My name is Valerie and I was one of the original 8 Weeks to Wellness patients at Woodlands Family Chiropractic turned lifetime Keyes Ingredients follower turned behind the scenes Keyes Ingredients assistant and Woodland Family Chiropractic 8 Weeks to Wellness coordinator. I am also a single mom to Jonah who is freshly 8 years old. He’s a beautiful, happy, intelligent, vibrant kid who leaves an impact on every person he meets. I promise I won’t brag on him the entire blog. 


We began our Keyes Ingredients journey out of sheer desperation. I was obese, had PCOS, thyroid issues and terrible asthma, but more importantly, my baby was sick. We had seen just about every type of specialist around and they all agreed that something was wrong, but no one could determine what. They finally decided he has some sort of autoimmune issue along with severe eczema, but they’re still unsure of exactly what to call it. Through the care, concern, treatment and guidance from Dr. Kevin Keyes and his wife Michelle, we learned the impact that food has on his little body and he is now able to live a life without constant specialist appointments and needle pokes. 


As a one income household, you learn quickly that eating a whole ingredient diet on a budget is rarely an easy task. Fortunately I have learned a few tricks of the trade that make it possible for these two things to line up. 

I love wholesale clubs! Costco is my go to because they have more organic products than any of the other clubs I have seen. Their produce is high quality and often times organic produce will be available for a fraction of the cost that it is at the grocery store. They also carry a few extras (cut and peeled organic butternut squash for one) that are convenient that would not be affordable at the grocery store, but they are at Costco. I buy my greens there for $3-$4 for a large tub instead of $6-$7 at my local grocery store and organic strawberries are very popular in my house.. 


Costco is also a great source for some organic meat. They carry organic ground beef and organic chicken at a great price. I leave the other meats for another source (either a local farm or my favorite grocery store). My local store also recently started carrying organic eggs that are the most cost effective option I’ve seen. Two of my favorite bargains are the organic maple syrup (a Keyes Ingredient favorite) and the Pecorino Romano cheese. I have found that it is almost half the cost here. If you are looking specifically for organic products, be sure to watch for the green price signs. The efforts that Costco has put in making whole foods affordable makes me want to be a life long shopper.


Obviously I can’t do all of my shopping at Costco, so when I do venture to the local grocery store, I make sure to visit the bulk bins. These are little hidden gems. This is where I get almost all of my nuts, seeds, flours and spices from. I can buy in the quantity that I need and it is almost always cheaper than buying it in large bag form.  I also always make it a point to stop by the butcher case. More often than not, there is some type of organic meat that is on sale that day. If I have the extra in my budget, I always buy it regardless of if I need it that week or not. It probably won’t be on sale when I need it, so I take the opportunity to save a bit more when I can. 


Another great source to get the best value for your family are online retailers. Amazon pantry has many dry ingredients that they will deliver straight to your door for free. I have also put most of my consumables (toothpaste, paper towels, kleenex, etc) on the subscribe and save option. This allows me to save 20% on these items each month. I have recently discovered Thrive Market. You can currently save 15% on your first order and they carry many hard to find products and will also deliver those straight to your door. They also give free memberships to teachers, students, veterans, and first responders. 


 There is an initial cost that comes with Thrive, Amazon and with Costco, but as I’ve found, you can easily save that amount back very quickly and it’s completely worth the investment. I hope that a few of these tips are helpful while you’re trying to feed your family in a sustainable way. In the next blog in the series Michelle will be discussing ingredients on the good, better, best scale and prioritizing your spending in your food budget. We would love to hear any of your cost saving secrets in feeding your family better ingredients in a sustainable way! Please share them in the comments section or over on The Keyes Ingredients Facebook. 


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