Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Thursday

January 16, 2014

On the cheap: You can eat healthy on a budget

TRAVERSE CITY — Amy Daniels Moehle knows there's almost nothing cheap about feeding a family, especially when it comes to trying to push healthy food to her husband and two daughters.

Moehle lives near Buelah and has spent countless hours trying to feed her family a diet of good food that doesn't break the bank. And she's become pretty good at it.

But feeding a relatively large family on a budget takes a lot of work, she said.

"I have a family of four and I don't work outside of the home," Daniels Moehle said. "We have gone through times of naught and times of plenty."

Tuesday night, with help from her daughters, Nadia and Sonja, she whipped up a budget-minded menu of carbonara with chicken thighs and lemon served alongside broccoli.

Her husband, David, owns and operates an electric contracting company, so the family has witnessed the ups and downs in the economy as much as anyone.

During the tighter times, she developed strategies to stretch every dollar in her family's food budget while still maintaining a healthy diet.

That's why, when Daniels Moehle perused the latest edition of Natural Foods News from Oryana Natural Foods Market, she was surprised to see a shopping list and attached menu that boasts it can feed a family of four for less than $125 per week.

"I have a lot of experience with this," she said. "I know that it can be done. I think the change came when I recognized the value in every piece of food."

Daniels Moehle learned to re-purpose every piece of leftover food. She also struggled with the reality that it takes a lot more creativity to get children to eat leftover food than experts would suggest.

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