There are tips galore to save money on the food bill. The focus here is to share some ways to save money that rely on good, whole food for you and your family.
- Strategic Bulk Buying. Buying in bulk isn't a deal if it's a bunch of crap that you don't eat or like. This isn't buying a dozen frozen pizzas instead of one. For example, apples--taking 60 pounds of apples and making dehydrated apples, apple butter, canned apple pie filling (great for tarts and turnovers too!), apple juice, and using all the scraps to make apple vinegar. Deal!
- Sauce Boss. Kick many, most, all--depending on your level of comfort--of the mustards, dressings, sauces, pastes, and so forth in your refrigerator door. Fermented mustard, deal! Fermented jalapeno or other pepper sauce, deal!
- Zero Food Waste. Yes, composting and feeding to the flock converts food waste into something wonderful like eggs or a soil amendment. But, it's still food intended for your belly that didn't quite make it there. Have a plan for all purchases. Have a plan when you harvest. Plan the time to take care of canning or setting up the dehydrator. Have the twine on hand to string onions and so forth. And lastly, always be ready to can.
- Portions Folks. First portion food that you are preparing. And second portion food that you are storing. Break that 5 pounds of chocolate chips into 1 cup portions that are vacuum sealed and ready for chocolate chip cookies. Portion out that big batch of casserole and freeze. Ramekins are terrific for this. Fill ramekin, freeze, and voila dinner. Portion food for easy eats later. I even do this with pineapple. Go ahead and pare the fruit so it is ready to eat--all those less than stoked pineapple parers can enjoy away. Meanwhile no waste and the flock can enjoy the trimmings.
- Whole Grains. Buy whole grains and grind flour. Go for fresh flour for every batch of bread or pizza and so on. Grind your own gluten-free flours. Buy rice and grind. It's easy and less expensive to grind at home.
- Buy Small if you Need Small. How much do you really need? Are you really going to use that 20 pounds? All you need is 1 pound for one year--why buy 20 pounds?! Just stop and think. Sure, it might be cheaper per pound or per ounce but do you need it?
- Don't Go to the Store. Okay, if you go to the store rarely then you will spend less. Duh! Seriously, even if you have a choice, simply don't go to the store as often. What I am getting at here is don't run to the store each time something crosses your mind. Can you work around it? It amazes me how many meals I get make without going to the store for one single ingredient.
- Two Hand Rule. Don't get a basket or a cart. Just shop with your two hands--can't carry it then you don't need it. This is a strategy when you head to the store for three things that you can easily carry--if you get a basket or cart then you start browsing and finding deals. Two hands, super effective folks.
- Buy, Swap, Trade. There are formal and semi-formal swaps, check them out. Talk to friends and neighbors about what you have to offer. Give your surplus away! Folks will think of you when they have a surplus. Yup, save money by giving your surplus away for free with zero expectation of something in return.
There are tons of other ideas to save money on the food bill but hopefully these get your money saving ideas flowing.
- Special thanks to Dale, Nia, and Steph for all the love and support!
- Raleigh, the guy I love to hate when it comes to all things internet.
- Aaron Glasson, Permaculture Velocity logo
- Music: Tell Somebody by Alex Beroza featuring AdmiralBob, digccmixter, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0
- And to all those podcasters out there sharing good information on podcasting for those of us just getting going with this podcast thing! Thank you!