Grocery budget per person per day - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How much do you spend on groceries per person per day?
$0 - 2.99 4 12.12%
$3 - 4.99 10 30.30%
$5 - 6.99 12 36.36%
$7 - 8.99 4 12.12%
$9 - 10.99 2 6.06%
$11 + 1 3.03%
Voters: 33. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 79 Old 04-27-2015, 09:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Grocery budget per person per day

Just wondering how much on average do you spend per person? Nursing babies don't count, and kids under 5 count as half. Just use your monthly grocery budget and divide by 30 then divide by the number of people in your household.

$ is American dollar. Other currencies can convert to that.
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#2 of 79 Old 04-28-2015, 06:52 PM
 
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Approx $4-5 per person per day, for 1 adult, an 8-year-old, and a 5-year-old. Interesting-I actually thought it would be less.
in.

ETA: My grocery budget includes things like TP (though no other paper products), soap, laundry detergent, cat food/litter, etc. so my number should be a little less.

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#3 of 79 Old 04-29-2015, 11:11 AM
 
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We are spending about $4. We are 2 adults 3kids
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#4 of 79 Old 04-29-2015, 11:37 AM
 
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It's about $6. $7 if I count the 2yo as 1/2, but she eats as much as the older two. This also includes buying our drinking water because I'm not giving local muni tap water to my kids. Daily costs would be about $5/day per person if we weren't spending extra money on water. Yikes.
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#5 of 79 Old 04-29-2015, 01:20 PM
 
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It's about $6. $7 if I count the 2yo as 1/2, but she eats as much as the older two. This also includes buying our drinking water because I'm not giving local muni tap water to my kids. Daily costs would be about $5/day per person if we weren't spending extra money on water. Yikes.
I would test your tap water. Much tap water in the USA is as good as bottled. If you aren't happy with the results of the test you can distill tap water to reduce contaminants for an initial outlay for the distilling equip.
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#6 of 79 Old 04-29-2015, 02:02 PM
 
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$5.6 a day.

This also includes all household consumables, such as TP and personal care products-razors, soap, shampoo, makeup, deodorant, etc. I cloth diaper but use disposables when we go out and overnight when baby sleeps longer stretches..

I cook/bake from scratch and we have no food allergies/sensitivities. We do eat out once per week as a family and that is not included in our grocery budget.

When I was expecting twins, I was eating huge amounts of calories/quality protein. Now, I'm breastfeeding for two, so I'm ravenous. With a family this large, keeping food around is getting tougher! We have tons of growing and active boys! My daughter made pumpkin cookies a couple of days ago...tripled the recipe, and even when allowing only two small cookies as a serving, they are about gone!

Both my husband and I are discussing raising the budget a bit..at this level, despite eating nearly entirely from scratch, we are unable to have the level of fresh fruits and veggies we would prefer, as well as really good meat. I do well at the store up here with organic/grass fed stuff for reasonable (tons of great local farms) but produce is tricky..very pricey.

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#7 of 79 Old 04-29-2015, 07:46 PM
 
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5-6$ per day, dealing with food allergies gluten and dairy free. Also buying drinking water.
2 people, one adult, one teen who either eats like no tomorrow or doesnt eat at all.

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#8 of 79 Old 05-04-2015, 04:45 PM
 
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We are a family of 6, going on 7 & average $2.60 a person. I spent 40-60.00 a week for us & this has been going on for the last 5 years as Husband has got a degree, put himself through training & has been looking for a job. We have animals & their feed is factored into our grocery budget but I don't pick those up & don't know the prices, so it is higher than what I put.

8/2002 = 1 + 3
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#9 of 79 Old 05-04-2015, 05:17 PM
 
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We are a family of 6, going on 7 & average $2.60 a person. I spent 40-60.00 a week for us & this has been going on for the last 5 years as Husband has got a degree, put himself through training & has been looking for a job. We have animals & their feed is factored into our grocery budget but I don't pick those up & don't know the prices, so it is higher than what I put.
How on God's green earth are you doing this? ?? And in what blessed corner of the country do you live that you can feed a family of 6 or 7 on such a tiny food budget?? Seriously - share your secrets! Are you guys eating nothing but rice and beans? Do you grow half your own food? Inquiring minds want to know!

>>after posting what I thought we were spending on food earlier last week, I went back and attempted to redo our food budget. I started with a menu of what I typically make for breakfast lunch and dinner during the week, and then added up per item costs for that...it's actually a LOT more than what I thought. And the worst is that I really don't know how we can cut back on our food costs. Water yes...maybe. But food? Making everything from scratch, we're actually clocking in at $8.75 per person per day. And that's on weeks where I am serving vegetarian at least one night per week. Bulk of our costs look like they're coming from purchasing organic chicken, organic eggs, higher quality cheese (pastured, raw).

I am really curious to hear what lower spenders are eating...Anyone want to share a typical meal plan? I think geography counts a bit...we're SF Bay Area (California - the land of - very expensive - fruits and nuts). I expect to spend $40-$50 a week on good quality organic fruits and veg at the local farmers market when it opens next week.
What about a cost-of-items survey?:
- Whole organic chicken: $15 +/- (Trader Joe's)
- 1lb. ground beef (we don't eat it, but still, I'm curious): $9.99 (price at Whole Foods via Instacart)
- 1 doz. organic eggs: $4.99 (TJ's again)
- 1 loaf of organic or natural foods type bread (ie not wonderbread or orowheat): I stopped buying after it hit $5 for a loaf of organic whole wheat (small local chain store), Trader Joe's sells good sourdough loaves for $2.99, I make my own now using the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes recipe
- 5lbs of organic all purpose flour: $5-$7 depending on sales. I get mine for a bit less.
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#10 of 79 Old 05-04-2015, 05:49 PM
 
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How on God's green earth are you doing this? ?? And in what blessed corner of the country do you live that you can feed a family of 6 or 7 on such a tiny food budget?? Seriously - share your secrets! Are you guys eating nothing but rice and beans? Do you grow half your own food? Inquiring minds want to know!
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#11 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 06:53 AM
 
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Truthfully, we're dirt poor hillbillies. I've decided to air my dirty laundry here, here goes.We've been living on my husbands military retirement of $900.00 a month. There are no jobs here, though Husband has an interview today (hooray!), next county over. We purposefully chose a very low cost of living area, western NC, in the Appalachian foothills. We do garden. We do forage. Poke weed is coming up & it's time to gather/ can it. We have a milk goat & egg/ meat chickens. I only buy fruit in season & can it for the off season. 2 bags of deer apples are 50-100 lbs. of apples for $10.00 & you can make a lot of applesauce/ pie filling out of that. It's not as great as it sounds, my children are thrilled when we go to a friends house & get a whole banana or orange to themselves, as opposed to sharing or going into a smoothie at our house. But they are very big on sharing their fruit which is bittersweet to see.
We don't buy meat cuts. They just don't exist to us unless we slaughter a goat, chicken, or some kind person has hit a deer & calls us to come process it. That works for the winter, we're very dairy/ egg heavy in the warmer months. I preserve eggs in mineral oil for when they stop laying, but we are usually egg free in Dec./ Jan.
Sample Menu
Sunday I made a big pan of baked beans. They're good leftover warm, cold, or as a side dish. I saved 1/2 of the beans plain.
Mon. night was goat meat stew w/ peas. When frozen veg is $1.00 a pack, I stock up.
Tonight we're having baked sweet potatoes & carrots, usually the grownups just have regular plain baked, but we're out at the moment. Baked beans as a side. Tues. I work, so it's a crockpot/ leftover night.
Wed./ we'll have egg salad & I'll do something new w/ celery& goat cream cheese, I haven't figured out what yet.
Thurs. plan is to take the rest of the navy beans & puree them w/ onion, sour cream, tomato, pickled peppers for us (we had a weird bell/jalapeno cross in the garden last year, spicy bells!) & corn for them & break up the tortillas for chips & dip.
Fri. I'll be taking the children to Pizza Hut for their last book-it coupon & will make a grown up/ toddler pizza for us at home. I'll buy a personal pan for my 5 yr. old so she can feel included & make the store a little money, I always feel bad going in there & not spending anything. It's the only time we go to Pizza Hut.
Sat. I have (sandwich) ham & swiss cheese roll up w/ kraut cakes, I'm down to 1 1/2 qts. of sauerkraut & it's time to use it up.


Shopping notes


This time of year my kitchen is littered w/ quart& pint jars, being the end of the season. Last year I canned more than I ever had before & I feel hopeful/ excited to do more this year.
Weekly grocery staples (only at Aldi) I replace these as needed & able. Not everything needs replacing every week.
can of peanuts, canister of oatmeal, peanut butter
milk in the winter,1/2 & 1/2 , sour cream, plain yogurt for starter (goat milk doesn't yoge like cow milk),2 lb. of butter (splurge), 2lbs. of assorted cheese
coffee, tea
all purpose flour, olive oil, sugar,brown sugar, raisins, syrup
dry beans, tomato sauce/ paste/ diced, potatoes/sweet, celery, carrots, onions, cabbage. Once or twice a month, bags of spinach for salads, bananas
Fake crab & bacon once a month, tuna
cream of soups & noodles
TP, soap, paper towels, dish soap, deodorant, razors & cream for him (last about a year) & w/ weekly shampoos (more frequent in the summer) about 2 bottles of shampoo a year, just for the girls, boys use soap. I've decided shaving is stupid, feels weird & use the clippers in the summertime, cider vinegar works for deodorant. Another yearly purchase.
Usually $10.00-$20.00 goes into the fuel tank but I actually haven't told him that, he's got enough to stress on & everybody is healthy. The beginning of the month he'll give me $80.00 so that means a full tank & fruits to snack on. Fuel here is $2.43 this week.
I go to another store for wheat flour, bread flour, molasses, yeast, & Ovaltine (our Sunday treat), all our baking is done from scratch.
Our chickens, egg, milk, & veg are organic & free, unless you count the time trade-off which really isn't much.
Ground beef at Aldi (non-organic 80/20 fat) is $9.00 for 3 lbs. Sometimes we can get one of those.
Tractor Supply & the local farm store get our feed business.
Now you too, can be a hillbilly, use your knowledge wisely.

8/2002 = 1 + 3

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#12 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 08:00 AM
 
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I usually spend almost $5 a person by that math. But my 2 year old eats more than my 6 year old, and my 9 year old eats more than I do, and sometimes my DH buys his lunch. We didn't have much this week to spend though, low commission and end of the month. This cheap week's meals are something like:

eggs and bacon, lentil nuggets, roasted chicken with salad and peas
eggs and toast, pb&j or salad, homemade chicken noodle soup, popcorn
eggs and apples, salad, grilled cheese and tomato soup
eggs and hashbrowns, mac and cheese and salad, bacon baked beans and biscuits
eggs, pb&j, lentil nuggets

We have hens for at least half our eggs and there's a garden but it's not producing anything yet and so far hasn't given me enough to put back extra for the off season. I'm saving up for goats for all our dairy needs and trying to get the garden going nicely.
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#13 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 08:48 AM
 
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@Voondrop ,

I grew up pretty dirt poor most of the time..

You know what? I wouldn't change it for the world. I know how to be resourceful, and I think that is a real blessing today. My husband puts a lot of pressure on himself (high achieving, driven, self made CPA) to give his family so much..I always remind him of my very humble beginnings, and that it's not me who thinks we need a lot!

I'm thankful we don't have to struggle (no one wants that, and we work hard to stay debt free and on budget), but sometimes I actually wish my kids could experience more leanness and want like I had...but thankful we don't spoil them and they all know how to work hard-even the toddlers.

Anyway, sorry to hijack, but your post really got to me!

Blessings to you, mama! Don't you feel bad for imparting a sense of leanness and thankfulness to your kids. I'm nearing 40 and I see it as one of the greatest gifts of my childhood!
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#14 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 09:33 AM
 
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@Voondrop - I hope your DH get the job!!!
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#15 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 10:01 AM
 
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This thread is great!

We've had threads of monthly food costs, but the cost of living is so different, depending on where you live. It's been hard for me to figure out where we stand within the spectrum of spending.

We are in SF Bay Area of N. California. our spending ranges between $6 - $8 per person per day. I feed a family of 5. The toddler is counted as 1 because I eat more while nursing and my mother also joins us for most evening meals. If I included my Mom, it would be $5 - $6.5 per person per day.

This number includes paper products (t.p., occasional paper towels and napkins), cleaning/laundry supplies, shaving supplies, weekly local farm basket, local fruit/veggie stand. Does not include chicken feed.

We are dairy free omnivores, and recently 2 members have eliminated wheat . . . so I am struggling to find frugal and quick meals to replace the easy pasta or bread-based meals I had on hand for at least two dinners a week.

I shop at Trader Joe's, a local large grocery that has a great meat and bulk section, occasionally costco and occasionally order bulk beans/rice/flour from Azure Standard through a local co-op.

I cook mostly from scratch, but have not been baking bread lately since we only use 2 loaves a week now. (used to be 5-6 before the two went wheat free)

Thanks for the details Voondrop! I'll try to find time to get more detailed, since I really appreciate when others do so.

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#16 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 12:00 PM
 
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Well, by that math we're at about $6.15. However, I don't agree with not counting nursing babies since food for a nursing mom costs money plus (in my family) they are using things like diapers, wipes, laundry detergent, baby soap/shampoo, etc.. I also don't agree with counting kids under five as half. This really depends on the child and they still have non food expenses which can be significant if they're using disposable diapers or pull ups.

So, my budget counting each person as one is more like $4.40.
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#17 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 01:15 PM
 
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Well, by that math we're at about $6.15. However, I don't agree with not counting nursing babies since food for a nursing mom costs money plus (in my family) they are using things like diapers, wipes, laundry detergent, baby soap/shampoo, etc.. I also don't agree with counting kids under five as half. This really depends on the child and they still have non food expenses which can be significant if they're using disposable diapers or pull ups.

So, my budget counting each person as one is more like $4.40.
Agreed! I have 2 nursing babies, and then 3 more under 5...last time I checked, I still fed them, LOL!

My budget when including the young children fully, but not the newborns, is $4.30, and still includes personal products and some household stuff.

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#18 of 79 Old 05-05-2015, 05:40 PM
 
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Agreed! I have 2 nursing babies, and then 3 more under 5...last time I checked, I still fed them, LOL!

My budget when including the young children fully, but not the newborns, is $4.30, and still includes personal products and some household stuff.
I too have a nursing infant plus three under five in addition to our over five kids. The four youngest certainly cost more than 1.5 older people. Lots of that is diapers (using our cloth stash just isn't in the cards right now) but most of it is food.
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#19 of 79 Old 05-06-2015, 05:51 AM
 
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Thanks for all of the well wishes everybody, we're not really all that lean unless children working sways your opinion. Blackberries are flowering everywhere. Watering yesterday I saw it's time to pick strawberries, I've got at least 100 plants in, so I'll be trying jelly/ drying. We received 7 blueberry bushes last year but no expectations this year. We've got 5 apple, 2 peach & 2 pear trees. Nothing is fast but we try to put something new in every year.
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#20 of 79 Old 05-07-2015, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of the well wishes everybody, we're not really all that lean unless children working sways your opinion. Blackberries are flowering everywhere. Watering yesterday I saw it's time to pick strawberries, I've got at least 100 plants in, so I'll be trying jelly/ drying. We received 7 blueberry bushes last year but no expectations this year. We've got 5 apple, 2 peach & 2 pear trees. Nothing is fast but we try to put something new in every year.
Oh nothing tastes better than freshly picked fruits! I get all giddy when I see some very fresh produce. My parents have a big garden and even though I'm not a fruit lover, every time I go there I just start picking off things and eating them right there. I'm sure your children eat better than a lot of people do.

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#21 of 79 Old 05-07-2015, 12:54 PM
 
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Just wanted to thank everyone for contributing to this thread...it's a good dose of perspective for me as our budget issues are really a source of stress for me right now. Around here it seems like people are totally oblivious to the fact that there are families struggling every day just to get by with food on the table. @Voondrop - your resourcefulness is very inspiring to me. I hope all of your hardwork and the hardwork of your hubs pays off for you guys. I'm sure your kids will benefit in their adult life from seeing their mom and dad work hard and make due when things are tight.

Other than that..this thread has made it clear to me: I need chickens. We eat a lot of eggs. DH doesn't think I could keep them and he's worried about all the raccoons we have in our area (they are all over the place - plus the occasional coyote and the big birds of prey overhead).
Realistically - backyard chickens ten minutes outside of a big city?? Is it doable? How many would you need to keep up with demand for a family of 5 or 6 (we go through 3 dozen eggs a week, more if I do a lot of baking)?
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#22 of 79 Old 05-07-2015, 03:09 PM
 
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First, make sure you are zoned for them. Many new city/county ordinances allow for them, up to a certain number.

Certain breeds give more eggs. Many stop laying in cold climates during Winter unless you put a heat lamp in, and the often slow a bit still. A young layer typically will give 1-2 eggs per day. There is tons of info online about them.

Unfortunately, while the city allows for chickens here, my CC&R's do not. Plus, we are on nearly 1 acre, but the amount of chickens we'd need to supply our eggs, I'd need more space, as I'd want them restricted from the yard space, but otherwise free..so at least some space beyond our landscaped part.

We use about 5 dozen a week, more when I was doing Brewer for twin pregnancy! Thankfully, we get farm eggs from friends at church for $3.00 for 18..otherwise, I buy the $8.97 5 dozen large from Walmart...but they sure aren't as good!

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#23 of 79 Old 05-08-2015, 06:18 AM
 
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There are many things I probably could do on my smallish land but wouldn't. Chickens is one of them because of the investment and commitment. We have some fruit trees but no berries, and vegetable planters but no "garden." IMO supporting local agriculture is very important to the livability of a region and the skills of horticulture and husbandry are just not something to which I'm committing my life as our local small farmers are doing. I've been able to save money buy buying directly from the farm(s) in bulk. Then the farmer doesn't need to package the product & haul it to a rented market stand nor must I go to the market. Additionally a good relationship with the farmer provide other opportunities for cooperation and friendship.

I noticed in the thread that there is a lot of mainstream shopping, in supermarket stores, buying manufactured products such as bottled water and fresh food out of season. I found it to be a very expensive and unsustainable way to live. The production of greens for the US market is an ecological disaster; from the 1960s pumping in the desert of northern Mexico to grow cabbage and lettuce, for example, resulted in salination and abandonment of vast regions that remain wastelands to this day. Many greens are quite low in nutrients - but high in water - and yet they are mostly grown in drought-stricken regions for export. I think buying them in the supermarket represents a very low value for everyone but the capitalist.
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#24 of 79 Old 05-09-2015, 08:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pumabearclan View Post
There are many things I probably could do on my smallish land but wouldn't. Chickens is one of them because of the investment and commitment. We have some fruit trees but no berries, and vegetable planters but no "garden." IMO supporting local agriculture is very important to the livability of a region and the skills of horticulture and husbandry are just not something to which I'm committing my life as our local small farmers are doing. I've been able to save money buy buying directly from the farm(s) in bulk. Then the farmer doesn't need to package the product & haul it to a rented market stand nor must I go to the market. Additionally a good relationship with the farmer provide other opportunities for cooperation and friendship.

I noticed in the thread that there is a lot of mainstream shopping, in supermarket stores, buying manufactured products such as bottled water and fresh food out of season. I found it to be a very expensive and unsustainable way to live. The production of greens for the US market is an ecological disaster; from the 1960s pumping in the desert of northern Mexico to grow cabbage and lettuce, for example, resulted in salination and abandonment of vast regions that remain wastelands to this day. Many greens are quite low in nutrients - but high in water - and yet they are mostly grown in drought-stricken regions for export. I think buying them in the supermarket represents a very low value for everyone but the capitalist.
Speaking as a small farming family, my family spends more man-hours than we'd like to admit getting that food to the market and making it affordable. We make less than $5 an hour when all is said and done. And that's not even counting kid labor. So when people show up at our farm to buy from us saving us gas, time, market fees, and supplies we are thrilled. We would love people to get involved with the farm and come play on the land. We are happy to drop what we are doing and give personal tours.
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#25 of 79 Old 05-09-2015, 09:10 AM
 
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^ This has been my experience, it's been lovely.

I go out every month to three months to the various farm(s). The farthest is 2 hours away so we make a day trip of it.

Thank you for farming, justmama!
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#26 of 79 Old 05-13-2015, 07:56 AM
 
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We subscribe to a local CSA box and get the majority of our produce that way. But this does not save us money. Property prices here are some of the highest in the USA, so farm fresh produce is more expensive than buying from the store. This is the one area where I splurge to support our local food economy.
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#27 of 79 Old 05-14-2015, 11:55 AM
 
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although i can totally appreciate supporting local farmers and we can actually do it now, i have to say that people still need to eat. back when we lived in maine you could get apples at the regular grocery store for 99 cents a pound, during apple season you could get them from the farmer for $2.95 a pound. even going to the farm and picking them yourself was more expensive then the grocery store. as much as i wanted to eat all locally, i also knew we had to eat. so sometimes YES we went to the regular store and bought food. and i'm not dogging on the farmers, because i know they have to be able to live as well.
now, thankfully, we have an income that allows us to eat a lot more locally. i get all of our produce from the farmers market, our meat and eggs are local and so is our milk. i feel truly blessed that we can do this. i love our farmers and ranchers. but sadly it isn't always that way for everyone.
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#28 of 79 Old 05-14-2015, 12:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OrmEmbar View Post
We subscribe to a local CSA box and get the majority of our produce that way. But this does not save us money. Property prices here are some of the highest in the USA, so farm fresh produce is more expensive than buying from the store. This is the one area where I splurge to support our local food economy.
I don't know about other areas of the country, but in the land of Zuckerberg and Google, eating local *and* organic is more of a luxury. You can eat organic on a budget, but local...not so much.
So yeah...maybe I am a bougie capitalist for doing the bulk of my shopping at Trader Joe's, but at the moment, factoring in the cost of time (as a self-employed/barely making it family - time = $), effort, gas, etc, grocery stores offer my best options for stretching my dollar, along with buying almost all our produce from the local farmers market.

Farmer's market *is* slightly cheaper depending on what you're buying - amazing organic strawberries are $12 for a half box (6 baskets - which would go for about $3-4 ea. at the grocery store), organic lettuce (huge heads) $1.75 ($2.50 at the store, cheaper if you buy safeway organic, but that stuff is gross), cauliflower is $2.50/head...which is pricey, but considering that even my ridiculously picky middle child will eat it - sometimes worth it.
Blueberries are OUTRAGEOUS - $9 for a medium size container, $7 for small. And sometimes that's not even organic. I never buy them. Organic blueberries at Trader Joe's are never more than $3.99 - aside from winter, when we skip them altogether they're CA or at least US grown the rest of the year. And again...eggs at the Farmers market are $9/dozen as of yesterday.

I've priced local produce and meat CSAs and they are not cheap. One local meat CSA offers a poultry only option (which is the only one that would be suitable for my family) - it works out to be about $7.15/lb for 16lbs of meat per month. Whole certified organic chickens (I stretch them for three meals plus bone stock) are $2.99/lb. Produce CSAs are effectively the same price as buying at the farmers market, but without the choice of buying the items that work with the rest of my menu for the week.

I would love to orient our diet more around local goods when our budget allows, but right now, my priorities are keeping my kids fed and keeping the food we do eat as nutritious as possible within the bounds of our financial situation.
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#29 of 79 Old 05-15-2015, 06:49 AM
 
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I find it to be much cheaper to buy direct from the farms. As I said, I buy in bulk and negotiate with the farmer at times. A side of beef is cheap by the pound, especially if you consider that you are also getting all the fats & cartilage that would otherwise have to be supplemented for proper health. I get cheese by the 5-pound which is cheaper than grocery store cheese. One time I arrived when a dairy cow was being slaughtered after taking a fall and the farmer sold me cuts right there by eye, we wrapped them in paper. I also got the tongue and brain for free (brain is not allowed to be sold). Another farmer gives me a discount for our surplus apples that he presses for cider. I used a CSA and shopped at farmers markets and it's expensive, I don't do that any more. Specifically I said that going direct to the farmer and buying in bulk is affordable. In addition to the other benefts, which are nice of course, but the savings are what I and justmama were emphasizing.
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#30 of 79 Old 05-15-2015, 11:01 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lightheartedmom View Post
Other than that..this thread has made it clear to me: I need chickens. We eat a lot of eggs. DH doesn't think I could keep them and he's worried about all the raccoons we have in our area (they are all over the place - plus the occasional coyote and the big birds of prey overhead).
Realistically - backyard chickens ten minutes outside of a big city?? Is it doable? How many would you need to keep up with demand for a family of 5 or 6 (we go through 3 dozen eggs a week, more if I do a lot of baking)?
If your city zoning allows it, get 8 hens and probably no rooster (neighbors wouldn't appreciate the crowing). If the neighbors and laws are ok with a roo he would help guard and lead the ladies though. A strongly built coop would keep predators out nicely, hardware cloth over all the vent windows, sturdy closing and locking door for nighttime. An outdoor run (at least 80sqft if it's stationary, a little less if you move it regularly to fresh grass) with netting or roofing overhead (hawks). But I would do a cattle panel hoophouse as coop and run together if I built their shelter over again for mine. Like this http://domesticendeavors.net/2012/02...icken-corrals/ . Move it weekly or so. Let them free range the whole yard while supervised if you like, they herd pretty nicely if they are used to you. May need more shelter than that in winter though, depends how extreme it gets where you are. 6 mil clear plastic all over except 8sqft of vent areas and deep bedding for winter might make it cozy. A heat lamp on just the very coldest nights would be nice to have available.
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