Friday, February 1, 2013

Homesteading: Another Reason Why We Have Chosen to Move to a Home with Land, it's about saving money - Part 2

Earlier this week I made my way to the co-op where I purchase the majority of my food during the winter months. I hadn't been there in a while, trying my best to make the food we had in our home last as long as possible.  We've been eating up the last of the root vegetables and canned items we had in our "root cellar" from our garden last summer.

I had my grocery list in hand from the menu plan I made for the next couple of weeks. So very thankful I took the time to make a menu plan and a grocery list so I knew exactly what I needed, because if there is one place it's easy to overspend (at least in my world) it's at the co-op. I grabbed my cart and headed over to the fresh veggie area, bypassing most of the fruits, because I know that for the value veggies are more nutritious and filling. The items I was planning on purchasing were fairly simple; broccoli, cauliflower, greens and so on.

As I stood in front of some of the veggies I grabbed a bundle of broccoli and then looked at the price and honestly it's likely my jaw dropped. Prices had gone up and not by a little. I took my broccoli over to the scale to see how much it weighed. I quickly realized that for me to buy enough broccoli for a meal for my family I would spend a little under $15. Not going to happen. It can't happen, we can't afford to spend that much money on one item of food for one meal. I continued to move down the vegetable line and was amazed at just how many items had seen price increases in the last couple of months. How can people afford this... wait, many of us can't.

So now what? I could try heading to one of the local grocery stores and see what prices are, but for me food is not just for the stomach it's an investment into our overall health. I prefer a healthy family with our money going towards what we eat instead of towards the doctor. So for me personally standard grocery store food is out. It's simply missing the nutrients our bodies need. 

Our garden in August 2012

This is where my next reason for moving to a home with land comes in. I wanted a place where we can grow our own food and raise our own animals, because we needed a way to cut our food expenses. Plain and simple, it's far cheaper to grow your own food if it's done properly. For instance, a seed packet of lettuce greens cost $2-3 and I get at least 25 bunches of lettuce from it. Alternatively I can go to the store and buy 1 bunch of lettuce for $3-$4 at the co-op. Hmm... I think I'll go with the first option. Yes, it takes more work. There is also a learning curve to figure just how best to do it to create the most nutrient food possible. Of course there is no reason you have to move to the country to grow your own food. It's actually quite amazing to see how much can be grown on a city lot (see here), but the country was the best place for us.

Summer produce from the garden.
Because we are meat eaters, it's not enough in my mind to grow veggies and fruit, I want us also to be able to produce at least some of the meat we consume as well. This again comes back to saving money and also quality control. Animals husbandry is a bit harder to learn, especially when wanting to not rely on purchased grains and hays as a source of food for the animals, but we are learning. So far we have started with the chickens, getting fresh eggs and meat. Next in the plan is several pigs and lambs. If we can do it right, we can sell a bit extra of what we raise to recover our initial investments and any feed costs we do accrue. This summer is going to be spent prepping some of the land we do have to grow grains for our own animals to further lower our costs.


Our Old English Cock, the head boy of our flock.
In the end who doesn't want to save money. This is how we are doing it. We purchased 19 acres of land with a lovely home for the same price as our small one and a half story home on .13 acre lot in town. Making this move is going to allow us to drastically reduce our food expenses, which were rising exponentially and hopefully in the process we'll also be eating far more nutrient dense food as well.








Homesteading: Why we have chosen to move to a home with land - Part 1

7 comments:

  1. You go girl! Love your blog....glad i stumbled upon it looking for healthy recipes! :)

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  2. One more thing....regarding your coconut flour yellow cake.... i anticipate i could make cupcakes with this recipe? Don't see why not.... just wondering if you have any thoughts, or if you've actually done that? Thanks!! Oh and do you have a good chocolate icing recipe? :)

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    1. Hi Debbie,

      I don't see why you couldn't do cupcakes. They won't rise like crazy, but should cook fine. I have made my coconut flour chocolate cake into cupcakes for my son's birthday and they turned out great. Fill the cups about 3/4 way full or just a touch more. They may need to cook a bit longer.

      As far as frosting goes I never use a recipe per se. My basic mix is 2 sticks of unsalted, soft butter, 1/3 - 1/2 cup cocoa powder, a pinch of salt (I think the salt helps the frosting be more rich and balances the sugar a bit), 1-2 tsp. of pure vanilla extract, 2-4 4 tbsp. of milk and enough powder sugar to make the consistency I'm looking for, which is usually extra creamy with a nice spreading consistency.
      Cream the butter until nice and light, whip in the rest of the ingredients except the powder sugar and then beat in the powder sugar in by 1/4 - 1/2 cup amounts until you've added enough for the consistency you are looking for. Because I tend to do everything by taste and site, try starting with the lesser amounts of each ingredient and then adding more if you think the frosting needs it. In my experience it's pretty easy to add more to frosting, not so easy to take away. :D

      Hope that helps and makes sense... my youngest doesn't seem to think that I should be typing at the moment! :)

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  3. Plain and simple, it's far cheaper to grow your own food if it's done properly - so true, love it! What growing zone are you in?

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    1. Thanks Anna! I live in zone 3. It's going to present some fun challenges to grow in our shorter season, but we are game!

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  4. It's so encouraging to read this post and it gives me hope too that I can do the same for my family! We also moved to a home w/a larger lot so that I could have more space for gardening (we live in the city) and although it's not as large as yours, with Gods grace & guidance I know we'll figure out how to feed our family of 6 :) And recently we purchased 5 chicks to raise so that we could have our own fresh eggs, they are now 5 weeks old and growing fast! I'm excited about the possibilities!

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