Hello, again. Here are more questions. The first two are kind of similar, so I will answer them together.
Where do you buy your organic/raw products? How do you do so on a budget?
I really really really really really really really want you to show us your budget. You have talked about it in the past, but I just can't figure out how you eat so well (assuming organic, supplements, etc.) on such little money! Please share!
Okay. First of all, I need to explain that for the past ten months or so, the lovely United States government has decided to grant us the generous gift of food support. Therefore, we have not been paying for any of our groceries as of late.
However, I took the liberty of going through our past records to find out exactly what we were averaging for groceries each month. I wanted to see if I was really spending as little on groceries as I thought I was, or if I had somehow deluded myself with the amount.
I selected the months of May-October 2008. I went through every account transaction in our old check register and wrote down the ones going to a grocery store, family farm, or food co-op. And then, I looked through the online records of our Discover card, and wrote down what was put on there. I am pretty sure this would account for any grocery purchases we would have made, except for cash, which I am assuming was minimal. (This was lots of work, people. I hope you will all thank me profusely for the trouble I went through in answering this question... Note: You can thank me by helping me pay for my new camera.)
So, I averaged out the six months of May-October 2008 and this is what I came up with: $307 per month.
Yes, that's right. $307.
I'm not entirely sure how we did this. I will attempt to figure that out here:
1) We did get some venison from family hunting excursions, so that would have saved us some money on meat.
2) I bought the majority of our basic food staples in bulk from Azure Standard. I bought stuff like brown rice, beans, tomato sauce, hard red winter wheat, oatmeal, etc.
3) With chicken, I would boil one chicken overnight. Then, in the morning, I would separate the meat from said chicken into 5 different sections that I would freeze and use in meals (stir fries, soups, curries, etc) as needed. I would also freeze the chicken stock. This was a way to make one chicken go a long way.
4) I would buy raw cheese from Lifeline Farms. They seemed to have the best prices. Good prices on butter too.
5) We would basically stick to the cheap foods. Like, instead of buying all kinds of fruit, it was pretty much always bananas because they were the cheapest. Same for vegetables. It ended up being a lot of the same thing... whatever was the cheapest.
6) Coconut oil we would buy by the gallon from Wilderness Family Naturals. Saves a lot of money to buy it by the gallon.
7) A good price on meat was through Prairie Wind Farms. We just got ground beef, because that was the cheapest ($4 per pound). Good price on raw cream too (only $3 per pint). email@example.com
8) We got our raw milk from Honeymoon Creamery: firstname.lastname@example.org
9) We don't really buy anything from a box or a bag... as in, nothing processed. We make our pretty much all of our food from scratch, I guess. Vernon was even making our own bread at this time, I think.
In conclusion, I guess I don't really know how we did it. Now that we have food support, we end up getting pretty much everything (except for raw milk, that we still get from the farm) from Valley Natural Foods.
Okay. That was a long one. That's enough for tonight. I'll answer more questions tomorrow.