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Post in 'The Inglenook' started by snowleopard, Dec 12, 2011.
Guess I fell back into the ASHCAN, huh?????
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I first noticed this a couple summers ago. I went to pick up a half gallon of ice cream for 4th of July. I noticed it wasn't a half gallon anymore. Now 1.75 qts.
Just today my wife and I were talking about the food prices. With Christmas, she is about ready to start the baking. Butter is one for sure and she just found a sale so will be heading to town soon. Flour is another but overall the prices have skyrocketed.
So here is one to think about. When we got married, our food budget was $10 per week. That ended with our firstborn as it shortly went up $2, then another dollar, then another child.... Today it is difficult to get my wife out of a grocery store with less than $200.
As for income to keep pace, not after retirement, that is for sure.
Price of everything keeps going up. Now we are doing what our parents did. Conserve, watch the money closer. The human population needs to continue to figure out more things it can do to fight these problems on a large scale. The demand for clean water and food is continueing on an unstoppable rise. There is only so much for resources and our population on the planet is too much already. And is growing too fast to keep up with the technology and knowledge we have at this point. The scary part is something has to continue to give. That means wars will continue, and probably increase in the near future. I hope not, but it seems almost unavoidable if we continue to fight over ideology, religion, etc. Imagine if we spent more time working together to solve the problems. What could we accomplish then? Need clean water, instead of spending money on war or something stupid like that, build more de-salination plants and get he water we need from the oceans. Need more power, instead of spending money on war or something stupid like that, build more solar and wind farms right here in our own country. Just a few things we voters should demand. All of it would create jobs right here in the U.S.A. Oh, wait, the people with the real power($), might be apposed to that. They run things.(For now.) My bad.
We continue to plant vegetable gardens and grow fruit. Hunt in fall to put up meat. Just seems to make sense to us. Wife usually goes to the city once a month or so for groceries and spends lots there! But sometimes it is just super great to have a meal that you know all came from your own land and you put it up.
We have a great grocery outlet, especially for bread and cheese, but also for what have you.
My cousin's husband sent us home from DC with 50lbs of venison(on the megabus!). So grateful for that meat.
eggs are "free."
But yeah, ouch.
We do grow vegetables each year. But even with a lot of tomatoes, some peppers, squash, egg plant, carrots, etc. it is only enough to last us a few months. And that does require quite a bit of work to do that. Not afraid of a little work. If I was, I wouldn't be burning wood every year. But we would have to increase the size of the garden a lot to try to even make it last for 6 months through the winter. When you can watch for and buy tomato sauce, and the vegetable on sale and stock pile them in the large pantry we have, it is hard to justify going with a bigger garden and a lot more work. (Weeding, watering, etc.) Any tips from you garden experts would be cool though. (Maybe we should start a gardening tips thread.?) Okay Dennis, you get this chore. ;-)
As far as free eggs go. My wife wants to get some chickens. Problem is I keep a nice neat lawn for the kids to play in. We have a pretty big back yard that is fenced in. I really don't want chicken crap all over it. I could put them out in a small pen beyond that I guess. I don't know. It would be a long ways away to walk to when there is a lot of snow down though. Then I would need a snow blower to keep a path open to the coop. Oh well, I want one of those anyway. Getting sick of shoveling the walks and several other areas I need cleared of snow every winter. Any tips you chicken keepers could give would be cool though. (Maybe we should start a chicken keeping tips thread.?) And Kathleen, you get this one. ;-)
Hey, I'm pretty good at this delegating thingy. Maybe I should ........ Naaaaa!
Been to a restaurant lately...if so I think you'll find the steak price at the grocery store is not that bad.
Good point. We do not go out to eat very often. Price is the reason. It does not take long to drop $50, especially if you have each have a beer or fruity drinking substance. But sometimes you have to get out of the house. Generally we go out once a month. A lot cheaper to cook a good meal out on the grill and have a cold beer at home. We love doing that year round. Believe it or not, we cook out on the grill once every other week or so in the middle of the winter. Gets pretty damn cold though. Got to get the meat and vegetables in the house quick or you will be eating it cold! :lol:
Nope, food costs about what it always did, dollar just keeps dropping in value. Keep printin em boys those big banks need their stupidity covered. A C
Cutter, you have nailed it. I just read this thread and all through it I was thinking that no one has hit on the real cause. The FED has printed (created out of nothing with just a few keystrokes) a few TRILLION dollars that have gone into circulation over the last several years and continue to do so at a dizzying pace. All of that money has to go somewhere and a lot of it has just gone to bid up the commodities markets which translated into higher prices for corn, wheat, cotton, oil, copper, etc, etc, etc. Its why the price of gold and silver has gone up so much. Reflects the low regard for the dollar and where it is headed.
The intrinsic value of everything has not gone up just that the value of the dollar has gone down. Too many dollars chasing too few goods.
We've had some nice discussions over at the DIY forum. They are fun! They almost continuously forage though, so it's kinder to give them as much space as you can.
Natty Light and Wild Turky have doubled. :bug:
Even taters and onions have doubled here. I mean, my God, taters and onions.........the two pillars of any good meal are now expensive........
Plus they eat a lot of bugs and slugs you don't want on your property, and the stuff that comes out the other end will make it totally unnecessary to ever fertilize your lawn. The big sticking point for me is getting to them every morning in the winter to make sure they have water and feed and never, ever, sleeping in or taking a day off.
I have a large veg garden (about 20 by 35 feet), and the trick is not becoming obsessive about weeding, soil preparation, etc. The nice little secret about veg gardens is that you really don't have to knock yourself out doing all of it exactly "right," you can get away with being a lot less meticulous. You might lose a few percent on your production, but not enough to compensate for the extra work. A thick layer of straw or hay mulch pretty much takes care of the weed problem, and laying soaker hoses and then hitching them up one by one for a few hours in dry weather takes care of the watering (and it's better for the plants than spraying).
Side dress the plants a couple times over the summer with a handful of good organic fertilizer, maybe spread some composted manure, if you can get it in bulk, over the plot in the fall and let it soak down in over the winter, and that's all you need. There's a fair amount of work involved at planting time, but after that I don't spend much time there until harvest. You can also plant stuff a lot closer together than the conventional wisdom and instructions on the seed packets tell you. Again, you lose a little in production per plant, but you make it up and more by having more plants. (And the denser plantings also crowd out the weeds) Look up "Square foot gardening" sometime.
I buy starts for some things like tomatoes (which freeze very well just as is, by the way, if you have the room), but direct seed carrots, peas, beets and winter squash, and start bean seeds, which seem to be fussier about breaking through the crust on my clay soil, in peat pot trays outside. There's a variety of peas called Wando which seems to be entirely impervious to the heat of summer. I plant a couple rows every week or so right through the middle of June and have fantastic peas to eat and to freeze through the end of summer.
The biggest job is the potatoes, but also a big payoff because they last so long in storage if you handle them right. I plant several different types of potatoes, which keep very well through the end of April or so without the fancy precision of temperature and humidity you're supposed to maintain. I just put them in a place that stays cool (easy in a drafty old farmhouse) and out of the light and they're fine. Ditto for onions and winter squash.
And then there's the freezer. I live 20 miles from the nearest supermarket, so I stuff my big upright freezer with my own peas and lima beans and what asparagus I can get in season locally (don't grow it myself), plus cut leeks, chopped celery, gallon bags of my own raspberries, bags of cut rhubarb, fresh-made strawberry sauce, etc., and eat them happily all winter. They're MUCh better than commercial. I haven't yet found a snap bean that freezes well, sadly. And then there's pesto and/or plain basil whirred in the food processor with olive oil, both of which I freeze in ice cube trays, then pop out into gallon plastic bags. Do you know how good homemade pesto is in midwinter? Ahhhhhh.
I only grow a few things for fresh eating in summer (like tomatoes, artichokes and zucchini) and concentrate instead on the stuff I can store or freeze for the rest of the year. I also let some of the zukes get really big, then turn them into stuffed baked, which freeze and reheat in the microwave for a fabulous "fast food" meal drenched in tomato sauce.
Another hint-- buy stuff in season that you don't grow yourself and freeze that, too. I don't have room for corn, so I buy it a dozen ears at a time when it's in season, cook the ears and strip off the kernels and freeze. I make gorgeous corn chowder in February. Same with peaches and asparagus (really freezes well, to my surprise) and other things I can't think of at the moment.
Don't know how much money I save, but it's for sure that with all that good stuff in my freezer, I don't feel the need to buy expensive steaks and chops and etc. I get great fresh-ground hamburger at my local general store, and otherwise buy "family packs" of chicken and occasionally pork or chuck roast for stew when it's on sale, and I sure feel like I eat like a king.
If you want to make a dent in the food budget, even without growing a lot of your own produce, a good-size freezer is essential so you can take advantage of sales.