What the Amish Lifestyle Could Teach You About Food will help you with ideas on how to save money on groceries and to provide your family with nourishing meals.
With all the craziness going on in the world, I think we all crave to make our lives a bit more simple and we don’t have to look any further than the Amish for their wisdom.
“Growing up around Amish farmland, I enjoyed the opportunity to witness firsthand their love of family, of the domestic arts – sewing, quilting, cooking, baking – as well as seeing them live out their tradition of faith in such a unique way.” – Beverly Lewis
You don’t have to cut yourself off from civilization in order to live a more simple life. By tweaking just a few things, you’re able to spend less money on food and get more nutritional value at the same time.
Here’s What the Amish Lifestyle Could Teach You About Food:
1) Home grown.
Most Amish homes have a large garden that the family tends to, including the children. They also have fruit trees, grape vines and berry bushes.
It doesn’t matter how small your yard space is, you can still grow your own food. You can transform your front or backyard into a food forest like my neighbor has. She bought the land next to me and immediately planted fruit trees, and berry bushes that would grow well in the area. She’s now added her vegetable garden.
Start small by adding herbs in between your flowers and in planters along your windowsill. Build trellises to grow your fruits and vegetables vertical so they take up less space.
I toured a small house in downtown Seattle. She had goats, chickens and every inch of her front yard and backyard was dedicated to growing food. Not only was she able to feed her family on what she grew, but the yard was beautiful.
By knowing where your food comes from, you’re able to be able to provide the best nourishment for your family. Organic seeds cost a fraction of the price of organic produce.
2) No waste.
Nothing goes to waste in an Amish household. They use every part of the animals they butcher and produce that’s going bad is used up in a recipe.
I know I’m guilty of wasting food, but I’ve realized how rotating the produce in my refrigerator helps me use up groceries before they are no longer edible.
I wrote a post on How to Save Money By Using Leftover Ingredients here.
Once you realize that not using up your ingredients is like flushing money down the drain, a little extra planning will easily prevent this from happening.
Simple ideas like juicing greens and vegetables that are aging, using the chicken carcass to make soup stock, and measuring out and freezing unused items for future recipes will make sure you saving the most money you can.
The Amish preserve their harvest so they can enjoy the fruits of their labor all year round. Most Amish homes don’t have electricity, so canning is a necessity.
We forget how the simple things like preserving fruits and vegetables when food is abundant can help a family save on their budget and enjoy the bounty throughout the cold winter months.
As incentive for you to start canning your produce, think of how amazing homemade pickles, strawberry jam, or tomato sauce taste.
Wouldn’t your family love to be able to taste those sun-kissed peaches you picked last summer for breakfast in February?
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the things you have to get done? Getting nutritional meals on the table to feed your family is just one more item on your to-do list.
The Amish rely on their relationships with others to make these daily tasks easier. Why do it alone, when you can cultivate a community around food?
For instance, instead of making jam by yourself, invite a few like-minded friends over and make it a memory by doing it together. The time will pass quicker by sharing stories and each person dedicated to a task.
Find others in your neighborhood that grow their own food and see if they have any extra produce they would like to give away. I know in my neighborhood, my neighbors are overloaded with apples throughout the season. They would love someone to come over and pick them instead of having to clean up the mess when they fall to the ground.
There’s a website called Next Door that lets you sign up and interact with your neighbors. Put a post up that you would love to take any fruit or vegetables off anyone’s hands that has extra. Give them a jar of preserves as a thank you for sharing in their abundance.
Get your family involved in growing, harvesting and preserving fruits and vegetables so they have a better connection with their food.
5) Delicious food.
There’s a reason why an abundance of Amish cookbooks exist on the bookshelves. Just because they live simple lives, doesn’t mean they don’t eat well.
Homemade bread, pies and cookies are just some of the yummy things the Amish can look forward to in their daily meals. Don’t forget about all the casseroles they are famous for.
I have recipes that were handed down from generation to generation. When I take a bit of my family’s Amazing Ham Steak Recipe, I know that it came from my Aunt Bessie and that my grandmother grew up eating it along with my mother and siblings. It’s a special recipe to me and it’s delicious.
Every Sunday after church, the Amish community gets together for a meal. They also celebrate birthdays, many of the same holidays and weddings.
Instead of meeting your friends and family in restaurants, make special memories by having a monthly potluck.
Vary the locations of the potluck, so the burden of hosting doesn’t fall on one person. In spring, meet in a park, summer calls for a barbecue, fall is perfect bonfire weather and winter could be game night.
I don’t know about you, but I have way too much stuff. Right now I’m going through everything and purging daily. The last thing I need is another thing that I probably won’t use.
What I could always use is food. It’s the one thing everyone will always need.
Why not find that special recipe that has everyone dreaming about and make it a gift for celebrations like birthdays, Christmas and hostess gifts?
Some of the things you might consider are hot fudge sauce, homemade jam, honey from your very own beehive, peanut brittle, fudge, your own spice mixes, or dog biscuits for those friends with four-legged family member.
You don’t have to pack up your things and move to the country to experience the wisdom of the Amish. Changing the way you view food will help you save money and create a richer relationship with every bite.
We’ve reached the end of What the Amish Lifestyle Could Teach You About Food. I hope you enjoyed it.
Let me know in the comments below if any of these ideas speak to you, and if you incorporated them into your life.
To learn more about the Amish way of life, check out these books (the links lead to Amazon.)
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