The Cost of Food - Page 9 - Mothering Forums

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#241 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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MamaChel - I can definately see your point of view, but if you are really dead set on making a change it can be done with or without money.

DH and I just built a good size chicken coop. All it cost us was the price of hardware. We "foraged" if you will. We found people who were replacing their fences and took all we needed from their trash pile. Found family and friends with supplies we needed that they just wanted gone (like rolls of chicken wire sitting around at the edge of a yard) and we were more than happy to oblige. We also had a few bits of wood hanging around from our last project.

I am definately not a freegan, but I have started paying attention on trash day to things sitting outside the trash cans and have scored many times. People these days throw out perfectly useable items all the time. Flower pots are one item that gets thrown out all the time, mostly cause it has a chip on it and it is then an eye sore. So Just throwing another idea out there to people. There is free stuff everywhere. 2x4 timbers from old fence panels work well to line gardens as well. Or use them to make a raised garden if the landlord doesn't want you to dig. Just some ideas.

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#242 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 11:28 AM
 
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my friend and i were just talking about this a couple hours ago. i just did some minor shopping today, picking up odds and ends and things that were on sale and i spent $77. i just spend $75 last week and i still have things i need to pick up from another store. we have a family of 5 and its getting a bit out of hand. i noticed gas went up today by ..40 a gallon too. its 3.79 now

We're paying 4.19 in CT, I never thought anything in the $3 range would sound cheap:
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#243 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 11:32 AM
 
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It's hard, I know. Groceries are always are our biggest money drain--we were spending about $800/month on groceries just a few months ago-- but we were finally able to work out a system that works for us. Now (even with the increasing food prices) our bill is down dramatically. (I sound like an infomercial, don't I? )

It was actually the frugality forum on MDC that was the catalyst, since that's where I learned to shop from the sales fliers at my local stores (for us this means going to three different stores every week, but it's worth it for the $ we save), and use coupons on those sale items as much as possible. I use www.thecouponclippers.com, which costs me about $4/week, but saves me at least $40-50/week, so again, totally worth it. Then, if we stockpile as much as we can afford on the sale items, we don't have to buy it again until it's on sale again, so we're always buying below retail price.

(That is, except for flour and rice, which I haven't been able to find any coupons for, and which are costing an arm and a leg right now!)

P.S. You say, "I'm already skipping a lot of necessary stuff to help my pregnancy be at it's best," and that's worrisome. Do you qualify for any kind of aid, like WIC, to make sure you get all the nutrition you need?
Rice prices at the grocery store have always been a rip off. Go to an Indian food store, it's much cheaper and in bulk. Spices are way cheaper too
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#244 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 11:46 AM
 
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I just went vegetarian.

I saved a crapload of money at the grocery store.

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#245 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 11:51 AM
 
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ya know, it's not that people don't *want* to garden. there is some objection to the suggestion that the *only* solution is to garden, even if you can't. sometimes it's not simply a matter of "trying harder", "being creative", or at least having something in a pot. Those pots cost money, the soil costs, if you need to add something to the soil that costs. Some people do not own their home, and the landowner does not want such things on their property. So, it's not the *suggestion* that is putting people off, it's the *tone* that implies (maybe not intentionally) that the person who says they cannot garden is just not trying hard enough.

Otherwise, there are some really good ideas on this thread. I used to forage a bit when I was young, my brother's grandpa taught us a tiny bit. I can't grow a weed but I picked my pots and soil up from my storage this week so we can plant a little something. If I would have had to *buy* those items we wouldn't be able to plant anything.
Perhaps gardening is like cloth diapering (regular cloth diapering, not designer cloth diapering lol) . It's often hard to come up with the front money, but if you can, it's all down hill after that.

Don't forget freecycle and road side trash. I've gotten lot of my pots from the dump, and some wood for my beds from freecycle. My neighbor just gave me 20 small raspberry and rubharb plants. I about cried.

It might not be easy, it might not be free, but if you can make baby steps towards getting what you need, it will feel really good when you get that first tomato from your first dumpster pot.
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#246 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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I just went vegetarian.

I saved a crapload of money at the grocery store.


We've been thinking of doing this (again) but we don't eat soy and I've found it is so hard to keep coming up with fresh ideas.

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#247 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 01:56 PM
 
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We've been thinking of doing this (again) but we don't eat soy and I've found it is so hard to keep coming up with fresh ideas.
I eat lots of sunflower/pumpkin/almond/sesame/peanut seeds and nuts. You can throw any into a stirfry w/ veggies and rice... that's an idea. (buy bulk in the fall from the HFS... it's worth it)
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#248 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 01:58 PM
 
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Perhaps gardening is like cloth diapering (regular cloth diapering, not designer cloth diapering lol) . It's often hard to come up with the front money, but if you can, it's all down hill after that.

Don't forget freecycle and road side trash. I've gotten lot of my pots from the dump, and some wood for my beds from freecycle. My neighbor just gave me 20 small raspberry and rubharb plants. I about cried.

It might not be easy, it might not be free, but if you can make baby steps towards getting what you need, it will feel really good when you get that first tomato from your first dumpster pot.
also, sometimes you can get manure for free from a farm. or compost your kitchen scraps.
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#249 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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i am so mad! after spending all that money on pots for planting beacuse my landlord said i couldnt have a garden or plant anything that wasnt right next to the trailer (in the shade!) he says we can plant a garden now! i wish he would make up his mind. i could have saved $100. oh well. im kinda glad i put them in pots because i moved them when i realized that they werent getting enough sun. but still.. my landlord is an old farmer. he has 20 trailers here in town.
now that ive ranted.... ive never grown my own spices before and want to now about taking some when they are growing. do they grow back? does the lettuce grow back after youve taken the tops? Does spinach? im a little naive yet about some stuff. help a girl out?

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#250 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:02 PM
 
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It might not be easy, it might not be free, but if you can make baby steps towards getting what you need, it will feel really good when you get that first tomato from your first dumpster pot.
That's true, but there are some people (not me, but I know there are others) who live in an apartment without a balcony who really, truly don't have anywhere they could garden. Unless they want to stick to growing mushrooms in the closet.

It is true that for almost everyone some small degree of gardening is possible. But I think it's only fair to admit that for some people it is simply not possible, no matter how willing or creative they are.

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#251 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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Bunnies, and esp birds love strawberries. Sometimes netting over the whole thing helps.

Sorry to take this into gardening, but I don't think it is birds. I shouldn't say the berries are "gone," they look like honeycomb-- full of so many holes they are barely held together. I've taken a few apart and I can't find anything. So, the squash are just starting to grow and I'm afraid that they will be next. The eggplant leaves are getting eaten, too. I'm thinking that whatever eats the leaves will eat the eggplant, too. I'd be freaking out right now if I was counting on this food.
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#252 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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That's true, but there are some people (not me, but I know there are others) who live in an apartment without a balcony who really, truly don't have anywhere they could garden. Unless they want to stick to growing mushrooms in the closet.

It is true that for almost everyone some small degree of gardening is possible. But I think it's only fair to admit that for some people it is simply not possible, no matter how willing or creative they are.
Thank you!

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#253 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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That's true, but there are some people (not me, but I know there are others) who live in an apartment without a balcony who really, truly don't have anywhere they could garden. Unless they want to stick to growing mushrooms in the closet.

It is true that for almost everyone some small degree of gardening is possible. But I think it's only fair to admit that for some people it is simply not possible, no matter how willing or creative they are.
I agree with that. Some people can't, no matter what. Herbs and sprouts on the kitchen counter, but not much more. Absolutely.
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#254 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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If you can find even one bug and post a picture of it, I could help you out.

Woodbugs (sowbugs, pillbugs) often eat strawberries.
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#255 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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Sorry to take this into gardening, but I don't think it is birds. I shouldn't say the berries are "gone," they look like honeycomb-- full of so many holes they are barely held together. I've taken a few apart and I can't find anything. So, the squash are just starting to grow and I'm afraid that they will be next. The eggplant leaves are getting eaten, too. I'm thinking that whatever eats the leaves will eat the eggplant, too. I'd be freaking out right now if I was counting on this food.
Starvation is a reall issue all over the world, and it's not just about having a garden.

Ask some local gardners what sort of bugs are common in the area. You might be able to soap them or garlic spray them out. Also, some bugs like some things, but not others. So it's possible that whatver else you are growing won't be at all affected by whatever is causing the strawberry demise.

Biodiversity is really important; companion planting, and knowing what bugs exists in your garden ecosystem are all tools in the pest arsenal. Planting certain flowers along side certain plants can help attract predators that will eat what's eating one's garden. Gardening is not a total crap shoot, and sharing with local and experienced gardeners can help.
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#256 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 03:53 PM
 
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Thank you!
Lissa, I get that you can't garden at all. In pots, or not. We all have ways of helping ourselves in times of economic stress. For a lot of us, gardening is a very practical way, but it isn't one of your ways. You aren't going to be able to feed your family anything you grow, and i get that.

Without giving up hope in these times, perhaps the commune here can help with in some other way that might help stretch your food dollar?
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#257 of 257 Old 05-25-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Sorry to take this into gardening, but I don't think it is birds. I shouldn't say the berries are "gone," they look like honeycomb-- full of so many holes they are barely held together. I've taken a few apart and I can't find anything. So, the squash are just starting to grow and I'm afraid that they will be next. The eggplant leaves are getting eaten, too. I'm thinking that whatever eats the leaves will eat the eggplant, too. I'd be freaking out right now if I was counting on this food.
But you are learning, right? You now know that something eats your egg-plant leaves and the strawberries. Now you have to figure out what. May I suggest planting marigolds? they really repel many bugs. Just put them close to your plants..
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