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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Basic Three- food

I shop twice a month for the farm. One trip is what I call a food storage run and the second one is for the month in foods. I make 1 mini trip every other week to buy fresh produce which I keep under $20.00. I am going to share a few recent pictures of what I bought for January.

Produce will keep if you store it properly. Cabbage lasts longer than any lettuce items so in the off season we use cabbage as our salad base. In the picture you can see cilantro, oranges, sweet potatoes, cabbage, celery,limes, zucchini...mozzarella, olives, 2 boxes of margarine, 3 boxes of Mole, lasagna noodles, hotdogs, potatoes...
I guess this is a better view...you can also see bananas, tomatoes, jalapenos, Serrano's, carrots, tortillas, OJ, frozen OJ, enchilada sauce, peaches in pear juice, baked beans, pepperchinis, lunch meats, cottage cheese, sugar, tampico, milk, vinegar, spinach, ranch dressing, oats, frozen corn on cob, cheddar cheese and mozzarella

another close up...oh sloppy joe mix

and some of the produce...
Why am I sharing this? Well first off, I have five in my family, and I spend 100-120 dollars on menu groceries and 100 dollars a month on storage. We average 250 for groceries for the month total. We eat pretty well because we have our own meats for the most part- beef, chicken, turkey, goat...and eggs daily. We also grow a good portion of foods that we canned.
Someone said to me once that we seem Hippy like(maybe we are) but I thought I would share that we are most likely average in what we consume...except that we produce much of our own needs. The kids love hotdogs, rice, mac and cheese- and lasagna. We buy milk sometimes to supplement the goat milk but we have weened the kids off box cereals as too expensive.
Our menu is pretty standard- I have it on a calendar and I stick to it as it keeps expenses down(meaning we can spend our money elsewhere).
Here is a menu plan we use for week one of the month

Sunday arroz con leche- no lunch on Sundays- steak baked potato rolls applesauce fresh veggie slices dessert: brownies
Monday- oatmeal- ramen noodles and peanut butter sandwiches( I pack Bill a leftover meal each day from some meal we had during the week- I prefreeze it)- hotdogs mac and cheese rice peaches and bananas dessert: chocolate pudding
Tuesday- egg burritos- ramen and peanut butter sandwiches- tacos refried beans Spanish rice salsa shredded cabbage dessert: tortilla roll up( warmed tortilla then butter and sprinkle with sugar)
Wednesday-arroz con leche- ramen with peanut butter sandwiches- casserole corn buttered bread applesauce dessert: ice cream
Thursday-oatmeal- ramen with peanut butter sandwiches- baked chicken egg noodles spinach salad pears dessert: brownies
Friday- egg and potato burritos ramen with peanut butter sandwiches homemade pizza fruit slices(apples and oranges) veggie slices carrots and celery dessert: peanut butter cookies
Saturday- pancakes scrambled eggs OJ-tomato soup grilled cheese- Squash stew rolls dessert pineapple upside down cake.

Most times I make the rolls from scratch. I have been buying tortillas from the local tortilla factory in town as they are fresh and inexpensive. Creating a menu and sticking to it will reduce your food waste tremendously. Did you know that most Americans will toss out 30-50% of the food that they buy? Can you imagine not wasting that money and using it to pay off debt or to invest in land etc?
My menu changes each week and I have a grocery list to coordinate with the menu. My food storage matches to the tee what we eat for our monthly schedule. I have foods that would cover the what if's of not going to a store-such as powdered milk etc. My food storage blends with the menu and is used on a rotating shedule. It is so important to only buy what you use and use what you buy. It is also important to know how to make breads from scratch, beans from the dried form, and how to improvise on menus.
Very rarely is there waste in my home from foods. Even the traditional items we would toss now have purpose- you know the skins of citrus, banana peels, egg shells, bones, the stalks of the cilantro and so on- we give them to the chickens and then we clean up the waste of the birds and put it in our compost pile. We eat pretty well in my book and spend about $500.00 less than before we crossed on this path of simplicity.
By the way if necessary we could reduce the grocery bill by half once again...and reduce the fun foods such as hotdogs, lunch meats, ranch, store bought cheese for that matter all store bought dairy products. We have come to the point where we could survive fairly well although it would require much more effort we would be fine( for example to grind the mesquite beans into a flour to make tortillas and bread). I will stress that having skills to provide for yourself is as important as the stockpiled items.
Please remember that prepping is not about running off to the hills(although those in tsunami areas should consider that)...it is about changing your habits and lifestyle to a pattern of living that will prepare you for any and all crises that may occur because in a crises one needs to meet the basic three- food shelter and health. If you can manage one before a crises, you are 33% better off than nearly everyone else!
(c) Double Nickel Farm

1 comment:

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Great post! I also do my breakfast and dinner menu a month at a time and stick it on the fridge. I love that it relieves all the pressure of the "What am I gonna make for dinner!!!" panic. I'd say you eat very well! Everything in that menu sounded yummy!

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