does the best bacon and bratwurst and liverwurst...and does these small packs of off-cuts that make the best soups...

I hope as more and more people want less processed foods that we get back those suburban butchers...so many closed over the last 20years as competing with large chains on price is impossible...
 

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Well, I think a lot of that might have to do with what deli meat is eaten with... bread. The cheap stuff is inexpensive and it's usually eaten on white bread.

But, I also agree that we should eat less processed foods. I actually started getting indigestion from hot dogs over the past 6 months...I'd have the kosher beef ones I've always eaten and then just feel awful... well they're packed with all kinds of CORN! Sheesh.

We've started buying all our sausages fresh from Whole Foods... and they are so good! We used to buy the sausages for us, then cheap hot dogs for the boys, but I realized, they should have the good stuff too, so we get them a non-spicy italian one. They also sell breakfast links, and fresh ground bulk sausage with all kinds of seasonings already in it - chicken and pork... they also have bacon, but we're still buying the packaged stuff...it's one of our few last vices...and well, we can't afford $8.99/lb for bacon lol.

My MIL doesn't eat deli meat...she cooks a chicken or roast or turkey and then slices it up for sandwiches! I just use leftovers on a salad, but I might start cooking a whole chicken just for me to use for lunches through the week. If I could only afford pastured... bah.
 

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I'll have to frequent Whole Foods more. My wallet vibrates when I get within 20 feet of the door, but like d33na, I'm eating less of higher quality food and need to remember that my overall budget hasn't increased very much. Joining a CSA this summer has really helped.
 

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I'll have to frequent Whole Foods more. My wallet vibrates when I get within 20 feet of the door, but like d33na, I'm eating less of higher quality food and need to remember that my overall budget hasn't increased very much. Joining a CSA this summer has really helped.
That's what we're doing, eating less, but higher quality.

We buy grass-fed beef, but we eat less of it - maybe one or two meals with ground beef, and one steak every two weeks. Sometimes they have their grass-fed ground beef on sale for $3.99... so sign up on facebook or on their website to get their sales flier. They had organic cherries for $2.99/lb one day!

For chicken, we can't afford pastured, but we try to at least buy organic. However, they sell boneless skinless thighs! They're $2/lb less than the breasts, so we buy those. Trader Joe's has the organic ones for the same price as non-organic at Whole Foods.

We buy 1.5lbs of wild caught salmon every two weeks. It's frozen at Trader Joe's for $8.99/lb... and usually fresh is around 11.99/lb at Whole Foods...but they have it on sale a lot for 8.99-9.99.

They also sell ground turkey thigh...they had it for $2.99/lb one week. I've been subbing a lot of ground turkey and chicken in some things. Even though it's conventional, it IS freshly ground right there.

I think the trick with Whole Foods is to watch the sales. Trader Joe's has great prices on nuts though, so it's worth checking that out.

We spend an ENTIRE DAY dragging three kids to 4 different places to buy our groceries for each 2 week pay period... and we spend about $300 for that... $100 in meat, $100 fruits & veggies, $50 dairy/bacon, and $50 on "other" like nuts, sauces, condiments, etc. That's for a family of 4... so you figure 14 days, 3 meals, 4 people... that's not bad.

Oh, and I pay $3.50/dozen for my farm fresh local eggs...it seems like a lot for eggs, but when you consider how many meals you can get out of them, it's one of the cheapest sources of protein and so good for you!
 
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Oh, and Whole Foods would be WAY out of our budget if we bought everything there... but we don't. We go to a local farmer's market for most of our veggies... I can get organic lettuce at Walmart for cheaper than Whole Foods.

I rarely buy anything other than meats and bulk items at Whole Foods...sometimes I buy some organic / pastured dairy items if they're on sale.

In the fall winter, I get bones for broth from WF too.
 

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Okay, I just signed up for sales/coupons/recipes/everythingunderthesun at Whole Foods site. Great tips.

Many years ago when I was unemployed and living on air, I used to wait for the circulars to come out to see what I'd be eating that week. That's what I need to get back to, only now it will be what cut of grass-fed meat I'll be eating and not what shape of pasta :)
 

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um the cage-free eggs here are $7 a dozen
 

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Meat grinders don't cost much, some of us probably already have one. If you grind up some pork, there are recipes online that tell you what seasonings to add to make sausage. Probably better than the ready-made stuff.
 
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