Real Food on a Budget: Working Towards Food Storage

by lydia on November 10, 2012

My real food on a budget series continues, this is month two with tighter reins financially. It’s starting to get a little harder in some respects and easier in others. One thing that is challenging on a weekly budget that’s so tight, is that there is no room to stock up or buy bulk supplies. I am realizing that I will need to find a way to save up for that, and soon. I ran out of my stockpile of butter in the freezer this week. I would have loved to buy several pounds to stock up, but there was no room in the budget otherwise another area would have suffered. What good is a ton of butter without anything to use it with? (well, actually, I’d be happy eating just butter, but really it’s not the best way to feed four hungry boys) I realize I can get better prices on certain items if I were to be able to purchase them in bulk, but it’s simply not feasible at this time. That is indeed frustrating. Below, I’ll share this week’s shopping trip and what I plan to do with it.

Food Shopping: This week I went to 3 stores; a local produce market (not farmer’s market), a local health food store and then Trader Joes. I spent about $135, my budget is $125, however, I need a good bit of the olive oil and the coconut oil to make a salve this week. So, I don’t feel like I really went over by too much. (I’ll need a cup and a half of each) I also had my eggs delivered, since I run a small milk/egg cooperative and the pick up is at my house.

What I bought: 2 huge heads of cauliflower, clementines, apples, a bunch of beets, a bunch of scallions, 5 lemons, 2 large onions, a bunch of parsley, a hunk of ginger, mushrooms, 5 lb bag of organic carrots, raw apple cider vinegar, coconut flour, tub of organic sour cream, bag of white rice pasta shells, ground pepper, himalayan pink salt, ground cloves, fennel seed, rubbed sage, 3 star anise, 1 lb wild salmon, 1 package applegate farms turkey bologna, 1 package applegate farms roast beef, olive oil, coconut oil, butter, grass fed cheddar, bag of chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, 1 lb grass fed beef, 2 packages bacon ends, chocolate chips. Not pictured: 2 dozen pastured eggs.

My Game Plan: I’ll be using the chicken for 2 dinners, and I’ll make a batch of stock out of the carcass. The cauliflower will likely stretch for 3 dinners and I might just go ahead freeze some for future. We’ll have salmon and green beans for dinner one night. The beef, some of the cheese, one onion, some of the sour cream, some of the mushrooms, 1/3 of the rice pasta and some parsley will make one of our favorite dinners – skillet beef stroganoff. I’ll be making an apple beet relish that is lacto-fermented with the beets, a few apples and the star anise (I’ll save the beet greens for something or other). Breakfasts will be pumpkin muffins, scrambled eggs, bacon ends and coconut flour pancakes. Lunches for school will be tortilla sandwiches with the lunch meat, likely one piece of fruit and some carrot sticks. I’ll also be making some cookies, so those may go into lunches as well. I’ll likely use some mushrooms and scallions for my breakfasts, and the some of the seasonings are to make turkey breakfast sausage since I still have a pound of ground turkey in the freezer. Stay tuned for next Friday’s post when I share my week in review.

Food Storage: I have a game plan to start working on my food storage. I was hoping to start this month, but may have to wait until next month. Since this month is Thanksgiving, I’ll be needing my full budget. I also have 1/4 side of beef coming in another week or so. That will go a long way towards my food storage. It will also help to relieve my budget a bit and I think I will be able to use some of my budget towards stocking up. I will try to allot $40-50 per month, $10-12 per week on stocking up so I have ‘food insurance’. I’ve already done this a bit, but right now I’m pretty much on empty in a lot of departments. If you are looking to learn more about emergency preparedness and how to go about getting started with real food storage, I highly recommend picking up a copy of ‘Real Food Storage: How to’s & Recipes‘. This book has been eye opening for me, and inspired me to learn to be prepared. Also, check out this facebook group; Real Food Storage – Unprocessed Food Storage & Preparedness.

My goal is to have enough food for my family for 3 months – this is in case my budget gets even tighter at any point, or in case of any kind of economic crisis, or perhaps I can’t work. Even just for the sake of making it easier on myself down the road by reducing shopping and prep in times of stress, etc…. There are many reasons to build up some food insurance. I want to do it in a way that makes sense so we have the right amounts of each type of food on hand to make meals and so forth.



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Tina November 10, 2012 at 9:46 am

Dear Lydia,
I love your blog, please keep up the good work! Re two meal chicken, I do this often, one day we have roast chicken, the next I make Chicken stew or chicken stir fry with whatever can scrounge from the carcass. I too upped the starches this week, making buns and then corn bread, my family loved it, my gut not so much. I will be eating my stew without dumplings that’s for sure.

Janelle November 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I have this problem too. I want to stick to a very particular budget for a week, but then I also want to stock up on things I know I\’ll use in the (possibly near) – especially if I find it in bulk or it\’s on sale. But, then I end up going over. I think I should give myself a little less to spend for each week and then save some money for \”stocking up\” / \”essentials\” on top of that. I like reading how you make this work!

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