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$50 per week food budget

 
greenhorn
Posts: 11
Location: High Plains of Southeastern Colorado, Zone 6a
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@ Deb Rebel, I do some of what you do too!

Here are my money saving ideas;

I have a soy machine and make dairy products, tofu and okara. The machine makes great soup!

I call our grocery store manager a few days ahead of the truck to order cases. We pay $2.00/case over store cost.

We buy 40-50# cases of mixed mature produce for $20. This is the produce that would normally go on discount. We also get the cases of free stuff that's too far gone to sell. I just cut out the spots and blemishes.

We go to town once a month. Every month I order one or two things to bulk up on. So our (my husband and myself) budget stays nearly the same, I just change up what I get.

I dehydrate cases of frozen spinach to save room in the freezer. Cases of bananas (we get a case every month) are pureed then frozen. Dry goods (rice, beans, oats, etc.) are stored in 5-gallon buckets or canning jars.  

Last month I bought a case of bok choy and planted the ends, that will last me all winter. Onions, garlic, lettuce, etc., I replant lots of produce.

I buy cheap dog, cat, and chicken food, then supplement. Dogs and cats get eggs, chickens free range, then if anyone is looking off I just get whatever is needed.

I buy online a good bit. I compare online prices with what I can get in town.

I'm currently making sourdough starter to dehydrate and jar. We shall see how that works out.

I make seitan from all purpose flour.

I use Cronometer to watch that our nutrition is on track.

I buy black oil sunflower seeds (bird food) and grow them for sprouts.

I don't soak beans. (I do soak soybeans headed to the machine.)

I don't blanch anything. I rotate the freezer foods every few months.

My husband's not a fan of lentils so I make them into burgers and meat-less loaves.

I cook on a rocket stove and use a haybox as much as possible.

I reuse water as much as possible. Fresh water is for ingesting or bathing, rinse water goes to be washing water (biocompatible soap, and I only use soap as needed), then when I've done everything I can think of with the water, it goes to the garden.

I use baking soda and vinegar for most body cleaning, hands get soap as needed (like for cooking). I shave with the turn of the seasons. My husband doesn't shave, and we don't cut out hair. No makeup or anything like that.

I make vinegar.

I use family cloths and a bucket toilet.

I think that's everything, from one end to the other! LOL
 
greenhorn
Posts: 8
fish chicken bee
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I have greatly reduced our small family food expenses in the start of winter here by checking out the dumpsters of our local small town grocery store. We mostly get a box of veggies and fruits mostly pineapples apples strawberry bunching onions potatoes asparagus butternut and spaghetti squash. I think we have a stockpile of 100 lbs of potatoes and apples each in the cellar. There's also the addition of baby foods, yogurt, juice, chips and cereals. The best times to pick are right before noon and the day or morning of the dumpster being dumped. We are friends with the owner of the garbage company that dumps it and here it is not illegal to dumpster dive unless there's a no trespassing sign. hope this help
 
Marshal
Posts: 11873
Location: Pacific Northwest
5187
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
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quote=Belinda Roadley]And even though they say that you shouldn't use old razor blades, I've been using the same ultra cheap razor for pits and legs for nigh over a year now..... that sounds kinda gross, but if that sucker isn't rusty and clogged with gunk, and it still shaves, why replace it??

Amen to this! I only shave my armpits (I've never shaved my legs!), and I've used the same Venus razor since I got married 9 years ago! I tried using a new one, and that worked better for a few shaves, but it seems they flatline after a few uses. The new one and the 9 year old one now work almost exactly the same! Now,granted, I am only shaving a small area and I have to go over it a few times to get all the hairs. But, it works, so I don't worry about it!

Though, my husband also tries to stretch the life of his razors, with less success. The older the razor, the loooooooonger it takes him to shave. Like, twice as long. So, he gets new razors every month or two, when he's shaving every day or two.
 
greenhorn
Posts: 16
Location: Maryland
2
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I learned a neat trick from a book about food budgeting years ago and it really helps. Start a log of everything you buy, where you bought it, the date, and the price. I kept one for a whole year, but I think 3 months should do. Once you compile the log, you can look at it to see where the items that you buy the most are the cheapest. You might be surprised. Also, you can predict sales by using this method. I noticed that I paid $2.36 a can for my dog food at the beginning of the months, but they would go on sale at the end for $1.15.
Using this method, you can pass on certain items when prices are high, and stock up when they go on sale. Paying more attention to detail really helped me save a bunch at the store.
 
greenhorn
Posts: 21
Location: Orange, CA
4
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I was looking into something like this a while back when a friend and his son were new to food stamps and horrible at adulting. It turns out there is a great cookbook geared at $4 per person per meal. You can buy the book, which in turn donates toward  others getting this, or download the free PDF. The food is simple, nutritious and cheap. I started experimenting with the recipes in this book to get my food budget under control. Having a garden makes it even more cost effective.  You might want to give it a look through. If nothing else I think it will get you thinking in the right direction.

good and cheap
 
rancher
Posts: 2720
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
215
forest garden solar
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$50/wk = $216/month

$25= 30lbs box of chicken
$10= 60 egg
$35= 30lbs of dried beans
$10= 20lbs of rice and or pasta
$10= 30lbs of flour
$10= 20lbs of sugar
$10= 30lbs of milk (3gal)
Sub-Total = $100
You can use the above to make alot of fermented food (kefir soda/milk/yogurt/amakaze/tempeh/etc), and you can bake, fry, steam, boil, broil, etc, etc, salt/sweeten

$30 Vegetable (squash, white potatoes, carrots, cabbage, etc)
$30 Greens (Spinach, Kale, Collard, etc)
$20 bag of dog food
$20 bag of cat food

$16 for Tiolet Paper, baking soda, etc




 
greenhorn
Posts: 51
1
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Su Ba wrote: I ended up buying chicken necks from the local mini slaughterhouse/butcher for the cats. They were incredibly cheap. I had to buy them in a 100 pound frozen block, so I had to learn to can them....



Wow... up here, thighs and drums are cheaper than necks, backs, and gizzards/hearts.  Wings are MORE than breast.

Crazy!
and totally backwards from when I was a meatcutter.
 
rancher
Posts: 835
Location: Denmark 57N
196
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Brad Hengen wrote:

Su Ba wrote: I ended up buying chicken necks from the local mini slaughterhouse/butcher for the cats. They were incredibly cheap. I had to buy them in a 100 pound frozen block, so I had to learn to can them....



Wow... up here, thighs and drums are cheaper than necks, backs, and gizzards/hearts.  Wings are MORE than breast.

Crazy!
and totally backwards from when I was a meatcutter.



It seems strange doesn't it?! But here breast meat can go on sale to 40dkk a kg,(1 usd is 6.3dkk) a whole chicken frozen (1.1kg) is 21DKK a kg it is possible to get whole leg quarters with backbone for 13.33DKK a kg but hearts and livers are 50dkk a kg and are never on sale. It's the same with pork, choice cuts, here that's loin and belly are often at 30DKK a kg, ribs will set you back 60, tails again 60 and cheeks 80!

For us there is no such thing as cheap cuts, cheap cuts get minced or sold at a premium for some silly reason. I have never seen wings for sale here alone, processed yes but not plain. Oh and mince costs the same as loin.. go figure.

We have two dogs and two cats, cats get cheapo lidl dried food and all the mice they can catch/eat and the dogs get raw, which is the cheap chicken legs and then the pluck from the slaughterhouse (out the back door at closing)
 
bartender
Posts: 3032
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
749
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Carrie Nicole wrote:
The healthiest and most long lived dog ate a diet of rice, lentils, potatoes and whatever garden veggies were avail at the time. Dogs are actually not obligate carnivores, they are scavengers, omnivores. Travel to tropical countries where stray dogs are numerous will show that they, like humans, will go for fruit.



Was looking over this excellent old thread and wanted to share an anecdote about one of my dogs.  She goes out into the woods and gets dropped Kieffer pears from under the ancient pear tree on this property, brings them home and gnaws on them as if they are a great treasure.  We call them her "pear bones" because she guards and protects them just like they were a fresh meaty beef bone.
 
greenhorn
Posts: 452
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plant lots of fruits, nuts, herbs, veggies, secure those chickens and expand on critters.
real homesteading
 
greenhorn
Posts: 245
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
22
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Anne Miller wrote:Usually women do not eat soy due to it messing up their estrogen. The below article doesn't mention that although it gives other reason for not eating soy.



Men shouldn't either, unless they like turning into soyboys (low testosterone). In particular, neither should anyone pregnant with a male infant; high phytoestrogen intake can cause deformities.

This is probably the best compendium of research on the effects of phytoestrogens and related compounds (eg. lignins). Ignore the hypey tone and read the linked studies.
http://web.archive.org/web/20110812014148/http://www.soyonlineservice.co.nz/

If you chart obesity levels vs the switch from lard to soybean oil, there's a perfect correlation. It only takes about 5% thyroid inhibition to cause insidious weight gain and a host of other health issues. (Obesity is not a cause, it's a co-symptom of all the problems associated with it; the research makes this abundantly clear, if you read ALL of it and not just for one specialty.)

Note: Flaxseed is 4x worse than soy (almost 4x as much phytoestrogen AND far more is absorbed). When I was feeding my kennel dog food that was high in flaxseed, fertility was reduced by half, and I had one or two deformed puppies in every litter (major issues like open skulls, open midlines, and missing genitals). Switched to a product free of soy and flax, and the problem stopped. Same bloodline, same dogs.

Soy-based dog food gave rise to the myth that breeding is hard on bitches. No, being starved for protein is hard on bitches. (Soy protein is mostly used by gut bacteria and not absorbed by the intestines, plus can inhibit absorption of other nutrients, notably iron and calcium. Also causes mucus production, which protects parasites.) Put nursing bitches on a soy-free diet even with lower nominal protein content, and instead of turning into a bag of bones like they do on soy-based diets, they'll gain weight.

My sister's allergist says soy-based baby formula is the main cause of plant and pollen allergies later in life, since soy protein is a broad-spectrum allergen. (Gee, I'm so surprised... I've been saying this for decades.)

So nope... soy is not a miracle food; rather, it's suitable for making plastic and growing pigs, but not for eating by humans or dogs.

 
rancher
Posts: 281
Location: East tn
72
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So glad to stumble across this old thread. Great advice in here!

One observation on bulk buying, you do not have to be mormon to buy from the lds canneries. They sell at cost in bulk. 50 lbs at a time dry goods like rice/beans/sugar/dried apples.
 
Rez Zircon
greenhorn
Posts: 245
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
22
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J Davis wrote:So glad to stumble across this old thread. Great advice in here!

One observation on bulk buying, you do not have to be mormon to buy from the lds canneries. They sell at cost in bulk. 50 lbs at a time dry goods like rice/beans/sugar/dried apples.



Wow, I didn't know that. Unfortunately no LDS stores near me, but the best tip of the day!

So I looked 'em up:
Locations:
https://providentliving.churchofjesuschrist.org/self-reliance/food-storage/home-storage-center-locations?lang=eng
Products:
https://providentliving.churchofjesuschrist.org/food-storage/home-storage-center-locations-map?lang=eng

A site with a whole bunch of general info:
http://prepared-housewives.com/lds-cannery-locations-questions-answers/


 
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