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How to cut the food bill by 80 percent?

 
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Mat Ar wrote:...lose my dependency on Walmart and other Huge food chains(boy, I just know I'm going to catch hell for being dependent on walmart).



I don't think anyone on this forum has the poor taste to 'give hell' on something like that. We are all starting from different places in our lives. Personally I find it wonderfully inspiring to hear about your journey away from the industrial food chain. Thanks for sharing.

 
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R Ranson wrote:

Mat Ar wrote:...lose my dependency on Walmart and other Huge food chains(boy, I just know I'm going to catch hell for being dependent on walmart).



I don't think anyone on this forum has the poor taste to 'give hell' on something like that. We are all starting from different places in our lives. Personally I find it wonderfully inspiring to hear about your journey away from the industrial food chain. Thanks for sharing.



wow, I am glad for that! I have spoken to a few "Green Movement/hippies/budgeteers/free-thinking elitist's"(sorry but I do not know the label for these types) they just about Bludgeoned me to death for shopping at walmart and from then on I have always been wary of anyone involved in any kind of green action...In all honestly I try to live as green as possible and as local and sustainable as possible, but I said walmart to a few and nearly left the conversation in a body-bag(which is the last act of nonsustainability any human uses....Unless they get buried in a Styrofoam coffin) Please excuse my dark sense of humor!
 
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I just wanted to add to the mix that if you have an Indian or Asian market near you, they often have the best price and selection of rice and many varieties of dried legumes and spices (near me at least). Not always organic, but I have been seeing a shift towards that there as well. Plus, you can look at the country of origin, and decide if you will buy that item or not. The benefit to many of the "imported items" (shipping concerns and the not local factor aside) is that many other countries label if a product contains gmos. But I have also found that many of the items they stock are made in the US too.
 
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Wonderful thread - did you manage to reduce your food bill???

All the ideas I read above are good. From our own experience, eating less meat and dairy saves a lot of money. I used to be totally vegan - then had a mid-life crisis and got really into meat!! 6 years later, crisis over, and we are thinking about what we eat again.

Eating a vegan meal - beans and rice for instance - is INCREDIBLY cheap as well as healthy. Even if you only do this a couple of times a week, it will make a difference.

I have an allotment and grow some of our vegetables and fruit. I buy real-free-range eggs from a local farm shop at the same price as pretend-free-range eggs from the supermarket

We try always to cook for leftovers and sometimes cook something that gets extended several times!

When we do have meat, we make use of every scrap and I make stock and freeze it for later. It is surprising how satisfying a vegetable and bean casserole tastes if you add a cup of chicken stock to it.

We also make use of frozen food stores - they sell fish (and chicken) portions that are all different sizes for a fraction of the price in the supermarkets where the portions are all of a similar size.... I mean.... what is that all about?

Our current shopping bills are around £30 a week for 2 people, but this includes a lot of beer....

Linda

 
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Volunteer at your local food pantry. At least here, if you help with freight days and/or handout day, you automatically get a share of food whether or not you qualify. Ours gets a surprising amount of meat and meat products. As well as beans, rice, juices, etc. And fruits and veggies in season (we got one where there was a whole pallet of lugs of oranges. They sent them mid freight so they wouldn't keep. We brought home two lugs of oranges....)

Join a food co-op. Some of them do have you come in and help work, but you usually get quite a large share of harvest. Process the food as it comes in, and preserve for later.

Barter with friends and neighbors over garden season. I get more zukes than I could ever want just for the 'sure I'll take some'.

Make friends with the guy that runs the truck farm. (we have a guy that does 1/3 acre, and he gives us compost fodder and we give him compost). As he clears off crops we get many bags of 'pickings' that are perfectly good.

Buy bulk. I don't mean from the bin, order your own. I buy yeast flakes by the 10 pound bag and organic plump cashews by the 50 pounds (2 25# vacu-brick) that ship to my door. Coconut oil in 5 gallon pails. Etc.

Soup. Save those peelings, that scrap, your gnawed bones, and make soup. That uses up every scrap.
 
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Here are a few websites I like for cheap eating ideas:

Hillbilly Housewife and her $45 Emergency Menu for 4 to 6, as well as her meatier $70 Low Cost Menu for 4 to 6. Of course your actual price will probably be more because 1) inflation during the few years that have passed since she first posted these menus, 2) regional & seasonal price variations, & 3) buying organic & beyond costs more. Still, I think her menus offer a handy place to start, and your cost could be offset a bit if you already have some of the ingredients in your larder.

This other lady calculates cheaper ways to make stuff and has lots of yummy recipes: Budget Bytes

And this one is a vegan meal planning service that uses up everything you buy each week down to the last bit: Meal Mentor
You can try it for free here Plant Based 7-Day Sample Meal Plan
 
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Suggestion I didn't specifically see elsewhere:  start your own informal co-op.  Our church operates a food pantry and 'clothing closet' and is always looking for new outreaches (provided the idea-generator will lead it .  This thread make me think that a bulk food distribution / co-op might be a good spin off; certainly a great community resource.

Also, a cousin from Santa Rosa, CA told me about Slow Food USA funding a community apple press for free community use.  Web search brought up: http://www.slowfoodrr.org/projects/sebastopol-gravenstein-apple-presidium/sebastopol-community-apple-press/     "Slow Food Russian River operates the Sebastopol Community Apple Press at the Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm in Sebastopol during apple season – from August through October. Use of the press is a free community service."

And https://www.slowfoodusa.org/  explains their Campaign:

Together around specific issues, we campaign to make cultural shifts for food that is good, clean, and fair for all. Join us!

School Gardens: We educate and grow the next generation of food-aware individuals.
Slow Meat: We work to improve animal welfare and reduce the impact of eating meat on the environment.
Biodiversity: We promote sustainable agriculture, support small-scale food producers, and preserve traditional foods and knowledge, through our Ark of Taste and Presidia (groups of artisan producers).

Sounds like a pairing with many permie ideas.....

 
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