So this week I am trying to refrain from doing any extraneous shopping. I have spent a total of 792$ on food this month, and I would really like to stick to my budget the first month I try!
*disclaimer, I will not “do without”, so I may wind up at a store before the end of the week too… I’m not ruling that out entirely, just trying to use up what is in the house before starting a new month.*
Saturday 3/29: Bacon and Waffles with Strawberries, Leftovers, Lemon Pepper Chicken with Mozzarella and Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Sunday 3/30: Banana Muffins, Leftovers, Pizza (kids have sitter)
Monday 3/31: Sausage and Eggs, Peanut Butter Sandwiches, Veggie Stew
Tuesday 4/1: Oatmeal, Fried Rice, Lasagna with Salad
Wednesday 4/2: Cereal, Grilled Cheese, Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwiches with Quinoa
Thursday 4/3: Pear Muffins, Grilled Chicken Salad, Chili
Friday 4/4: Smoothies, Quesadillas, Ham & Bean Soup
So that’s the line up… so far, I don’t need to purchase anything, and should have more than enough food here to fill in any snack gaps.
After speaking with Friends and Farms as well as Bear Mountain Orchards, I am seriously rethinking the value and quality of the food. While the company has a wonderful mission statement that matches my ideals perfectly, the reality is that I do not wish to support large farms that do not practice organic farming.
I don’t feel like the amount of food I am getting is really any more than I would be getting at Wegman’s, MOM’s, or any place else I shopped.
So here are a few things I am considering: a share at One Straw Farm, a share at Flying Plow Farm, ordering home delivery from Hometown Harvest, or just going back to shopping weekly from BJ’s, Wegmans, Aldi, and Trader Joes. (or a combination)
Option 1: One Straw Farm. They are an organic farm with convenient pick up locations like Boordy’s Vineyard on Thursday evenings… there is live music and a bunch of people that we like to hang out with and soialize with as well. They also have a pick up at MOM’s in Jessup or Timonium, which is convenient because we can also purchase items that we need from there without wasting additional resources for an extra trip… One share costs $570 for the entire season from June through November.
Option 2: Flying Plow Farm. They are a certified organic farm with AMAZING farming practices, animal husbandry, and have meat, eggs, and produce available. Their season costs $700 for the season, with the option to have a pre-packed basket available to you at various pick up spots throughout the week or “market style” pick up from the farm itself. With picking up at the farm, you are free to pick up whatever you may want extra of, as well as having access to all of their U-pick crops (raspberries, strawberries, string beans, flowers, and a few others). You get all you pick, free of charge. The catch is it is an hour drive each way for me… BUT- they are just around the corner from our beloved Kilby Cream, which means I could run in and pick up fresh milk every week from the creamery and skip the delivery fees (also meaning I pay less for milk until the end of the season… something to consider, also, with u-pick being available, I can jar, freeze or can the surplus and therefore at least have some stores leftover for the off season as well.
Option 3: Hometown Harvest. A home delivery service providing organic grocery delivery weekly from local farms. Variety of items, including dairy, meat, poultry, produce, dried beans, grains, tofu, eggs, and more. They are rather expensive for their a la carte items, and only seem to over a “package” deal on bags of veggies a random bag weekly would run me $46, which is a little more than half of what I am paying from Friends and Farms, but only for veggies. I need to look into it a bit further, but I think this is the least favorite of my options.
I really like knowing my farmer, knowing my food, and supporting the actual farms. While convenience is what draws most people to these plans, I don’t NEED food to be convenient, I am not choosing good food OR convenience, I am simply trying to find a better ay to buy what we need while making conscientious choices.
I will probably wind up with a combination… I really enjoyed buying from the genuine food company for meat last year, and I have the space for storing the meat that we use for the year, if I can get enough food from the CSA at Flying Plow to store/freeze enough for the winter season, then that is what I am hoping for.
Ultimately, we would like to get back to the way that people used to eat. They had weekly deliveries for highly perishable foods, and root cellars. They canned and stored goods for the off season, and bought sacks of grains that would last them quite a while. They ate simply, but amazingly.
Trying to figure out how to live well in this economy is mind boggling. I am still very concerned about our society experiencing a collapse in availability of food… driving prices up, and availability down.