Welcome to the Fortified Family! I’m Katie Ferraro, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and mom of 7 and I specialize in baby-led weaning. I’m passionate about feeding strong families and making food fun.

My $6,000 Grocery Bill

My $6,000 Grocery Bill

Tax time got me thinking: how much do we spend on groceries a year?

I have 5 kids and 2 adults to grocery shop for, so admittedly we're a big household; but, if we were normal (I wish) and anything like the typical middle-class American household, that would be $5,799 per year spent on food - or about 12.4% of income.

Think about it - that's almost $6,000! And I for one can think of a LOT of places I'd rather spend that kind of coin than at my local grocery store!!


Is it REALLY "Too Expensive" to Eat Healthy?!

I know...it's easy to get beat down about the cost of food and groceries. And as a dietitian who works with lots of families, I hear it all the time, "It's too expensive to eat healthy."

But like a lot of excuses: that one sounds plausible, but it simply isn't true. Every meal you make at home is likely healthier than eating out...and it certainly is cheaper!

If the thought of shelling out $6K per year on groceries makes you shudder, take solace in knowing that it could be worse. In poor countries, expenditure on food often tops 50% of a household's income, making our 12% outlay look like small potatoes!


Time Out for a Self-Back Pat

Despite the emotional and financial toll of trying to prepare food for your family day in and day out, if you're even making half of an effort to cook more at home - pat yourself on the back! You are establishing healthy family habits by eating together - and those experiences extend WAY beyond just nutrition.

Kids who eat meals together regularly with their families have better behavioral outcomes than those who don't; and they're less likely to engage in dangerous behaviors in later childhood and adolescence.


Penny-Pinching Protein Recipes

So...if the immediate cost of cooking is top of mind for you, I put together some Penny-Pinching Protein recipes that can help you stretch your food dollar. 

You see, protein can be a bear on the ol' pocketbook. But there's a few quick tricks you can employ to cut the cost of plating up protein without sacrificing taste or health.

To get the cheap eats deets - including some vegetarian options - check out my Penny-Pinching Protein recipes here.


These are some of my family's favorite recipes - and they work great for babies, as well as feeding frugal older folks too.

I hope you enjoy these penny-pinching protein recipes, and keep up the good work fighting that good home-cooking fight friends!

And...if you want to catch the quads on our local Fox affiliate, here's the Penny-Pinching Protein tips video clip on this same topic.

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Why it's Wise to Wait When Starting Solid Foods

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