"You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."
Dr. Adrian Rogers 1931-2005

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shopping, Groceries, and Preparation

What do we at the Double Nickel eat and now that prices are skyrocketing, how much does it cost us? These are things I think about often as I prepare the food and have to make the most for my family. I pack Bill's lunch and now my Third son works full time so I pack his lunch each day too.

While looking at the photos keep in mind the hens provide us with all of our eggs, and all the meat is raised on the farm minus a few processed meats I bought.
32 oranges 10 limes 3 mangoes 10 jalapenos 1 habanero 5 garlic 15 large onions(10 lbs)
10 tomatoes 1 avocado 8 oz cane sugar

5 oriental ramen noodle packs 1 baking cocoa 1 hamburger dill slices 1 dill mini pickles 1 gallon dill pickles 10 packs of assorted lunch meats 1 large bag of krisp rice cereal 1 cooking spray 1 bbq sauce 1 tub lard 1 black pepper 3 lbs spaghetti 21 oz. fideo noodles 21 oz of elbow noodles 2 jars of mayonnaise 1 pack Chocolate chip cookies 1 bag bagel crisps 3 jars unsweetened applesauce 1 pack pepperoni 1 pack bacon 1 lb cottage cheese 1 bag split peas 4 boxes pudding 4 boxes jello

The lunch meats are for mostly for my son and his lunches. I send him with two sandwiches and bowl of leftovers each day as well as cookies or some sort of desert. The jello is NOT a big hit, but I am kind of a jello fan every now and then.

10 lbs potatoes(25 potatoes) 1 gallon fudge swirl ice cream 1 pack flour tortillas 2 gallons vinegar
1 lb red grapes 2 bunches spinach 6 golden delicious apples 6 gala apples 8 bananas 14 baking bananas 3 heads of cabbage 2 lbs carrots 2 cucumbers 1 lb sunflower seeds 1 gallon milk

For Bill's lunch I make a spinach cabbage salad with sunflower seeds and then an orange to squeeze on. I send him a hardboiled egg with the salad. Or I will pack him the exact dinner we had the night before. He takes a gala apple every other day to munch on while at work.

The baking bananas will be for muffins, bread, and oatmeal banana cookies for all of us to enjoy. I buy whole milk which I split between two gallons and add water to double my money. I use the vinegar in a sink of water to wash my veggies, so much better. I also use the vinegar in my laundry as the fabric softener, as well as for a rinse for my hair.

We have mostly a Mexican fare on the menu and I buy my rice in 50 lb bags so I do not have any need for rice.

This week we are going to have in no particular order:

The asterisk is a food item from the pantry or freezer

*tomato sauce
*homemade spice mixture
*frozen fresh veggies
*mozzarella cheese
cottage cheese
*Parmesan cheese
homemade breadsticks from flour, sugar, yeast, olive oil, salt, water and garlic

2. Beef Roast-from our own beef
3 potatoes
1 carrot
2 cloves garlic
homemade rolls flour, milk, sugar, yeast, lard, salt

*cherry pie from cherries I canned and homemade crust

3. Beef enchiladas
*corn tortillas from freezer
*ground beef our beef
homemade enchilada sauce from lard, chili powder, flour, cumin, oregano, garlic powder
*mozzarella cheese
*cheddar cheese
*pinto beans cooked over night in crockpot with 1/2 onion 1 jalapeno and a piece of salt pork(from our pig)
*Spanish rice made with tomato sauce, bay leaf, 1/2 onion, garlic clove
*salsa homemade-I make a gallon at a time

4. homemade pizza
*crust flour, sugar, salt, olive oil, water, yeast, and a bit of honey
*sauce tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic, onion salt, pepper
* pineapples
fresh spinach
cabbage spinach salad made with cabbage, spinach, oranges, sunflower seeds

5. BLT wraps
flour tortillas
cucumbers with lime, salt and paprika

6. Shredded beef burritos
Beef-our beef slow cooked over night
*beans cooked as above
*rice cooked as above

desert tortilla rollup made by warming tortilla spreading butter on then sugar

7. spaghetti
homemade spaghetti sauce as above
homemade bread(as rolls above)
frozen veggies

desert jello

8. Baked potato night
sides: crumbled bacon, butter, sour cream, salsa, onions

9. Potato soup
*ham from our pig
*frozen corn
flour salt and pepper

Here is a sample of our beef. This is a beef chuck roast which I have in a defrosting pan. The pan is 9 x13 to get a size idea. I am going to slow cook this overnight.

I am able to spend more on fresh produce and buy the snacks such as the ice cream and cookies because I have slowly built up a food storage by raising our own animals(which by the way we actually worked in trade to get a start for) and then butchering them. It has not been easy and the learning curve has meant some days we ate no meat, but we saw the potential in living in a home that may not have been ascetically perfect but could provide a foundation for our farm.

If you note the other items in the freezer, I buy items on sale and freeze them. Bread was 9 cents a loaf a few weeks ago and as I pack two sandwiches a day for Third, this was an incredible deal. Shopping means buying sale items you normally would use and planning around those items. I freeze the empty water or soda bottles as ice for the coolers for my son as his lunch sits in his truck until he preps it, and this is New Mexico.
This is my second freezer. Each pack is ground beef in the door, as well as the Bisquick and the oats to keep them bugs free.
We got this freezer from friends who had it in their garage and when they moved wanted to give it away...I gladly gave it a home, as a butchered cow fills one freezer! This freezer is lamb, pork, and other meats, as well as more bread that was on sale, and the grocery bags are filled with frozen slops. Our local grocery sells the old produce that is rotting or going bad in a large box for a dollar...I buy and then cut up and prep for the animals. I freeze the excess as sometimes the store does not have any slops. I like to give a bit of slops mid day for the chickens...and what better than fresh frozen slops? It is New Mexico and the chilled food seems to be a major hit for them.

The key to living on a budget and living well while on a budget is understanding that it may take elbow grease, hard work and planning to provide everything that your family needs. My goodness I am amazed at how many zucchini you get off of one plant! Tomatoes are another shocker, yet a blessing. To raise the animals you do need a bit of space, but please do not allow yourself to be dismayed. There are wonderful books on small scale farming that will impress upon you how little you need to provide so much. Sadly we live in times where perfect homes, perfect lives and the false front of our economy rule, and many of you may not be able to even put a clothesline on your own property. Times must adapt to the economic situation we are in. Our wise politicians cut what 30 billion or so from the budget? Do you realize that we overspend EACH WEEK 70 billion dollars. This IS NOT sustainable. Are you prepared? Are you ready to provide for your family if inflation hits more so than it is?

In addition to the animals each year we have added more to allow our farm to produce as much for us as possible. We have four fruit trees and a large garden area-remember for us we deal with the varmints and the need to preserve and utilize water in the most ingenious of ways, yet it is successful and surprises even us!

Please take the time to learn how to can if you can't grow your own harvest. You can purchase produce in the summer and put it up for the same cost as it would to buy it in a can, and it will not have the preservatives in it. The time is now...

Oh and the above groceries in the first three photos cost me $122. 54. I shop every two weeks and so with the dollar a pound per meat each dinner we add another $30 to the total which comes to about $270 a month for our family of five.


mallardhen said...

Your grocery list sounds much like mine except for we do not do as much spicy food and our shopping is for two. Planning ahead takes time but in the end it is well worth it. I learned to stock up when I lived in Jefferson Co. NY because you could never count on getting to town in the winter with the large snowfall they get up there, and the store wasn't exactly around the corner either. My preps are looking good eventhough we do not raise our own meat these days but do give gardening a run for the money.

Peace and blessings, Sally

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen -
Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

Sometime, could you give hints/tips on what you do to keep the pantry/freezer organized. Last summer my husband and I put in pantry space. We are much more prepared than we were. We are much better at looking at what we have, and working with it. It just seems like I spend A LOT of time rotating cans, and remarking the best-by dates so they are where I can see them. Why do they have to print them in tiny letters on the bottom of the can?! (I also wish we had an upright freezer, not a chest-type...).

Any hints or tips are appreciated.


Humble wife said...

Sally- amazing what one snowstorm does for one and how we then prepare so we are ready the next time!! I am happy to read whenever another says that they have preps and are somewhat prepared or garden or something. Many times the skills we gain are far greater than the prep as we are learning how to instead of panic and worry. Thanks for stopping by!

Hi Liz! I have a method that works for me and I found out by accident. I have an empty space in the pantry and when I need to rotate I just move the item. I use two dates on my storage- one most important the actual use by date, then I date them when I buy the item in permanent marker. I think what I will do if you like is just do a post of my actual pantry. I have a small one for the week and then my large pantry...which has all my canned goods, buckets etc. For an upright freezer check craigslist...and the local on line yard sale webpage. If you are fortunate enough to live near a military base see if you can get on their on line yard sale page as the soldier when they are transferred has many items that they sell at pretty good prices or even give away. So thanks for the idea of an updated pantry post and have a wonderful day!!

Gen-IL Homesteader said...

Jennifer, so good to hear from you again. (Saw the link on the NM Prep site. You always have great posts!

Humble wife said...

Thanks Gen-IL! I am back!! :)

Bobbie said...

Just curious why you wrap meat in freezer paper instead of using a vacuum pack appliance, such as Foodsaver, etc. I've found that items packaged in freezer paper suffer freezer burn over time, but items packaged with a vacuum pack appliance last a very long time in the freezer with little or no damage.

Humble wife said...

Hi Bobbie, the meat comes this way from our butcher. In the three years we have been using him, we have had no problem with the meat having any freezer burn etc.

For me when I make hamburger patties and such I pack then remove the air when I freeze.

Our meat last about 12 months...so it is packed to last!


Bobbie said...

Thanks for the explanation. Haven't used freezer paper for many years. Glad to learn that it still does the job well.

Humble wife said...

Bobbie- you are welcome. I think asking questions is one of the key reasons I have been able to transform from an average American to a farm wife. So important to get feedback and information from all sources then compare it to what we know! If it had freezer burn I would share, as I am pretty much a believer in sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly. No molly coddling instead information so another can take my experiences and go forth!

Take care,