I wanted to mention a new series that Keeper of the Home is running which is right in line with one of the goals I had for 2010 to cook more real foods. I thought it would help me get some more ideas for cooking real food on a budget. There is a series of tasks (like inventorying what we already have to cook with) that culminates with a freezer/prep cooking event.
I have been limiting the processed foods I buy (see how coupon madness brought things into my house I hadn’t bought in years here) to the point where my “stockpile” in the pantry has dwindled to just a couple boxes of Triscuits and Cheerios and now mainly consists of olive oil, vinegars, mustard, spices, pastas, and baking supplies like flours, grains, honey, etc.
How does my family feel about this? My kids wish I bought more cereals and my daughter is horrified that we are out of white sugar and I’m not buying more right now. But I still buy tortilla chips (organic, though, to limit GMO corn), so that keeps them happy because they do like the homemade breads and cookies that I make.
Basically, though, they just think I’m weird. Like the time a few weeks ago my son invited a friend (a girl) to dinner and I served eggs and bacon over roasted asparagus. I haven’t heard the last of that (“you won’t believe what mom served…”), but it was on the menu, what was I supposed to do? It was new and I thought it looked good, so it didn’t occur to me not to make it.
Even Brian was a little mortified at that meal, I think (I did ask her if she liked asparagus- sheesh).
This did make the Pantry Inventory (the first task in the series) fairly easy, as should be the Freezer inventory (today’s task) because I’ve made the front of my freezer a chalkboard so I can keep track of what is in it. I also use the months of April, May and June to use up the last season’s produce so I can defrost the freezer to be ready to fill again with the new season’s goodies.
Anyway, if you’re interested in cooking real food, you might want to check out Keeper of the Home. She’s got a lot of good information, including some “real food makeovers” where real families open their cupboards and make recommended changes towards eating honest, pure foods. They are pretty brave.
I’m hoping this will motivate me to do some of the things I mentioned in my goals, like look into bulk food buying (not just the bulk bins in the store, but actually buying large, bagged quantities), and such. I have found it a bit harder to keep within the $375 budget in last few months not using coupons, but last month was good and this month I’m coming in at least $30 under budget.
I’d like to raise some more of our food, but no chickens yet, because the coop keeps getting moved lower on the list of things to accomplish (like keeping voles and deer from eating our produce). I did find a friend who would help me learn about raising pigs, but again its the pen construction that keeps us from being able to start down that path.
One day. Right now, I just do what I can (while dreaming of chickens…).