First Time Buying Food In 2 1/2 Months

Red gem Gomi

Yesterday we broke our run of not buying food. It had been going really since late February of this year. So I guess we only made it 2 and 1/2 months. Two and a half months we went without buying food from anywhere or anybody. That’s pretty good. We don’t plan on really quitting and adding back a whole lot of grocery purchases. Really it’s just the grain that gives us a little problem. And that’s mainly the kids. The little kids really like oatmeal.

For example, my wife, oldest son and I will have ground pork, garlic and asparagus as a main meal frequently lately. The little kids don’t do as well with that. My youngest son likes fried eggs and dried yogurt so that’s good. And my daughter likes beef, roasts, and chicken. And they all like walnuts when they take the time to crack them. Strawberries, honeyberries and goumi are all abundant and the boys harvest and eat a lot of those. So really, it is just the oatmeal for my daughter, that and a little flour because she also likes this Mongolian meal called бантан. So that’s what I purchased – flour and oatmeal.

I had been planning to buy oatmeal. There’s an Amish store down the road a ways that sells 50 lb bags for around $30, but this time I just bought a few of the big Quaker Old Fashioned kind since I was at the grocery store. Maybe next year we’ll really stick it to the man and grow wheat and oats too. I bet we can do it. 11 years ago I read Gene Logsdon’s book about home grain production. We don’t need a whole lot. Maybe this year I’ll just keep track of exactly how much we need.

The real reason we broke our streak of not buying food isn’t actually the oatmeal it is because we’re entertaining city folks. We invited city folks to come pick strawberries and have a cook out. I felt like I had to buy cheese and a few beers. So that was the real impetus to my purchasing food from the grocery store for the first time in 2 1/2 months. But since I was breaking our streak, I figured I’d go ahead and get the grain. Maybe the new experiment is to see how much we spend on food from the grocery store, farmers market, restaurant or anything in a year.

We learned a lot in not buying food for the time that we did though. I bet we could have learned a lot more if we had kept going. Doing without things is always a very good teacher. I took some notes for the first 8 weeks. Maybe I’ll come back to them and write more about it. Right now though, I don’t have time. I should go set my beaver traps and clear the culvert. I don’t know if the weather will be conducive to swimming today but the water is always nicer when the beavers haven’t blocked the flow.


8 thoughts on “First Time Buying Food In 2 1/2 Months”

  1. That is so awesome, guys!! I remember you wanted to try this for a while. And you did it during a rough season for food! Enjoy your first beer in 2.5 months! That is some good will power. 🙂
    I think I’d save some 5K if I could quit buying food for 2.5 months. Interestingly, some expenses can be high depending on where you are. E.g. here in Phoenix, Jake Mace has an urban garden with some 200 fruit trees on it and vegetables, and they spend about $400 a month on watering alone, of course it is a desert and they depend on city water. Still, worth it from many perspectives, and the joy of it, although I wished out here people focused more on growing and harvesting local low water consumption foods. Greg Peterson, whose garden I visited is a bit smaller lot with 75 fruit trees, and he gets flood water from river project, so he cuts is down to $200 a month.
    I saw some guy harvesting oats by hand for his family consumption here out west, so oats maybe doable. My kid loves tortillas as survives on them, so I am experimenting with the Sonoran white wheat for tortillas. We sprouted and planted some, but birds dug up all the little sprouts. I will be visiting a farm here soon where lady grows Sonoran white wheat, it will be interesting to see how she does it. I used to like soups like Bantan when I was a kid, my guys seem to like egg drop soup even better.
    Do you guys use nut flour for baking like Mark Shepard has been trying to convince everyone?

    1. Haven’t tried acorn flour yet, but plan to. We haven’t saved any money yet. Like most poor folk perhaps, it is all spent. We always spend it all. Long lists of things to buy. We were able to get some stainless steel pots, the dehydrator, stuff like that that we couldn’t otherwise have afforded.

    1. Beer is more enjoyable now when we visit friends, or when my brother comes for a visit, than when when we used to buy it, even though we didn’t buy it frequently. We used to buy wine. I do miss that. Missed it mighty terrible 2 or 3 weeks out. Last fall I quit buying coffee. I started on only tea, black – Irish breakfast. Not sure we save that much money on it actually but it is working. The idea was always to be kind of like pioneers – buying only spices and tea. And so it was.

  2. Impressive determination. I love this. Going without is a very good teacher. I’d love to hear more about what you learned. Thumbs up!

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