Another Week of Real Food on a Budget

by lydia on October 20, 2012

Well, I survived my first week on a tighter food budget (it really was my second, but the first week that I posted about it). Now, I am back to post another week. This week I only went to two stores and spent a total of $91.44 for everything in the photo below. The milk and eggs were delivered through my milk cooperative.

What I bought: 2 pumpkins ($4 each for carving, we will use the pumpkin seeds for a snack), 2 gallons of raw milk, 3 dozen pastured eggs (soy free), 2 lbs organic sugar (mostly for kombucha and water kefir), 6.75 chicken, head of cauliflower, bunch of celery, 1 1lb bag of carrots, 1 bunch scallions, 1 bunch parsley, 1 large onion, 6 beets (to make beet kvass), 3 lbs local spun honey, 1 lb grass fed beef, 2 cans wild salmon, 1 hunk grass fed cheddar cheese, mushrooms, vanilla ice cream, 1 lb organic butter, 1 can organic pumpkin.

My menu plan includes, a roast chicken dinner Sunday evening with millet pilaf and a green salad (the salad is coming with my guests), and I am hoping to make some kind of pumpkin dessert, either a crustless cheesecake or a creme brulee or custard, maybe my Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Brownies. The leftover chicken will go in a stir fry with various veggies and mung bean sprouts and egg. The carcass will make stock. The ground beef will be for my Skillet Beef Stroganof and I’ll likely add some beef liver or pork heart, that will also use one large onion, the mushrooms and some of the cheese, yogurt from last week and I’ll serve steamed cauliflower. I’ll use the salmon to make salmon cakes and serve the rest of the bag of frozen organic green beans and possibly something else. I only have 4 more dinners to come up with until my next food shop. Breakfasts will be a breakfast casserole several days for my teenager. My other 3 will have pumpkin muffins (loaded with eggs) for 3 breakfasts and scrambled eggs for two and sourdough nut butter pancakes for one. My breakfast will vary based on what I have to use up, but I’ll likely be eating a lot of eggs and hopefully some yogurt this week too. Lunches seem to be my trickiest meal of the day, not for me, but for my middle two as I send them to school with lunch. My littlest eats lunch at home and my oldest get lunch at school. I’m not quite sure how I’ll swing lunches yet, but I’ll be sure to include it in my week review. I have the snacks covered, but the ‘main’ part of their lunch is what I am hung up on. I bought the ice cream because I will be making another apple crisp to share with others and wanted to have the ice cream to go with it (for 9 people). The sugar is for mainly for brewing water kefir. My water kefir grains consume a lot of sugar and I have a little bit left from last week, but not quite enough. I don’t think I’ll need anymore next week though. I was almost out of honey and the muffins require honey. That jar of honey will last me awhile. The beets are so I can make a 3 Liter batch of beet kvass for me.

Now, just so I am clear here, I do have quite a bit of random food in my pantry, fridge and deep freezer. I also just had a friend give me a bunch of food she wasn’t going to use. 7 pounds of grass fed beef liver, 1 beef heart, a bag of millet, amaranth, red quinoa, regular quinoa, buckwheat groats, lentils, 4 cans of chickpeas and a loaf of Paleo bread. So, I am working with plenty of staples for now. It may get difficult as I start to deplete that stockpile.

To the left is a drawer in my deep freezer full of pork organs. I just added all the liver and beef heart to that, plus I had another heart already in the freezer. I will use those mixed with other meats to stretch my meals even further. This month’s ‘Offal & Odd Bits Challenge‘ is serving me well, as I strive to put all these nutrient dense organ meats to good use. Additionally, here’s a general list of what else I have in my freezer; several quarts of summer squash soup, several quarts of tomato basil soup, several quarts of diced garden tomatoes, several quarts of tomato puree/sauce, several quarts of cooked white beans, several quarts of pork stock, one gallon bucket of pork stock. 3 quarts of chicken stock, 3 quarts of thick beef onion stock, 2 quarts of lamb stock/gravy, 1 container of beef stew, 1 quart of french onion soup, 1 quart of split pea soup, 1 quart of beef/beet stew, several quarts of cooked cubed winter squash, 1 gallon bag of cooked cubed winter squash, 1 bag of leeks, 3 sticks of butter, several containers of various amounts of egg whites, 1 large bag of onion powder, container of coconut flour, several quarts of milk kefir, 1 quart grass fed cream, 2 large beef knuckle bones, 5 quarts of applesauce, 1 quart of homemade barbeque sauce, 1 quart of tomato juice, 1 1/2 quarts turkey florentine soup, 2 1/2 gallons of milk, 8 slices of gluten free sourdough bread, 4 ramekins of chocolate pudding, 1 bag of shrimp shells, another larger container of tomato basil soup, 2 quarts of random soup not labeled, 1 gallon bag of sliced and spiced apples for crisp, small container of chicken gravy and 1 gallon bag of once used beef bones. So, as you can see, I have been stockpiling and have quite a bit on hand to work with.

In my main refrigerator/freezer I have on hand (not including what I just purchased on Friday); sauerkraut almost ready to eat, 1 1/2 liter Fido jar of pickled red onions almost gone, 3 liter Fido of my Asian Veggie Medley ferment, 1 1/2 liter of kefir mostly full, 1 liter of yogurt, 1 liter of kefir grains, 1 1/2 liter Fido of my Smoky Peach Salsa, 1 1/2 liter Fido of buckwheat pancake batter mostly gone, 4 wire stopper bottles of beet kvass, 2 bottles of water kefir, 1 tub of lard about 1/3 left, 1 quart nettle infusion, 1 quart unsweetened cranberry juice, 2 quart jar of 3.5% brine, half of a quart of cream cheese from kefired cream, small jar of cream cheese from kefir, 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock, 2 dozen eggs left over from last week, 1 1/2 quarts homemade applesauce, small amount of homemade white bean hummus, some nutritional yeast, tahini, pineapple salsa, hot sauce, tiny bit of ketchup, fermented cod liver oil (2 jars, one full and one almost gone), red chili paste, salad dressing, 3 lemons, 1 hunk of ginger, 1 hot pepper, 1/2 jar of cashew butter, 1 pint homemade chocolate syrup and a partridge in a pear tree (kidding on that last item…).

In my freezer, which is very random at this point, I have; 1 lamb heart, jar of homemade taco seasoning, jar of homemade rib rub, coconut flakes, quinoa flakes, lemongrass, poppy seeds, bee pollen, gluten free rolled oats, tiny bit of almond meal, small container of Organic Whey protein powder, 1/2 cup of organic ground coffee (for french press), 2 servings of my Simply Divine Chicken Liver Pate, container of cream cheese frosting, container of butter cream frosting, small container hazelnuts, small container of sun dried tomatoes, quart bag of dehydrated greens (?), 1/2 bag of cranberries, 2 bags of flax seeds, 1 Udi’s gluten free hot dog bun, gallon bag of veggie scraps, 1/2 bag of frozen organic spinach, 1/2 bag frozen organic green beans, 1/2 bag frozen bell pepper strips, mug of bacon fat, 1/2 cup of homemade pizza sauce and the few new items.

Next week I will share what is in my pantry/cupboards. This will give a full picture of what I am working with on hand as I navigate my way through the upcoming weeks/months on a tighter budget. At the end of this week I’ll post a review of what we ate, and all the food prep that went into making it all happen!

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kelly October 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

Loving these posts! Thank you for sharing! I will be curious to see how you purchase when your stockpiles diminish. Specifically, what high initial investment food items you choose and why. Good luck and keep on keeping on!

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Tania October 22, 2012 at 6:08 am

Thanks so much for these posts! Sometimes I feel like my food budget is starting to get out of control – your website is providing me with some great ideas on how to provide real food to my family, while at the same time keeping the costs down. Thank you!

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