Author Topic: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!  (Read 66335 times)

wenchsenior

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #200 on: September 07, 2015, 09:15:08 AM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

This. The fine is several thousand bucks.

Bendigirl

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #201 on: September 07, 2015, 05:43:48 PM »
I hear ya on the egg allergy.  I am allergic also, when I eat too many I break out in hives....and. I body wants to break out in hives.  That allergy mystery took years to solve.  I eat very few eggs, van get away with it every once in awhile.

Love the fact that you and your wife are up and running with all the great advice given here so far.

Faraday

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #202 on: September 08, 2015, 02:41:47 AM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

This. The fine is several thousand bucks.

You people 'effin kill me. Does no one do a google search before they start tippy-tapping here?

http://www.fws.gov/permits/
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/113482/legal-elimination-of-hawks-and-owls


PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #203 on: September 08, 2015, 03:47:05 AM »
I hear ya on the egg allergy.  I am allergic also, when I eat too many I break out in hives....and. I body wants to break out in hives.  That allergy mystery took years to solve.  I eat very few eggs, van get away with it every once in awhile.

Love the fact that you and your wife are up and running with all the great advice given here so far.
Thanks, Bendigirl. The support is awesome. :)

Monkey Uncle

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #204 on: September 08, 2015, 03:52:35 AM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

This. The fine is several thousand bucks.

You people 'effin kill me. Does no one do a google search before they start tippy-tapping here?

http://www.fws.gov/permits/
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/113482/legal-elimination-of-hawks-and-owls

So have you actually obtained a depredation permit from the FWS?

wenchsenior

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #205 on: September 08, 2015, 07:15:46 AM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

This. The fine is several thousand bucks.

You people 'effin kill me. Does no one do a google search before they start tippy-tapping here?

http://www.fws.gov/permits/
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/113482/legal-elimination-of-hawks-and-owls

So have you actually obtained a depredation permit from the FWS?

Heh. Don't need a google search with a research specialty in raptors. No, you should be fine with a depredation permit (although we raised free range chickens for years and never lost any to hawks, though RTHs nested in the area. Coops, though, can definitely be a challenge).

As to fines, I have worked with several FWS law enforcement agents who have busted people for illegal killing of raptors and made the fines stick in the thousands of dollars. So that definitely happens at least some of the time.

Faraday

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #206 on: September 08, 2015, 01:21:28 PM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

This. The fine is several thousand bucks.

You people 'effin kill me. Does no one do a google search before they start tippy-tapping here?

http://www.fws.gov/permits/
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/113482/legal-elimination-of-hawks-and-owls

So have you actually obtained a depredation permit from the FWS?

Heh. Don't need a google search with a research specialty in raptors. No, you should be fine with a depredation permit (although we raised free range chickens for years and never lost any to hawks, though RTHs nested in the area. Coops, though, can definitely be a challenge).

As to fines, I have worked with several FWS law enforcement agents who have busted people for illegal killing of raptors and made the fines stick in the thousands of dollars. So that definitely happens at least some of the time.

You are already factually incorrect, so don't expect me to bow down in awe.
And BTW: we have totally hijacked this thread.  Apologies to the OP.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #207 on: September 08, 2015, 02:43:45 PM »
I recommend chickens. Ducks are just too favored by predators. Right now I've got a HUGE Red-Tailed Hawk trying to eat my girls, so I've had to keep the girls penned in more and hang out with them outside with my rifle. You don't want that kind of trouble.

You do realize that all birds of prey are protected by federal law?  The fine for killing a hawk costs a lot more than building an enclosure with a chicken wire top over it.

This. The fine is several thousand bucks.

You people 'effin kill me. Does no one do a google search before they start tippy-tapping here?

http://www.fws.gov/permits/
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/113482/legal-elimination-of-hawks-and-owls

So have you actually obtained a depredation permit from the FWS?

Heh. Don't need a google search with a research specialty in raptors. No, you should be fine with a depredation permit (although we raised free range chickens for years and never lost any to hawks, though RTHs nested in the area. Coops, though, can definitely be a challenge).

As to fines, I have worked with several FWS law enforcement agents who have busted people for illegal killing of raptors and made the fines stick in the thousands of dollars. So that definitely happens at least some of the time.

You are already factually incorrect, so don't expect me to bow down in awe.
And BTW: we have totally hijacked this thread.  Apologies to the OP.
Kids, move your pissing contest some place that people give a shit about it. This thread is not that place.

Back to groceries.

Have any of you gotten into foraging? Have you had luck with it? Is the effort worth the harvest? Is it a hobby or has it become a part of your diet?
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 02:49:52 PM by PFHC »

Bracken_Joy

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #208 on: September 08, 2015, 03:12:49 PM »
Have any of you gotten into foraging? Have you had luck with it? Is the effort worth the harvest? Is it a hobby or has it become a part of your diet?

Well, depends on your definition. Mushrooming is a pretty common hobby out here at the right season, so my family usually takes a trip out once per year. Obviously need to know what you're doing with mushrooms though, they can be dangerous! Early spring I'll go out for fiddleheads once or twice- they make a great stir fry, they're like asparagus. And of course in summer I pick blackberries, but I don't know how much that is "foraging" so much as "they are dang near everywhere and delicious".

We also hunt, fish, and crawdad.

swick

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #209 on: September 08, 2015, 03:14:42 PM »
Mod Note: Reminder to keep contributions positive, proactive and related to the OP.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #210 on: September 08, 2015, 03:17:23 PM »
Have any of you gotten into foraging? Have you had luck with it? Is the effort worth the harvest? Is it a hobby or has it become a part of your diet?

I've learned how to identify a lot of wild edibles but (in my case) there's not much near me in sufficient volume to make a special trip worth it. We will forage the odd raspberry or mulberry handful if we spot them out and about hiking.

There are gleanable apple trees around but usually they're so wormy and disease-riddled that any usable fruit takes a TON of work to get at. Really depends on where you live. It is worth learning about it - until you learn, you're blind to any potential bounty that's right in front of you. Many areas have wildcrafting classes - it's becoming a bit more popular lately.

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #211 on: September 08, 2015, 03:21:10 PM »
This is another place where the local cooperative extension would have knowledge and/or resources. I know that where I was, Brunswick area, they would have nature walks and if you got the right naturalist, you could steer the conversation to foraging. The oldest and most entertaining book on the subject is "Stalking The Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. He wrote two others as well: "Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop" and "Stalking The Healthful Herbs". Also, on the book front, make sure you install Overdrive on your computer and/or tablet. The Maine library system has a subscription to this online resource. Install the app, type in your library card number, and you will have access to thousands of books.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #212 on: September 08, 2015, 03:35:44 PM »
This is another place where the local cooperative extension would have knowledge and/or resources. I know that where I was, Brunswick area, they would have nature walks and if you got the right naturalist, you could steer the conversation to foraging. The oldest and most entertaining book on the subject is "Stalking The Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. He wrote two others as well: "Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop" and "Stalking The Healthful Herbs". Also, on the book front, make sure you install Overdrive on your computer and/or tablet. The Maine library system has a subscription to this online resource. Install the app, type in your library card number, and you will have access to thousands of books.

Oh! Yes, now that pbkmaine mentiones it, I guess we do lots of "wild" (feral, more like) herbs, like chamomile, chicory, lemon balm, and mint.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #213 on: September 08, 2015, 06:44:05 PM »
Have any of you gotten into foraging? Have you had luck with it? Is the effort worth the harvest? Is it a hobby or has it become a part of your diet?

Well, depends on your definition. Mushrooming is a pretty common hobby out here at the right season, so my family usually takes a trip out once per year. Obviously need to know what you're doing with mushrooms though, they can be dangerous! Early spring I'll go out for fiddleheads once or twice- they make a great stir fry, they're like asparagus. And of course in summer I pick blackberries, but I don't know how much that is "foraging" so much as "they are dang near everywhere and delicious".

We also hunt, fish, and crawdad.
I would love to get into mushrooms. I met a 17 year old young man on the airplane once and he spoke about mushrooming in Maine. He said it was a mushroomers paradise. :) Said there are only about 20 species in Maine that are harmful, so it is not as dangerous as one would think. Obviously, you need to know what you're getting into... but, he was making the point that there is no need to be intimidated.

My son and I started getting into fishing just this year. The mackerel are supposed to be still running when I get home, so hopefully we can fill the freezer!
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 06:59:10 PM by PFHC »

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #214 on: September 08, 2015, 06:50:47 PM »
Have any of you gotten into foraging? Have you had luck with it? Is the effort worth the harvest? Is it a hobby or has it become a part of your diet?

I've learned how to identify a lot of wild edibles but (in my case) there's not much near me in sufficient volume to make a special trip worth it. We will forage the odd raspberry or mulberry handful if we spot them out and about hiking.

There are gleanable apple trees around but usually they're so wormy and disease-riddled that any usable fruit takes a TON of work to get at. Really depends on where you live. It is worth learning about it - until you learn, you're blind to any potential bounty that's right in front of you. Many areas have wildcrafting classes - it's becoming a bit more popular lately.
There a great nature center just down the road from us that offering foraging classes. We have talked about going. We'll slap it on the to do list.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #215 on: September 08, 2015, 06:55:43 PM »
This is another place where the local cooperative extension would have knowledge and/or resources. I know that where I was, Brunswick area, they would have nature walks and if you got the right naturalist, you could steer the conversation to foraging. The oldest and most entertaining book on the subject is "Stalking The Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. He wrote two others as well: "Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop" and "Stalking The Healthful Herbs". Also, on the book front, make sure you install Overdrive on your computer and/or tablet. The Maine library system has a subscription to this online resource. Install the app, type in your library card number, and you will have access to thousands of books.
pbk, you are the best! That Overdrive app sounds amazing! Been looking for a way to get books from the library in electronic form. This is perfect!

My folks used to read Euell. I'll have to check him out.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #216 on: September 08, 2015, 06:58:13 PM »
This is another place where the local cooperative extension would have knowledge and/or resources. I know that where I was, Brunswick area, they would have nature walks and if you got the right naturalist, you could steer the conversation to foraging. The oldest and most entertaining book on the subject is "Stalking The Wild Asparagus" by Euell Gibbons. He wrote two others as well: "Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop" and "Stalking The Healthful Herbs". Also, on the book front, make sure you install Overdrive on your computer and/or tablet. The Maine library system has a subscription to this online resource. Install the app, type in your library card number, and you will have access to thousands of books.

Oh! Yes, now that pbkmaine mentiones it, I guess we do lots of "wild" (feral, more like) herbs, like chamomile, chicory, lemon balm, and mint.
]
I would love to learn to harvest wild herbs. So much to learn!

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #217 on: September 08, 2015, 07:36:05 PM »
More on Overdrive and the Maine State Library System:
http://www.maine.gov/msl/topics/

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #218 on: September 08, 2015, 08:20:11 PM »
More on Overdrive and the Maine State Library System:
http://www.maine.gov/msl/topics/
You are unreal. Thanks! Just sent these links to my wife. This is great stuff.

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #219 on: September 08, 2015, 08:37:47 PM »
Oh, There's more. Most Maine libraries offer Family Museum and Park Passes. Just go to the circulation desk and ask for them. Maine libraries tend to be centers of community activities. Curtis Library, my old library in Brunswick, was amazing. DH and I could have spent every day there... Crafts Club, Great Books Club, Mystery Books Club. Not to mention the speakers. And if for some reason your community does not have a great library, check the surrounding area. Most libraries allow out-of-towners to belong, for a price. Curtis charges $65 per family per year. But considering the value you get, it's cheap.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #220 on: September 09, 2015, 06:26:40 AM »
Oh, There's more. Most Maine libraries offer Family Museum and Park Passes. Just go to the circulation desk and ask for them. Maine libraries tend to be centers of community activities. Curtis Library, my old library in Brunswick, was amazing. DH and I could have spent every day there... Crafts Club, Great Books Club, Mystery Books Club. Not to mention the speakers. And if for some reason your community does not have a great library, check the surrounding area. Most libraries allow out-of-towners to belong, for a price. Curtis charges $65 per family per year. But considering the value you get, it's cheap.
You're my new favorite person on the internet. Period.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2015, 02:35:44 PM by PFHC »

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #221 on: September 09, 2015, 06:50:03 AM »
Awwwwww.

wenchsenior

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #222 on: September 09, 2015, 08:25:23 AM »
More on Overdrive and the Maine State Library System:
http://www.maine.gov/msl/topics/

I haven't looked into the specific books they offer that might be of interest in this particular case,  but anyone can get access to the Philadelphia electronic collection (Overdrive) with a 50$ annual membership. Whether it's worth it will depend on how much you use it, but it has dramatically increased my access to electronic books/audiobooks from the relatively small collection in my town.

You could browse, and see if it looks worth it.

http://freelibrary.lib.overdrive.com/32A80114-9D67-4F1E-A416-726507117812/10/50/en/Default.htm

Kimchi Bleu

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #223 on: September 09, 2015, 09:42:57 AM »
I've been reading this thread with interest as I am trying to reduce our grocery spending as well.  We have a few food allergies to deal with too.  One question - have you tried an Asian market to see if you can get cheaper rice/nori/produce/tamari there?  I pay a lot less for these items at my local Korean market.

We eat a lot of rice, but hardly eat any beans.  I do make chicken fried rice a lot.  My last rice cooker went kaput so I invested in an Instant Pot.  I love it but still have my old crock pot as well since I like to make my stock in that.  One suggestion I have is to make a double batch of favorites.  That way I can freeze it for future use.  Easy to just take it out and warm it up.

Another suggestion is to have breakfast for dinner and to have a meatless meal.  DH and kids don't feel full after a meatless meal so they will have a snack or two before going to bed so YMMV.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #224 on: September 09, 2015, 02:42:27 PM »
I've been reading this thread with interest as I am trying to reduce our grocery spending as well.  We have a few food allergies to deal with too.  One question - have you tried an Asian market to see if you can get cheaper rice/nori/produce/tamari there?  I pay a lot less for these items at my local Korean market.
We'll check it out. Thanks!
Quote
Another suggestion is to have breakfast for dinner and to have a meatless meal.
We don't eat much meat, but the breakfast for dinner sounds fun. :) Thanks for the ideas!

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #225 on: September 09, 2015, 02:50:02 PM »
I didn't have time to navigate the whole thread, but my first nutritious/low-cost food idea is always soup.  Meat takes on a minor role (if at all).  I typically do a soup-making day and make 2-3 kinds, freeze lots of it for later.  I like having one prep day.  I cuts down on mess and when I'm chopping veggies I like to do them all at once.

Eggs are my second suggestion.  A cheap and complete protein.  My lawn mower repair people have free-range chickens and sell theirs for $1.50/dozen.  Can't beat it!  I throw everything in eggs -- especially lots of veg.

I bought a neat Corelle soup mug with a lid and a vent in the top (which pops closed) for transporting soup to and from work for lunches.

As for where you shop -- I see you're a Sam's shopper.  I'm a Costco "true believer."  I also shop Aldi pretty heavily when we're close to one.

I've become more conscious of not wasting things -- even little bits of veg.  That's why I like soup.  If I have something that's about ready to go bad, but still okay I usually try to whip it up into something a freeze it so I don't have to throw food away.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #226 on: September 09, 2015, 07:33:26 PM »
I didn't have time to navigate the whole thread, but my first nutritious/low-cost food idea is always soup.  Meat takes on a minor role (if at all).  I typically do a soup-making day and make 2-3 kinds, freeze lots of it for later.  I like having one prep day.  I cuts down on mess and when I'm chopping veggies I like to do them all at once.

Eggs are my second suggestion.  A cheap and complete protein.  My lawn mower repair people have free-range chickens and sell theirs for $1.50/dozen.  Can't beat it!  I throw everything in eggs -- especially lots of veg.

I bought a neat Corelle soup mug with a lid and a vent in the top (which pops closed) for transporting soup to and from work for lunches.

As for where you shop -- I see you're a Sam's shopper.  I'm a Costco "true believer."  I also shop Aldi pretty heavily when we're close to one.

I've become more conscious of not wasting things -- even little bits of veg.  That's why I like soup.  If I have something that's about ready to go bad, but still okay I usually try to whip it up into something a freeze it so I don't have to throw food away.
Sam's is the only option we have. No Costco with in 5 hours and no Aldi within 7!

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #227 on: October 03, 2015, 03:33:36 AM »
OK! I'm back out to sea and have some time to post the results from our first month. Here they are!

Groceries: $750!
Dining out: $250 (BOO! HISS!!)
Apples: $330 (WHAT?!)
Total: $1330

Groceries: Fing (pr. effing, as in short for fucking) awesome. So stoked about this as it is a savings of $500/month!

Dining out:We did awesome until my parents came for a visit. As in $0 for the first 25 days of the month, then $50/day on average for the days they visited. :/ The big money came when we all went out to eat and we dropped $55/person on an amazing evening. It gave me a little heartburn to spend the money, but, not too much as the experience was awesome. We started the night having fresh river oysters on a deck over looking the bay listening to live music and enjoying a drink. That was followed by a nice walk by the water, then a four course meal at a five star restaurant in our town that specializes in fresh, local, organic, and housemade fare (so good!). We ended the night watching Phoenix (a great movie). So, we dumped some dough for sure... buuuut, made some awesome memories. :)

Apples: You may be wondering wtf, mate? Well, we went to a u-pick and picked 220 lbs of organic Macs! They normally go for $1.79/lb. We got ours for a $1.50, which is a great deal for Maine. This is a big tradition for us every year. We make applesauce and apple scrap vinegar. Tons of it. We made 13 gallons of applesauce and are estimating we will make 10 gallons of vinegar. We're going to try to sell 8 of the gallons of vinegar at $40/gallon (Bragg's goes for $50/gallon). By making $320 on the vinegar, that will bring the cost of the applesauce down to a paltry $.76/gallon! :)

That's it.

I am stoked. Taking the apples and annualizing the cost (even without selling the vinegar) brings our grocery bill for food this month down to $777! Which is a 48% reduction!!! WOOHOO!! Even with adding our nightmare dining out costs ($1027), we still come in WAY below our previous average. How'd we do it? We followed the GGP that I posted earlier. It worked like a charm, too.

Some highlights from September:
  • Bought 3 butternut, 2 acorn squash at $1.29/squash, picked 8 volunteer Delcottas from our compost pile, and was gifted an enormous blue Hubbard. Baked and froze 4 of them for easy sides for my wife.
  • Was gifted 3 gallons of canned tomatoes, 2 gallons of pickles, and 2 gallons of beans from my wife's parent's. They are two completely awesome old Mainers.
  • Made a gallon of homemade ruby red sauerkraut from 2 $1.79 red cabbages. :)
  • Made drop biscuits 100% from our pantry. Froze two family servings of them.
  • Made a gallon of chicken broth from chicken leftovers and froze it.
Some non-food wins:
  • Sold $135 worth of quarter sawn red oak at $3/bf that I had sawn for $.70/bf.
  • Sold a dining room table we inherited for $475. With that and some creative reusing of materials, we were able to redo our 9'6" x 10' master bedroom for a cost of $150! The work even included redesigning and repairing the bed I broke in half due to being drunk on hard cider. :p
Short story long, it was an awesome month! Super stoked.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 09:51:03 PM by PFHC »

Kimchi Bleu

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #228 on: October 03, 2015, 06:44:15 AM »
That's awesome!  I was looking at my food spend for the last year.  My MIL had moved in with us and DH's friend spent 6 months with us as well.  Food bill doubled if not tripled for that time.  MIL is a food hoarder.  Finally had to tell her that I would not be going outside my budget anymore.  I don't know how she is going to handle this, but I can't continue to spend so much $$ on food.  We literally are bursting at the seams with it!

cchrissyy

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #229 on: October 03, 2015, 12:34:12 PM »
that's fabulous!

Goldielocks

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #230 on: October 03, 2015, 12:44:21 PM »
Investigate what your non grass fed milk options are actually feeding the cows and where that milk comes from.

I have never seen a dairy that was not 95% grass or silage based.  Sometimes they add spent brewery grains or potatoe or other ag by products, but nothing I have a problem with.  Eg I could see myself eating it, if I had a cows digestive abilities..

Maybe grass fed label us just a marketing gimmick?  Small farm, no growth hormones,now those labels may have true meaning to you...

ETA...I wrote this before I read the RAW milk bit, which is a different food product from commercial 'grass fed' or 'organic' milk.   My point is that organic, grass fed and regular milk are virtually identical..now... And it is all in the marketing.

RAW Milk yogurt is pretty dangerous, hard to make, etc.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 05:29:38 PM by goldielocks »

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #231 on: October 03, 2015, 12:58:05 PM »
Quote
Sold $135 worth of quarter sawn red oak at $3/bf that I had sawn for $.70/bf.

Hey PFHC, can you describe how you cut your red oak? What tools do you use, and what size are the pieces you sold?

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #232 on: October 03, 2015, 06:21:52 PM »
RAW Milk yogurt is pretty dangerous, hard to make, etc.
We have been making raw yogurt and have been pleased with the results. We feel very comfortable and safe making our own raw milk yogurt and here's why:

The raw milk we get in our area is commercially available and comes from a small, solely grass-fed farm an hour from the house. The milk is analyzed for bacterial content, ensuring that the only bacteria present is beneficial. This is closely regulated by our state government. The yogurt starter we use comes from another small farm 20 minutes from the house and is unpasteurized. It is commercially available, as well, and is subject to the same regulations. Again, we feel very safe about it. Additionally, we do a lot of canning and fermentation and are quite familiar with what it takes to properly sanitize the equipment we use to prevent any contamination by harmful bacteria/molds/viruses/etc.

As a result of the state regulation and our familiarity with sanitization, we feel very comfortable and safe making our own raw milk yogurt. That said, thanks so much for your concern. :)

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #233 on: October 03, 2015, 06:25:34 PM »
Great results!

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #234 on: October 03, 2015, 06:44:57 PM »
That's awesome!
Thanks! We're pretty dang stoked. :)
Quote
I was looking at my food spend for the last year.  My MIL had moved in with us and DH's friend spent 6 months with us as well.  Food bill doubled if not tripled for that time.  MIL is a food hoarder.  Finally had to tell her that I would not be going outside my budget anymore.  I don't know how she is going to handle this, but I can't continue to spend so much $$ on food.  We literally are bursting at the seams with it!
You could ask her to purchase the items she intends on using. Or, just use some good old straight forward talk about it. Let her know your expectations on food spending and how it relates to your financial goals and the reasoning behind all of it. Take a firm stand and stick to your guns.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #235 on: October 03, 2015, 06:47:47 PM »
that's fabulous!
Thanks! We're pumped!

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Goldielocks

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #237 on: October 04, 2015, 12:31:41 AM »
RAW Milk yogurt is pretty dangerous, hard to make, etc.
We have been making raw yogurt and have been pleased with the results. We feel very comfortable and safe making our own raw milk yogurt and here's why:

The raw milk we get in our area is commercially available and comes from a small, solely grass-fed farm an hour from the house. The milk is analyzed for bacterial content, ensuring that the only bacteria present is beneficial. This is closely regulated by our state government. The yogurt starter we use comes from another small farm 20 minutes from the house and is unpasteurized. It is commercially available, as well, and is subject to the same regulations. Again, we feel very safe about it. Additionally, we do a lot of canning and fermentation and are quite familiar with what it takes to properly sanitize the equipment we use to prevent any contamination by harmful bacteria/molds/viruses/etc.

As a result of the state regulation and our familiarity with sanitization, we feel very comfortable and safe making our own raw milk yogurt. That said, thanks so much for your concern. :)

Raw milk yogurt is very difficult to make first because the normal recipe for yogurt involves heating so that the milk protein changes, to make it easier to set.  When I reviewed how startups with cow shares were attempting it, this was a big technical issue, and why most ended up heating the milk anyway, or adding dry milk or gelatin or processed gums.

  How do you get around that step?

I will assume that you have the experience to know if a culture is off, and I agree that making it yourself is safer than buying it...for that reason...

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #238 on: October 04, 2015, 05:22:39 AM »
When I reviewed how startups with cow shares were attempting it, this was a big technical issue, and why most ended up heating the milk anyway, or adding dry milk or gelatin or processed gums.

How do you get around that step?
We didn't worry about the yogurt setting. We usually eat it more like sour cream, i.e. as a topping for potatoes, rice, etc. When it is kind of soupy it mixes in nicely and tastes great.

daymare

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #239 on: October 04, 2015, 09:36:58 AM »
Quote
I would love to get into mushrooms. I met a 17 year old young man on the airplane once and he spoke about mushrooming in Maine. He said it was a mushroomers paradise. :) Said there are only about 20 species in Maine that are harmful, so it is not as dangerous as one would think. Obviously, you need to know what you're getting into... but, he was making the point that there is no need to be intimidated.
PFHC - you need to meet some Russians.  My family and I would always spend most of our late August/early fall weekends picking mushrooms.  So I completely know mushrooms and what's good and what isn't - it's pretty common among Russians to pick them. (And this is all despite the fact that the whole family doesn't eat mushrooms - it's super fun, and all our friends loved us (and we would send back dried mushrooms to my grandparents in Russia).  We used this book - http://www.amazon.com/National-Audubon-Society-American-Mushrooms/dp/0394519922 to learn about new mushrooms.

I know people (who haven't grown up picking them) are super afraid of wild mushrooms and them being poisonous.  My husband was quite reluctant (and I was really offended) to try an amazing mushroom I found when we were vacationing in Yellowstone with friends last year.  But it's actually not so hard to tell which mushrooms are good, and there are heuristics you can use.  Basically, almost all mushrooms with sponges are good.  One (bitter mushroom) has a pinkish sponge and if you put your tongue on the sponge, it's bitter - but it's not poisonous or anything, just not tasty to eat.  Some of the webbed mushrooms are good (especially for pickling) but a lot aren't, especially the ones that are super spindly looking, and the colorful ones with white spots (and sometimes a ring on the stalk) are SUPER poisonous.  The good mushrooms looks good - for instance, I'm attaching the King Bolete, which is basically the best mushroom, and it looks beautiful - thick stalk, great colors on the head.  It's a super fun family activity to head to the woods and pick mushrooms, so I highly recommend it, if you can find someone (probably a Russian) that can teach you about them.

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #241 on: October 04, 2015, 02:35:01 PM »
Quote
I would love to get into mushrooms. I met a 17 year old young man on the airplane once and he spoke about mushrooming in Maine. He said it was a mushroomers paradise. :) Said there are only about 20 species in Maine that are harmful, so it is not as dangerous as one would think. Obviously, you need to know what you're getting into... but, he was making the point that there is no need to be intimidated.
PFHC - you need to meet some Russians.  My family and I would always spend most of our late August/early fall weekends picking mushrooms.  So I completely know mushrooms and what's good and what isn't - it's pretty common among Russians to pick them. (And this is all despite the fact that the whole family doesn't eat mushrooms - it's super fun, and all our friends loved us (and we would send back dried mushrooms to my grandparents in Russia).  We used this book - http://www.amazon.com/National-Audubon-Society-American-Mushrooms/dp/0394519922 to learn about new mushrooms.

I know people (who haven't grown up picking them) are super afraid of wild mushrooms and them being poisonous.  My husband was quite reluctant (and I was really offended) to try an amazing mushroom I found when we were vacationing in Yellowstone with friends last year.  But it's actually not so hard to tell which mushrooms are good, and there are heuristics you can use.  Basically, almost all mushrooms with sponges are good.  One (bitter mushroom) has a pinkish sponge and if you put your tongue on the sponge, it's bitter - but it's not poisonous or anything, just not tasty to eat.  Some of the webbed mushrooms are good (especially for pickling) but a lot aren't, especially the ones that are super spindly looking, and the colorful ones with white spots (and sometimes a ring on the stalk) are SUPER poisonous.  The good mushrooms looks good - for instance, I'm attaching the King Bolete, which is basically the best mushroom, and it looks beautiful - thick stalk, great colors on the head.  It's a super fun family activity to head to the woods and pick mushrooms, so I highly recommend it, if you can find someone (probably a Russian) that can teach you about them.
Thanks for the information! I'm definitely going to check this out from the library when I get home.

I've been infatuated with the idea of foraging for years... just been too busy raising little kids, working on our house, and having adventures to get into it. I think the timing is right now. I'm psyched!!

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #242 on: October 04, 2015, 02:41:02 PM »
RAW Milk yogurt is pretty dangerous, hard to make, etc.
We have been making raw yogurt and have been pleased with the results. We feel very comfortable and safe making our own raw milk yogurt and here's why:

The raw milk we get in our area is commercially available and comes from a small, solely grass-fed farm an hour from the house. The milk is analyzed for bacterial content, ensuring that the only bacteria present is beneficial. This is closely regulated by our state government. The yogurt starter we use comes from another small farm 20 minutes from the house and is unpasteurized. It is commercially available, as well, and is subject to the same regulations. Again, we feel very safe about it. Additionally, we do a lot of canning and fermentation and are quite familiar with what it takes to properly sanitize the equipment we use to prevent any contamination by harmful bacteria/molds/viruses/etc.

As a result of the state regulation and our familiarity with sanitization, we feel very comfortable and safe making our own raw milk yogurt. That said, thanks so much for your concern. :)

Raw milk yogurt is very difficult to make first because the normal recipe for yogurt involves heating so that the milk protein changes, to make it easier to set.  When I reviewed how startups with cow shares were attempting it, this was a big technical issue, and why most ended up heating the milk anyway, or adding dry milk or gelatin or processed gums.

  How do you get around that step?

I will assume that you have the experience to know if a culture is off, and I agree that making it yourself is safer than buying it...for that reason...
PS - We did heat it to 105F in our dehydrator. Warm enough to activate the culture, but too cool to kill any of it off.

PFHC

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pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #244 on: October 04, 2015, 04:28:11 PM »
Any time. The second link, to the Maine Mycological Association, looks particularly interesting.

PFHC

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #245 on: October 04, 2015, 05:15:50 PM »
Any time. The second link, to the Maine Mycological Association, looks particularly interesting.
Ya, I emailed them already to get some information. Sounds like they are active near the midcoast, which could be cool. Probably wouldn't do an hour drive, but would be interested if it was within 20-40 minutes.

lucky-girl

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #246 on: October 09, 2015, 12:44:34 PM »
Any time. The second link, to the Maine Mycological Association, looks particularly interesting.

Thanks for the links. I've got their walk in Yarmouth next weekend on my calendar!

Its great to see some fellow mainers on the forum.

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #247 on: October 12, 2015, 09:58:09 AM »
Well, this fellow Mainer now lives in Florida! I just never changed my user name. Still love the place, but DH did not love the winters.

lucky-girl

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #248 on: October 25, 2015, 05:52:28 AM »
I went on a mushroom walk with the Maine Mycological group yesterday! It was a great way for my son and I to get out into the woods together.

Looking forward to being more involved with the group next summer- thanks for introducing them to me.

Hopefully this new knowledge will ultimately lead to some foraging activity for food, and relevance to this thread, but no matter what we'll enjoy the chance to get outdoors and observe the world.

pbkmaine

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Re: I need help from fellow frugal healthy eaters. Groceries are killing us!
« Reply #249 on: October 26, 2015, 06:33:57 AM »
To me, that's the joy of nature walks - learning to look at things very closely.