Over the past several months, I have been increasingly aware of rising food costs. This is especially since I don't make regular trips to the grocery store. I usually go once a month and sometimes once every other month. Yesterday, I went because I was out of a couple things (I really don't like to be out of anything) and I needed something for a recipe that I wanted to try. So I was in town anyway and decided that would be a good time to swing by the store. A couple things were on sale so I picked those up while I was there. Here is what I purchased:
2 quarts of active culture buttermilk on sale
4 large jars of peanut butter
1 bag of cherries on sale
2 boxes of lemon jello
2 boxes of cream cheese
16 cans of tuna fish on sale
2 pounds of lunch meat on sale
1 bag of chicken wings
That is it, that's all I got and my bill was 102.00 dollars! Now folks, look at that list. There is not enough food there for a weeks worth of groceries to feed a family. That was simply a few odds and ends, so I simply can't imagine what families are paying for a week's worth of groceries. Of course, we have all been warned that this was coming and I have been passing those warnings on here. But to see this type of food inflation is astounding. What is more astounding is the fact that this is just the beginning, it is going to get worse. So thank you Lord for my garden and my goats. That you Lord for my bunnies and my chickens. Without them I am not sure how we would eat much of anything. I know I have done grocery tips before, but I decided that now is a good time to re-iterate my top tips to save money on food. I think more and more people need it.
1. Shop at discount grocery stores, often called bent and dent stores. Many things are marked down and there is nothing wrong with any of it. Most things are much cheaper than a regular grocery chain and some things are about the same price.
2. By produce from the farmer's market. I have always noticed that prices at the farmer's market were way below grocery store prices. The only thing is they only have what is in season in your area.
3. Keep a well stocked pantry so that you only purchase what is on sale and never really need anything. Hence the reason for me buying so much tuna fish yesterday.
4. Grow your own. Even if you have a small backyard assess what you might use the most and grow it, lots of it. I once knew a family that used lots of tomato products; canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup etc. There back deck of their very small backyard every summer was a jungle of tomatoes grown in containers. She used those tomatoes for every tomato product that they used and put up all those products so that she never had to buy any from the store. She saved a bunch with just tomato plants. She also worked full time.
5. Take advantage of pick your own farms. Make a family outing to a farm and pick your own produce and put up enough to last at least a few months if not until the next harvest. Last year we went peach picking. We spend 70 dollars and got enough peaches to last through the year, a basket of plums, a basket of nectarines, a couple of cantaloupe and a couple other little things. We had a trunk load of food coming back home. I know prices have gone up, but pick your own farms are going to rise at a much slower rate than grocery stores. So I would imagine 8 dollars would get the same trunk load. We had fresh peaches until we were sick of them and I put up enough to last through the year. All for that little bit of money.
I have tons more tips but those are the biggest ways I have found to save money and still eat well. I am still getting over yesterday's sticker shock. I think I will go hug my juvenile delinquent goats now and talk nice to my tomato plants. Blessings from the farm, Kat