Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 4 - Producing our own Food

31 Days of Homestead Living!

In our home, we try to produce as much of our food as possible.  Over time, I have decided that it is healthier for my family if we can eat our meals from food made with ingredients as close to natural as possible.  This means we raise our own meats:  beef, goats, sheep, pork, chicken, rabbit, duck, goose, and turkey.  We have our own catfish pond. 

Canned mushroom soup cooling
We grow our own dairy:  eggs, and part of the year we have our own goat's milk to drink and use for cheese.  My husband gifted me with two dairy cows earlier in the year.  We hope they will calf in the spring, and we will have our own milk. 

Pears waiting to be canned

We grow most of our own fruits and vegetables.  If we don't grow something ourselves, we look for a local source to purchase it.  I really believe in the 100 mile diet.  Everything you eat should be grown within 100 miles of where you live.  Recently I was blinded by a chain grocery store that had produce so cheap!  They sold bags of kiwi for .85 cents, pears and apples for less than any store in town.  They even had pineapples and coconuts for $.99 each!  But when I got home and looked closer, the kiwi were from Costa Rica!  I don't want to eat food grown on the other side of the world if I can help it!  So we try hard to eat local.

We plant a large garden each year.  We have some things we grow each year (like tomatoes and peppers).  Others I make lists, and decide what I really need to plan to put up for our family that year.  When all the girls lived at home, we put up most of our food  in quart jars, and would you two jars of spaghetti sauce at a dinner!  Now there are three of us some nights.  I'm canning some of the vegetables in jelly jars or pints, because we don't need a quart of something very often now. 

When I shop for groceries, I have a list.  The list has been in progress since the last time I left the store.  My daughter works in a grocery store.  We get a discount of 10% on the store brands every day.  On holiday weeks, we get a discount of 20%.  I try to stock up as much as I can, on the items we use, during the holiday sales.  The rest of the time, I just buy what we need.  I shop the outside of the store, purchasing the fresh foods and perishables.  I start in produce.  I always check first to see what has been marked down, and purchase it.  I usually purchase all that they have that we can use.  We will eat it first, and can or freeze the left overs.  This past year I bought 30 bags of baby carrots marked down to .75 each.  I canned them in pint jars, and we still have a few jars.  GrandBoy loves carrots.  I also buy mushrooms when I see them marked down.  I can some to put over meats.  But a lot I use to make and can cream of mushroom soup.  We never buy the canned soup at the store.  This soup is so good, I can eat it plain!  Each year we can our own spaghetti sauce, pickles, relish, tomatoes, salsa, green beans, pintos, corn, peas, fruits, etc.  I will share more about this later in the month.

Shelled white beans

So I start in the produce section.  Next I go to the organic area.  I check the mark downs.  The I go to the grocery mark down section.  Next I skip the meat department and go to the dairy side.  We buy the dairy items we don't make ourselves.  Dairy is a large part of our budget.  Next I go to the deli department and look at what is marked down.  I pick up deli pizzas, chicken salad, breads, and what ever else has been reduced to a good price.  Now I stop and look at my list to see if there are any items we need from the center of the store.  Then I am done. 

We don't buy any paper products except toilet tissue and female products.  I don't buy many cleaning supplies either.  I make my own laundry detergent, fabric softener, wrinkle spray, and stain treatment.  I do purchase dryer sheets, but I split them to make the last longer.

We buy tea bags, coffee, sugar, cornmeal, flour, and spices.  We buy tortillas and sandwich bread.  We buy mayonaise, mustard, and ketchup.  I'm sure there are other things we buy, but not a lot.  

I will talk about different areas of our food purchases later this month.  Thanks for stopping by!  Honey


  1. With the "Roll Tide" I think you may also live in AL. Costa Rica is much closer than NZ and AU for kiwis. I don't mind buying anyhing from Latin America. I know I should not, though!

    There is just me, so canning in pints or half pints works for everything but tomatoes. People think I should can quarts of green beans.

    1. Hi, It is going to take me a while to figure out what size jars work best. Maybe they want you to use quarts so they can eat with you! Have a great week!