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>A new month, a new year and a new time for food tracking. If you missed my post finishing up December food tracking you can find it here.
In December, we spent a total of $510.68 on food. This included food cooked at home and food from restaurants. Our finances are looking pretty tight for January so our food expenditures will be even less. We have a well stocked freezer right now and some pantry items such as beans, grains, and flour so I do not anticipate having any issues preparing nourishing meals even with the smaller budget. I was very fortunate in December to be given frozen antelope, elk and venison and fresh fruits and vegetables. I was able to preserve the fruits and vegetables so they will carry over to this month (and beyond) by freezing some and lacto-fermenting some.
So far this month I made a trip to the regular grocery store (Albertson*s) for a few things. Here’s what I brought home.
- 2 pounds Brown Rice
- 5 pounds Unbleached Flour 8
- 8 pounds Regular Sugar
- Whole Coconut Milk (1 can)
- Tuna (2 cans)
- Vanilla (2 jars that were buy one get one)
- 2 pounds Tillamook Cheddar Cheese (Tillamook cheeses are antibiotic and growth hormone free)2 pounds of Butter
- 2 gallons Whole Milk
- 24 ounces Daisy Sour Cream
- Frozen Chopped Spinach (1 box)
- 1 Fillet of Yellow fin Tuna (frozen- to use later in the month for sushi)
- 1.12 pounds of mushrooms
- 1 head of garlic
- 2 bell peppers (not in season but we like them on pizza. I chop them up and freeze them to use through the month)
- 6 pounds of onions
- 10 pounds of potatoes
- Kale (one head)
- 2.34 pounds of cabbage (one head)
- 1.41 pounds of bananas
Total cost: $67.35
You probably noticed a few questionable purchases for a real food menu. Namely sugar, flour, coffee and milk.
I use the sugar for kombucha and water kefir. I would 100% prefer to use organic cane sugar but our budget at this time doesn’t have the room in it for this. I buy the regular processed white sugar when it is on sale ($1.88 for 4 pounds was what I paid) and it lasts for a long time. The least expensive organic cane sugar I have found is my area is just under $5 for 3 pounds. It is rare that we use that sugar for anything else (at Christmas time my daughter made some cookies using regular sugar to take to an event). For the rest of our sugar needs we use Sucanat, organic cane sugar and raw honey. My thinking is that with the kombucha and the water kefir ‘most’ of the sugar is eaten up by the cultures of bacteria and yeast. Again, this is not optimum but a choice that we make for now.
I buy the flour to use for rolling out dough and occasionally when I am trying to convert a recipe from something that uses white flour to whole wheat I’ll mix it 50/50 the first time to introduce my family to things slowly. This method has worked well for me to be able to get my family eating whole wheat tortillas and other things. With having older children I have found that the more familiar a food is the easier it is for them not to turn up their nose at it. This is one of the baby step methods we have used and it works for our family.
Coffee. I know I shouldn’t, but I love it. It does not belong in our diet but I’m not yet ready to give it up.
Milk- we drink raw milk and I use whole milk that is hormone and antibiotic free for dairy kefir, yogurt, buttermilk and cooking. Another compromise until we can either afford enough raw milk for all our dairy needs or we get dairy goats (something I want to do but my husband is not sure is a good choice for us at this time). I hope that by culturing the milk that it is putting back in some of the enzymes that pasteurization kills. I don’t even want to think about what homogenization does to it right now.
As I mentioned, this month we will be eating out of the freezer and pantry quite a bit. I was tempted to take this pantry challenge that Money Saving Mom and Life as Mom are co-hosting (I heard about it from Angela) but since I knew I did need some things and I couldn’t figure out how to completely not buy anything (like milk and produce) I’m not doing the challenge (officially). Unofficially, I do look forward to cleaning out a freezer a bit and enjoying some of the goodies we have in there. I took a full freezer inventory the other day and have made my meal plan for the month. It looks pretty good. I will need to purchase a few things that I didn’t get the other day (because either they didn’t carry what I wanted or the price was insane) and of course, I’ll be picking up my regular cow share. I do not think that our Co-Op is putting in an Azure Standard order this month but if we do I’ll place a small order through there.