Sunday, November 02, 2008

Food Planning For Winter On A Budget

The Grocery Game and Coupon Mom are web sites you join to save money on your groceries using sales and coupons that are posted on their sites. Anybody could do the leg work themselves to find this information out, but for the measley five bucks a month the Grocery Game charges it's easier for most folks to pay for the service. Lots of people love it and save tons of money on their grocery bills. Which is very good. It made me think maybe I could subscribe and save some on ours..........

Well, what was I thinking? I found out from the Get Rich Slowly blog that it only pays if you eat store bought processed foods. If you are eating organic, natural, fresh or bulk foods there are no coupons or deals for those. Mostly boxed foods, frozen foods, new products that they want you to try, etc. So basically, the bottom line is if you are a homesteader or self-sufficient type of person, you will not want to subscribe to to a site like that-unless you join to save on pet food, paper products, personal products like shampoo and toothpaste, household cleaning products. Which is why I might still join. But not for the food products unless it is a condiment or something I do buy at a store.

I like to grow as much as our food as we can. What we can't grow or what crop fails that year I try to buy locally so I can still put it up for the winter. Yes, I do try to put up enough food to get us through from one harvest season to the next. We keep increasing our raised beds and hopefully will be adding fruit trees and berry bushes this coming year. We had to get our land cleared first, which my husband did himself with no equipment except a chainsaw and manual tools.

This harvest season I was able to can wild elderberry juice, wild blackberry jam, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, beets and applesauce. Now that the gardening part is over, I will try to acquire meats to can. I have been buying store bought meats, as I am able to get them at low prices. Low prices being the bottom line for me at this time. Now if I was wealthier.......I'd be buying only organic, pasture raised meats.

Canning isn't the only way I store foods. I have a root cellar that I wrote about on here a few days ago. So I store foods also. This year I have stored potatoes (had an awesome potato crop!), acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkins, onions and herbs and hot peppers that I dried.
All summer we lived on the vegetables that we can't store, the zucchini, yellow squash, dandelions, plaintain, lambs quarters, lettuce, mesculin, cucumbers, peppers, salad tomatoes, new potatoes, swiss chard and fresh wild berries.

Living in the middle of the forest adds to our food plan immensely, as there is so much available out there. I use pine needles for tea and that is also a good way to get a high dose of vitamin C. I haven't even begun to make a dent in how much is really out there. I am learning more though every season and it is something I really enjoy. After all ,God put it there for us to use for our health and our food.

One thing that really got me thinking about this is that yesterday my husband cut down a tree that the top of it had fallen in the wind last week on our horses' fence line. Inside the tree was bird's nest packed full of bedding and elderberries. He felt so bad! Hopefully, that bird had made other nests in case of something like this happening. I know chickadees do make many, so I hope he planned for that type of emergency. Which is why people too, should not depend on grocery stores or freezers......both can go down.


"He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."Romans 8:11

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