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Friday, October 14, 2011

No Groceries for a Year?

Organic bread and last of my cheese

See the walnuts in the free, organic bread? The cheese was eaten in organic (my backyard) scrambled eggs just now.  Ha! I found that cheese in the refrigerator, hiding! Yes, this has something to do with groceries.

A family of three on a tiny lot managed not to shop for a year. The news article links to their blog. Their year is inspiring since they saved money and she lost weight. The second consequence really interests me.

I am going to try this, especially since the family did not just stop shopping cold turkey. It will take time to find the resources. I must have chicken! So, I will buy it where I can until I find a better way to obtain it  I already have many cans of food, many cans of tuna. However, that is not going to be the point. For instance, I found the pork belly, grown and processed locally, plus there were no additives. I easily stopped eating much bacon long ago, not that I buy over three pounds each year, anyway. I now use the pork fat from frying the pork belly (no nitrite or taste bacon) to scramble my eggs instead of butter or margarine. Since I use less than a teaspoon of either, I don't feel there is any harm.

There will be no goat or garden. But, I can see what I can do. I will not be drinking raw milk. I will not do as well as they did with the not buying processed food. However, I buy little processed food right now. But, if I can do a tenth of what they did and more than I am doing now to reduce my reliance on the grocery store, I will be pleased.

Tonight, before I even read this article, I went to the grocery store for milk. I needed cheese. Well, I am out of cheese. maybe I don't need it.  However, I decided to fore go cheese to lose weight and not spend money. No cheese buying means I did not spend that money. I really wanted cheese for my scrambled eggs. sob....
This venture may include food that is free and not necessarily local or organic. We will see. Today, I actually had an adventure in free food. That will be another post.

The family bought from food buying clubs and local persons. They did not produce all they ate. Read the article and the one post from the blog, at least.

My goal is to spend $56 each month on food, exactly what I get in food stamps. Surprised? I got that letter today. This is what can happen to a person with a graduate degree who cannot stand or sit to do any job and has no financial means or a social safety net. Maybe I should have married one of those jerks who proposed? Nah....

Right now, I am lying in a chair with feet on an ottoman and laptop on stomach and thighs. Find me a job I can do in this position then I can afford organic. No, not that job.

Oh, I will not give up bananas, apples, or oranges/OJ, or garlic for this venture. My exceptions! I will use store-bought canned food that I already have, home-canned, and free food, no matter how I obtain the free food.

Too often, I buy ice cream. Now, a little blended fruit and milk, frozen, or homemade yogurt, frozen, will be my ice cream treat. Update: twice since I started this post, I have come home without ice cream. Another update: Again, I came home without cheese even though my intent was to buy cheese, a staple of mine.

Another Year Without Groceries posted yesterday, clearing up several points in the article that are not exactly true. Her explanations make it soooo much easier to try and do a bit of what she does.

Your turn
Do you ever have the desire not to spend money at the grocery store ever again? Do you want to eat more food you produce or organically produced food? Do you produce enough to keep you from the grocery store? Would not buying at the grocery help you to lose weight?  Do you think you can gradually stop grocery shopping? What are you thoughts?


  1. We don't buy vegies and very little fruit and are thinking of doing a week long challenge where we don't eat anything except what we produce ourselves...Not sure how that will work yet. Hubby is a Coke drinker, I want my coffee. He likes bread so would need flour..

    I'm off to read this blog and do some more thinking about our challenge.

    I couldn't not shop for a year though as I like tinned sardines and fish. I use powdered milk, flour, sugar and vinegar for preserving...

    Off to read while I have a coffee. Thanks for the link, it sounds interesting.


  2. Barb,
    The author does not like the way her information was reported--not what she says or what they do. I am going into withdrawal over not having cheese since breakfast. I want hot dogs, chili over them, and cheese on top. Hey, the hotdogs were given to me. I did not buy them.

    Exbf is coming on Monday, so maybe I will buy cheese Sunday night, have the chilie and hotdogs for lunch and then have turkey and lots of good-for-us vegetables.

    I will keep buying tuna, maybe some sardines. I love them too. But, I can do better.

    The point was,according to the blog--they buy in bulk and don't buy processed food or cut down. The article made it seem like they just quit buying groceries...not true!

  3. I have read her post about setting the record straight.

    I *think* I could do things that way. We could source fresh milk and I have no problem about drinking it straight from the cow...We have a fish truck that comes to town and sells fresh fish but we could go out more often and catch more ourselves.

    We would eat more chicken. I would still *need* coffee. And flour, My daughter has a grinder though and she buys wheat and makes her own...

    It would be hard. But what a challenge. Maybe set yourself a challenge and go without for a month. Doable...but challenging...


  4. Barb,
    Yes, doable for some three hens is about enough for me!

    I am holding off on buying cheese until Sunday to eat on Monday. Just that little will help with weight loss and cut out $3/wk in my spending.

    Yes, she was very generous in not taking credit for things she could have kept quiet about. I felt hopeful when she said she started off several years ago and did not do everything she does now at the beginning or all at once.

    What I need is a partner, maybe a husband? Someone find me I won't be as heavy as I am now if I do simple things like eating one block of cheese each week instead of two.

    This month, I am going to try to live on my $56. That is a start. And, find more free produce is another goal.

  5. $56 - wow!! That's not much at all. I remember when I temporarily worked as a cashier at a grocery store. I used to get so frustrated when people came in with their food stamps & bought TONS of chips, soda, candy, etc. I completely understand wanting some snacks, but it felt like such a poor use of resources.

  6. I spend it carefully, using coupons and sales to stretch it. I don't buy tons of snacks,ever. From now on, I will purchase even less snacks in an attempt to lose weight and improve my health.

  7. Hi Linda
    I had to think about this one. I read all the links and the lady was great about clearing things up.

    I am a bit divided by people who do stuff like this because on the one hand, its awesome! On the other hand, it takes a certain amount of income to start with (animals, animal feed, vet bills, land, farmers market pricing,etc., along with physical ability and help.

    So my question is always, how does somebody with limitations get that self sufficient. Thats a much bigger challenge and one you rise to in a way I can relate to and admire much more than the article.
    Still, I do admire what they did. I don't want to negate that because its important.

  8. LindaM,
    Yes,you are right on all fronts. I am hoping that with surgery sone of my problems are diminished. I know that the severe pain is exacerbated by my fibromyalgia or the other way However, my last vertebra sitting on bone is and the L5 out of line was in no way caused by fibromyalgia. I don't know if the pain of feel is exacerbated by fibromyalgia.

    I know people with F that do half I do and are waited on hand and foot and excused from all sorts of participation in life and home chores. Ex bf carries heavy things and does things I am perfectly capable of doing....just not all the minor things. Any animals beyond the chickens would have to be primarily the domain of someone else because: I am afraid of cows, I don't want to deal with goats, rabbits have kicked me too badly in the past, and I don't slaughter anything.

    Buying all the grassfed, happy animals is beyond what I can afford. Yes, it takes a better income than I have right now.

    What I do want and could handle, mostly, is chickens to sell eggs, and chickens to sell for eating. I only want two dozen layers and two dozen meat chickens. Then, I would have someone slaughter them for me for a cut in the meat chickens.

    I do want a garden with tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, garlic, squash, pumpkins, potatoes, rhubarb. Then, I want a couple of apple, peach, and plum trees along with a dozen pecan trees. THEN, I want a commercial kitchen so that I could devote it to full-time prep of vegetables, canning, baking. Selling would not be the primary goal, but something I could do if I wanted to.

    This is not asking too much, is it?

    My friend and his wife have converted their garage to a commercial kitchen. They have two stoves and eight pressure canners. Each has their own set of canners. He said he cans more than she does. I am amused and impressed.

    Money and surgery are problems. Right now, I have to go hang clothes on the line.

    That was all very good, all the points you mentioned and issues you addressed.

  9. Linda
    As you know I also have fibro and I do understand how it is to have it and an actual injury that is painful and limiting. I lost about 50 percent use of my shoulder a few years ago and it still flares up terribly now and then. I couldn't live my lifestyle without help.
    My suggestion to you is to start planting the fruit trees. Buy one- have somebody plant it for you. By the time the rest of your plans are realized you'll have fruit as well as everything else.
    A commercial kitchen woud be awesome to have- just because:)

  10. I know...just because. Somedays I feel I would be more productive having one. It's not that I don't want to keep the dishes washed or don't want to cook meals, but there are days that, drat it, I have to actually was dinner dishes before I can start to

    Yes, I knew you had fribro but not the injury. Also, If I end up losing my place, I would just lose trees, but I should just forge ahead and then leave them if I must.


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