Hmmm, do you agree with this list? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 11-05-2011, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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If you make a lot of your own foods from scratch, what do you think about this cost/benefit list of these DIY foods?


I definitely disagree with some of these. My chicken eggs are cheep cheep cheep ;) And ditto with the jam, if I buy fruit from my CSA (organic), I can actually afford to feed my family jam--I will not buy jam from the store 'coz it is way too expensive for how much we would use at one breakfast.

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#2 of 5 Old 11-05-2011, 09:12 PM
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I think the second author just needs more practice yoghurt making. DH makes yoghurt using a yoghurt maker. It doesn't require any "babysitting" at all and makes thick, creamy yoghurt every time.


Pizza, I guess it depends on what your favourite crust is. Mine doesn't require 24 hours notice so that one didn't ring true for me.


I can see their point about anything fruit-based. It's really only cost effective if you have a cheap source of fruit which not everyone would have.


The eggs I guess depends on how much you have to spend to keep them. $1200 for a chicken run is certainly going to eat into the profits.


If I was just starting out then the thing I would take from that article is grow as much of your own fruit and veges as you can. It doesn't require much space for a lemon or lime tree for example and IME they tend to yield well and be expensive to buy (especially limes) and they don't require much effort once they're established.

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#3 of 5 Old 11-05-2011, 09:17 PM
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Interesting article. I make a lot of my food for food-sensitivities so cost isn't a factor (though I do try to be frugal with how I buy my supplies.)


Even when I lived in the middle of the desert, all my chickens needed was a coyote-proof place for night time (a few 2x4s and some chicken wire) and a fence for daytime. Maybe they live where it's so cold that they need heated floors. lol



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#4 of 5 Old 11-06-2011, 07:41 AM
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DIY can be as expensive or as cheep as you want to spend.  My dd makes her bread in a bread machine so she had that expense up front.  I like to hand knead my bread so my up front costs was 2 loaf pans and a bowl large enough for mixing and rising.  And it can all depend on how much your family eats.  2 loaves of bread at our house now will last 2 weeks for 3 people.  When there was 5 of us, they lasted one week.  But my son doesn't eat sandwiches every day like his sisters did.  Pizza only takes 24 hours notice if you need to pull the dough from the freezer.  And that's true of anything that's in the freezer.  Otherwise it takes about 3 hours to make the dough from start to finish.  My other dd makes yogurt in her crock pot--no watching and it comes out great.  I soak and cook my dried beans in the crock pot and then freeze them in 2 cup jars.  I roast chicken in the crock pot and save the broth.  SInce I don't add water to the crock pot, the broth is already concentrated.  Just strain and freeze.  Defrost and it's ready to use.  If I want it extra concentrated for chicken soup, I save the bones, skin, and back and simmer on the stove the next day.


But I grew up in a DIY family.  This is all "normal" for me.  Our first thought is "I can do that" whatever "that" is.  Some things I don't do even though I can.  They are just not cost effective or I'm not interested in it.  The article is correct in saying not everything needs to be done yourself.  Pick and choose and do what you want and buy or barter or do without the rest.

Chris--extended breastfeeding, cloth diapering, babywearing, co-sleeping, APing, CLW, homeschooling before any of this was a trend mom to Joy (1/78), Erica (8/80), Angela (9/84), Dylan (2/98)
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#5 of 5 Old 11-06-2011, 09:12 AM
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All of that stuff is really relative. If you put more money into fancy setups and expensive equipment, of course it's not going to be cost effective. Especially in the first year - the honey example is a little misleading, because of course the first batch of honey is going to be expensive - you have the capital expensive of buying the hives and everything in the first year. The second year's batch of honey is only going to be a fraction of the cost though, since your inputs are minimal. Same with the goats and chickens. 


And she'll make hotdog buns but not hamburger buns? It sounds like she doesn't know how to make bread, if she can't make a roll good enough to stand up to a juicy burger. And I don't know about you guys, but my burgers are not "oozing" juice. They're juicy, but not oozing the stuff! That would be gross. 


Bacon - she says home made costs $3.50 a pound and store bought cost $5.00, then refers to home made as expensive? And I make bacon all the time - it doesn't really take up that much room in the fridge at all. 


Pizza - does not require twenty four hours to make a crust! I have an excellent yeast dough recipe that's ready to go in a few hours and is amazing. 


I don't know - articles like this one kind of make me mad. This stuff is so subjective, and articles like this can really turn people off to trying to do more of their own food at home. People really need to cost it out for themselves - an article showing how to do that would be more useful. And it bothers me when articles like this allude to the fact that you're wasting money because you're not getting paid for the time spent to do something - home economy doesn't necessarily work like that! Especially not if you enjoy doing it and it's not some drudgery that you'd need to earn a monetary wage for. 

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