14

votes

Embarking on a rather challenging mission. We are going to try and completely wean ourselves from the grocery store. 100% farmers market and grass fed pastured meats etc.*updated-first week shopping*

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 20, 2012 at 5:48 AM

It may sound crazy but I think its possible. We aren't rich financially by any means but we are rich in resources. In the northwest we have a wonderful farmers market and there is a organic/100% grass fed and pastured farm that will ship to our door. We dont even have to buy a half cow!

We live literally next door to a fred meyers and within walking distance of walmart and winco. I could probably write 20 pages on why we want to do this. Processed, irradiated, shipped from who knows where gmo foods and of course the corporations that sell them. Tomatoes that were green on harvest to frankenfood. The reasons are many. But regardless of why- we are gonna give it a shot.

We will have to get used to eating far less in quantity and in ..well.."fun". It means giving up our beloved beef bacon and any number of condiments that make this diet easier. We want to go all the way.

We would really appreciate any advice/thoughts or experiences shared from folks who have done this (or feel that they have advice to offer!).

Breakdown:

600 per month for 2 people. (sounds crazy but it comes from 200 from a full time student and 400 from a halfway decent industry job). We live cheap in general and consider this a sound investment. Its probably our biggest expense other than rent. Until literally last week neither of us drove. We don't go out. Etc etc etc..

200 goes toward a lot of grass fed free range pastured beef and that includes shipping. It generally breaks down to 3.5 pounds of ground beef, 2 steaks a week for 3 weeks. 2 beef stews and one roast.

I am thinking that 50 a week will go towards meat/eggs and the market. and 25 or so goes toward ghee or butter if they have it at the market.

The left over 40 ish a week will be green stuff/ local nuts (hazelnut) and whatever else.

This will mean eating a lot less. but once we cut out everything from the grocery store hopefully it'll open up enough to make it work. Basically we need to get a hold of some other meats to supplement the beef.

At the market chicken is at least 5$ a pound, eggs 5-7 a dozen and other meats are way spendy. cringes *yikes*

Now my question is is this feasible?? Im actually worried about getting enough calories for both of us. He needs to do low carb and I want both of us to be for sure less than 100g carbs. But I worry we cant afford enough fat/protein to make it work. We eat dairy and nightshades.

Is it better to eat way less but eat better? Even if it means getting more calories from roughage? I plan on buying some local hazelnuts and cheese. That should be pretty calorie dense. I just hope we have enough to justify buying from the 'mushroom lady" - MM!

IM excited but also nervous. Detaching from such a comfortable institution such as our food source is a bit unnerving. Can we really get everything we need from the market???

****Edited with update

Wow I feel I need to update this after my first full on grocery shopping experience at the farmers market!! All of my worries were for naught this is TOTALLY doable. We will be able to eat plenty and well!!

Some highlights: (Im not listing everything but believe me they have everything!)

Meat vendor who also sells tons of paleo books and is obviously very hip to this diet. Bought some beautifully rendered duck fat for 6$ (fair size chunk bigger than a stick of regular butter!)

A lady who has 43 acres and sells a bit of everything- pastured eggs 5$ a dozen, raw hazelnuts 6$ a pound, salisfy, organic frozen berries S3.50 a pound!! oh my!

And let me say I have NEVER had frozen berries like these! They were vacuum sealed at peak condition so when I opened the package I smelled strawberries so strongly I thought I was gonna squeal! (in a most undignified manner) and they TASTE like strawberries not that weird sour nasty taste of the frozen store berries.

Found bacon that is exactly the same price as trader joes! 3$ for ends and pieces=)=)

Root vegetables big enough to club someone with! Seriously they had parsnips the size of a caveman club.

Of course the mushroom lady who has tons of the good stuff- miatake, chanterelles etc etc and even sells broth for real cheap.

Raw sharp cheddar! And with the addition of fats from the butcher it is the only dairy we will eat.

So for 70$ I got more than we could eat and it will prob last for more than a week! We were able to add enough individual cuts from the online grass fed/ organic rancher we buy beef from to make it enough to last the month. Way cheaper than the market prices cause we buy in bulk.

And of course lets not forget the exercise I got lugging about 50lbs of groceries home (seriously those root veggies are huge-beets the size of a childs head!) and 4 dozen eggs and so on. I had to walk and carry onto public transit and walk more (I live in another city) I am tired but happy=) Its the good kind of tired.

Seriously folks if you have the resources you should totally try this!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 26, 2012
at 10:05 AM

I haven't read this ebook, so I can't vouch for it, but it looked like it might have some good ideas. Maybe someone else here has read it and can chime in. http://www.primaltightwad.com/?hop=primalbody

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:20 PM

I think I could probably find somewhere that delivers but I rather jealously guard the experience of being able to touch/smell everything first!! Plus who knows what special they may be having on stuff!!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:19 PM

I will admit that I was seriously tempted to tell the bf that we will be purchasing one of those immediately lol. I still may..but Im hovering on making that decision. I appreciate the extra exercise and it feels less lazy somehow. But at the same time wow its hard to shuffle around all that stuff on public transit!!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:16 PM

Here is the link to the place I am buying from. If you are located in their shipping area I really recommend them. Their steaks are the BEST I have EVER tasted. The fat just melts in your mouth and is so sweet!! ooh!! http://www.fourpinesranch.com/

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:15 PM

I dont really mind- all I know is that they are treated well and fed as close to their natural diet as you can get. I have no problem with the cows eating hay during the winter. I grew up with goats/sheep who ate hay and were pastured. I dunno Im still happy=)

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:21 PM

So happy to see your update! We have a full-diet CSA with a local farm and are going to try to wean ourselves the REST of the way off grocery stores this coming year. (We'll see how well we succeed.) I'm jealous of the berries!

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Possible, but the cows will often at least eat hay, etc., in the winter. (Not fresh grass, but hardly grain.) Pastured cattle are quite a bit older at slaughter than CAFO animals (18 months--?--versus about six months, I think... could be wrong) because they don't grow as quickly on their natural diet. There's nothing wrong with hay in the winter for the animals, but it's not going to be purely green grass.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Wow this straw bale gardening thing is pretty cool- I really hope I can sell it to my landlords!

34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on January 22, 2012
at 07:49 AM

Wow! Glad you bit the bullet and just gave it a shot, hope everything continues to work out for you.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 22, 2012
at 06:22 AM

I agree. A tiny folding hand truck was the best investment I made when I lived in the city. Between that and my camping backpack I could get a lot of stuff back to my apartment. Rolling as much as I could meant I still had strength to carry it up to my 4th floor apt. If you happen to find yourself at Ikea, they have really cute bags on wheels with a drawstring top right now.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 04:16 AM

I have never heard of that!!! Ohh I must google it right away!!!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 04:11 AM

Yeah - but the beef we get is frozen SOLID even after a few days in the mail. So Im guessing there is nothing stopping people from freezing animals for later sell throughout the year. The rancher did mention when I asked for short ribs that they didnt have any in stock and wont be able to get more till may...

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 04:09 AM

Ugh really??? I didnt opt for the ginormous ones- I figured it would be a pain to cut em. But the ones I got are pretty darn huge. I hope they arent gross :(

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 22, 2012
at 03:53 AM

I'm glad you pointed this out - it's been bothering me for ages, since I started reading paleo blogs. I grew up raising beef cattle. Grass doesn't grow in the winter, folks, specially when it's constantly being eaten. Hence the existence of hay/alfalfa/silage. Cows are, after all, domesticated animals. When you see them allowed to range public lands in the West, that's because the gov't is subsidizing that industry and because private pastures won't cut it without supplementation.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 22, 2012
at 03:43 AM

Hey, ancestral stars, do you have room to straw bale garden? I do it in the city and have had great luck with it. If you've got spare land, no matter if it's concrete, clay or grass, you can pop a straw bale on it, and grow stuff. I moved to bale gardening because it was a lot cheaper than buying equivalent potting soil. Maybe something to look into. It can be very pretty, too - helps sell it to the neighbors.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:38 AM

Don't buy gigantic parsnips...the inside it all woody and inedible and doesn't get better with cooking. Learned that the hard way!

D8f58eba263277ec6119293137b85b02

(1061)

on January 22, 2012
at 12:41 AM

I am seriously jealous of your farmer's market bacon. I love Trader Joe's "ends and pieces" but I wish they carried pastured - or at least that my farmers' markets carried the cheap ends and pieces. I'm glad everything worked out for you!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 04:51 AM

I will look at the link to be sure.. but we really are trying to avoid going into the store at all. Im afraid the temptation to just grab that *insert item* here would be too great.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Once again great suggestions thank you!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 03:31 AM

I think we are going to try lard instead of ghee. I love ghee but lard looks cheaper plus no shipping cost. I never thought of the canning angle before.. So many great suggestions Im glad I posted here=)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 03:29 AM

Ooh I love mountain rose! Ive been ordering from them forever=) I even won a 100$ gift certificate once. Im going to have to look into hydroponics and farm stands. Oddly enough most of the price lists from the meat vendors price "guts" as more expensive then muscle meat!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 20, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I'm guessing it would be even easier to do this in the PDX than it is here in Seattle. Once you get that vehicle working go hit some farm stands and do some serious berry picking in the spring and summer. If you take up drying, canning, and or freezing of fresh produce in bulk you can save even more money. Getting fat and organ meats should be easy at the farmer's market if you talk to the people selling meat ahead of time and let them know you are interested. Check out Salt Works and Mountain Rose Herbs online for quality seasonings. Hydroponics might be an idea for growing some food too.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 08:40 PM

And even more unfortunately the one thing neither of us have is time to trade in work! We also do not currently have a *working* vehicle. He bought one but it needs a few weeks of work before itll be in serviceable condition.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Oh how I wish we could grow our own. We are in an apartment and unfortunately located on top of an old landfill. We cant even drink our water and have to buy it :(

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on January 20, 2012
at 05:20 PM

You pretty much covered everything I was going to say. Growing your own veggies can save a lot of money. If you're in an apartment there may be community gardening resources, or perhaps a friend with land would be willing to trade some space in their garden for some sweat equity helping out buidling beds or fixing irrigation or something.

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 20, 2012
at 05:14 PM

I think you're right. For my money, freezing seems about the best method--or at least the one that offers the most options for what to do with the resulting foods. I did get a small chest freezer a couple years ago, but never developed a good routine for stocking up and preserving food from the farmer's market. I always bought only what I could eat fresh, which is maybe short-sighted. I will think more about it this summer when the farmer's markets are back. I don't know if I can produce the right conditions for root cellaring in my apartment, but that idea has always appealed to me too.

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:20 PM

If you're looking to go truly local, the trick I think is to stock up over the summer with things you can preserve at home. Otherwise winter can be a little barren!

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Growing potted plants in a small space is a great way to get some veggies in...Money saved if you buy things that grow easy from seed like radishes, green leafys, and such. Tomatoes have good ROI too if you get the right kind. Only other suggestion would be get a deep freeze and find a place to purchace 1/4-1/2 cow at a time if you can. Steaks at the price of ground beef is what it amounts to.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 01:11 PM

continued: still I'm sure you can find ways of stretching the budget if you need to. Either way, this is a great idea and I hope more people do it.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 01:09 PM

fair enough. I know where I live (Manhattan), the cheapest I can go for food is $60 a week, and that also means timing meals carefully. Otherwise I feel like I'm underfed or fasting every few days.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:40 PM

Wow. This is one of the very few times I have ever missed living in Florida (did a few year stint there). I knew so many folks who fished and just gave away stuff!Hopefully I can find some people here=)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:39 PM

Wow what a whole host of great ideas/resources thank you!! I will check into the links you provided. I live in the portland area =)We plan on continuing to order ghee from amazon but that is pretty much it. Oh man do I ever feel you on the temptations from the market (novelty). But hopefully we will have more to spend on such things once we cut out all the impulse convenience junk at the grocery store!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Thanks for the link=)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Anything non food related (paper towels etc) is not included in the grocery budget thankfully. We will look into ways to cut costs but we are pretty set on not raising the budget for food. At 600 a month for two people we already feel like we are being excessive!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:33 PM

Oh dont I know it (I love potatoes!) But yes we do need to be doing low carb right now. Though low carb not vlc at 100g or less a day. When we get to our goal weights perhaps we can raise it to 150 or less.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on January 20, 2012
at 12:20 PM

Do you HAVE to be low carb? Potatoes will make this a zillion times easier.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 12:09 PM

well said, Amerindian. This is a good idea, and one that a lot of locavores I know in NC use. It's worth it! especially the venison...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 20, 2012
at 06:25 AM

That is very cool!!! You are going to do awesome at this!!!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 06:23 AM

Thanks for the suggestion but we are trying to go completely away from any grocery store. I know it would be cheaper.. we have a trader joes nearby after all. But its about more than just money. We want to go completely away from any chain store.

1c67bc28f4e44bbb8770b86df0463df3

(6719)

on January 20, 2012
at 05:52 AM

do THIS^^^, whats the worse that could happen? You stop in Sams club and pick up a bushel of spinach or a case of sardines? :)

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14 Answers

best answer

11
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 20, 2012
at 08:40 AM

Good for you! I've found it to be an oddly freeing experience not running to the store all the time. I actually feel like I am getting more food for less money now because I'm not going to the store all the time, so all those incidental splurges don't add up. Maybe you are more disciplined than I am, but how much I spend has everything to do with how often I go to the store. I do a modified version of the no grocery store thing, and try to go to the store as rarely as possible. I guess we practice the 80/20 rule, but with shopping. It is pretty darn doable, and I'm happier with the quality of food I end up with because it hasn't been sitting around wilting.

We're in Seattle so you might have some of the same resources. I love, love, love the farmer's market, it is an orgy of the senses, but I feel like I get the most bang for my buck from the CSA that delivers to my door. We use New Roots Organics, and get a huge bin for $39. I found that at the farmer's market I was drawn in by novel and pricey stuff a little too much and could easily blow $75-125 on two bags of groceries if I grabbed some raw milk, eggs, salmon, goat meat, charcuterie, cider, pickles, and goat cheese along with the green stuff I actually went there for.

We get most of our meat and eggs delivered from SPUD. I do still hit the co-op for lamb steaks, herbs, kim chi, and sauerkraut. Plus the occasional trip to Trader Joe's for butter, cream, nuts, wine, toddler snacks, and chocolate.

And I don't know how strongly you feel about the shipping and packaging issues, but Amazon has been great for ordering things like vinegar, coconut oil, coconut milk, canned fish, and canned tomatoes in bulk.

The regular grocery store is pretty much only for milk, yogurt, and cereal for the non-paleo family members.

Do you have access to any outdoor growing space? We manage to grow parsley, collard greens, and kale pretty much year round in our corner of the Northwest. They grow well in pots, and are extremely low maintenance. You can stretch your potato dollar by saving some of the potatoes you get at the farmer's market until they develop buds and then slowly cover them with dirt and/or straw over the course of the spring and summer in a trash can with holes in the bottom, and you can turn a few potatoes into a ton of them by the first frost.

Are you near any fishing docks? You can get right off the boat deals on crab, prawns, and salmon if you want surf to go with your turf. If you are near Seattle, you can get whole salmon from the Duwamish in the fall for a good price, plus the fish are on the way back upstream so they are often full of roe for added nutrition and yumminess.

Best of luck to you, I am confident you will find a way to feed yourselves better than you ever have, and for less money too, so you can splurge on those chantrelles when they are in season.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:39 PM

Wow what a whole host of great ideas/resources thank you!! I will check into the links you provided. I live in the portland area =)We plan on continuing to order ghee from amazon but that is pretty much it. Oh man do I ever feel you on the temptations from the market (novelty). But hopefully we will have more to spend on such things once we cut out all the impulse convenience junk at the grocery store!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 20, 2012
at 11:41 PM

I'm guessing it would be even easier to do this in the PDX than it is here in Seattle. Once you get that vehicle working go hit some farm stands and do some serious berry picking in the spring and summer. If you take up drying, canning, and or freezing of fresh produce in bulk you can save even more money. Getting fat and organ meats should be easy at the farmer's market if you talk to the people selling meat ahead of time and let them know you are interested. Check out Salt Works and Mountain Rose Herbs online for quality seasonings. Hydroponics might be an idea for growing some food too.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 03:29 AM

Ooh I love mountain rose! Ive been ordering from them forever=) I even won a 100$ gift certificate once. Im going to have to look into hydroponics and farm stands. Oddly enough most of the price lists from the meat vendors price "guts" as more expensive then muscle meat!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 08:40 PM

And even more unfortunately the one thing neither of us have is time to trade in work! We also do not currently have a *working* vehicle. He bought one but it needs a few weeks of work before itll be in serviceable condition.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 08:39 PM

Oh how I wish we could grow our own. We are in an apartment and unfortunately located on top of an old landfill. We cant even drink our water and have to buy it :(

35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on January 20, 2012
at 05:20 PM

You pretty much covered everything I was going to say. Growing your own veggies can save a lot of money. If you're in an apartment there may be community gardening resources, or perhaps a friend with land would be willing to trade some space in their garden for some sweat equity helping out buidling beds or fixing irrigation or something.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:29 PM

Growing potted plants in a small space is a great way to get some veggies in...Money saved if you buy things that grow easy from seed like radishes, green leafys, and such. Tomatoes have good ROI too if you get the right kind. Only other suggestion would be get a deep freeze and find a place to purchace 1/4-1/2 cow at a time if you can. Steaks at the price of ground beef is what it amounts to.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 04:16 AM

I have never heard of that!!! Ohh I must google it right away!!!

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 22, 2012
at 03:43 AM

Hey, ancestral stars, do you have room to straw bale garden? I do it in the city and have had great luck with it. If you've got spare land, no matter if it's concrete, clay or grass, you can pop a straw bale on it, and grow stuff. I moved to bale gardening because it was a lot cheaper than buying equivalent potting soil. Maybe something to look into. It can be very pretty, too - helps sell it to the neighbors.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 10:13 PM

Wow this straw bale gardening thing is pretty cool- I really hope I can sell it to my landlords!

5
34b560c8b9ce660d7839fb7e29d7be89

on January 20, 2012
at 08:55 AM

Do a trial run, like a thirty day challenge. As they say; ???necessity is the mother of invention.??? You???d learn a lot by just trying it out and being open to other possible avenues when they arise. Maybe it???s possible to barter time or services for a discount on grass-fed beef or other meat if you form a relationship with the farmer. At least maybe get a discount on a cancelled order or some of the odd bits that someone else didn???t want with their whole/half cow. Don't overlook resources like friends or acquaintances that hunt or fish. Many will be happy to supply you with some venison suet or less desirable cuts--read slow cook, meat-on-the-bone type stuff. That said; consider getting a fishing license yourself and trying it out if you've got the time. Getting free game meat is not as farfetched as you might think if you???re open to it and willing to take advantage of a windfall. I hunt and fish myself but was given about 30-40lbs of moose meat this fall from a friend of a friend. I know of other hunters that can be a little wasteful with things like organ meat and would be happy to save it for someone who wanted it. If you give it a try and get the word out within your circle, you might be surprised at the resources and help that can be available.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:40 PM

Wow. This is one of the very few times I have ever missed living in Florida (did a few year stint there). I knew so many folks who fished and just gave away stuff!Hopefully I can find some people here=)

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 12:09 PM

well said, Amerindian. This is a good idea, and one that a lot of locavores I know in NC use. It's worth it! especially the venison...

3
3fe2bf1367970868757ddf7ed7c62531

(817)

on January 20, 2012
at 09:00 AM

This family did it and blogged about it.. check it out here! and Best of Luck!!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:36 PM

Thanks for the link=)

3
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 20, 2012
at 07:03 AM

Awesome!!! Try and find pastured eggs. Potatoes are cheap. 3-4 pastured eggs have a nice chunk of fat with them. Very, very cool!!!!

2
4f7ccde03addfc07a66a21a77b0a46c8

on January 22, 2012
at 12:25 PM

Congrats! I stopped shopping at the grocery store a year ago and have never looked back.

The only difference is that I can get my meat/produce/dairy from the same farm, and they deliver it to me for free, once a week :D I don't drive so this is ideal for me! Maybe delivery is an option where you live, just in case you get tired of lugging your mutant root veg home hehe

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:20 PM

I think I could probably find somewhere that delivers but I rather jealously guard the experience of being able to touch/smell everything first!! Plus who knows what special they may be having on stuff!!

2
B525b3e4b1d6f1cdceec943cdec6eb7d

(1680)

on January 22, 2012
at 06:15 AM

Hey, congratulations! Great project.

If you're lugging heavy groceries around in the city - and on public transit - you might want to take a rolling suitcase with you. Makes it all so much easier!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:19 PM

I will admit that I was seriously tempted to tell the bf that we will be purchasing one of those immediately lol. I still may..but Im hovering on making that decision. I appreciate the extra exercise and it feels less lazy somehow. But at the same time wow its hard to shuffle around all that stuff on public transit!!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 22, 2012
at 06:22 AM

I agree. A tiny folding hand truck was the best investment I made when I lived in the city. Between that and my camping backpack I could get a lot of stuff back to my apartment. Rolling as much as I could meant I still had strength to carry it up to my 4th floor apt. If you happen to find yourself at Ikea, they have really cute bags on wheels with a drawstring top right now.

2
35ba1f50dad25c85ac1aa2599fe5c5cb

(2485)

on January 20, 2012
at 05:27 PM

The one thing I would see as taking some creativity would be cooking fats. I know farmer's market butter is wildly expensive. If your beef supplier can give you lard, or if you can render schmaltz from chicken skins or render the fat off a hunk of pork belly that would be helpful. In California we get olive oil at our farmer's market, but I'm sure you don't get that up in the NW.

And actually your condiments I would think are pretty easy to make. Maybe not thai fish sauce, but things like salsa, gremolata, hot sauce, and chimichurri sauce can be made at home. If you ever come across small 8oz or 4oz canning jars at a garage sale or something, I find them super helpful for storing homemade condiments and sauces. EDIT: Canning jars are also awesome for storing rendered animal fats, since they're heat resistant.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 03:31 AM

I think we are going to try lard instead of ghee. I love ghee but lard looks cheaper plus no shipping cost. I never thought of the canning angle before.. So many great suggestions Im glad I posted here=)

2
Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

on January 20, 2012
at 03:07 PM

Learn to love the bits of animals others don't and you'll have no problems getting enough food. You should be able to get suet etc. and render your own fats. So easy, so tasty and so cheap. And then get the organ meats. It doesn't have to be liver every day - I get grassfed beef hearts at the market for $2 a pound and it's tastier for stews, stir-frys, ground etc. In fact if you can grind your own, you can throw in some other organs too. Boiling bones gets you all that gelatinous goodness. I would definitely say it's better to eat well, and I'd be very surprised if you were hungry. Sometimes the simplicity of a steak is tempting, but at 5 times the price it's usually worth the effort of working in the kitchen to prepare something else.

There's absolutely no difficulty getting enough calories, and it's really eye-opening the relative cost of 'luxuries' which can make them that more exciting. At the store, everything is expensive. That's not what food used to cost - how do you think we survived all this time?

1
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on January 22, 2012
at 01:32 AM

dsirty little secret: depending on where you live, cows do not graze on grass year round, certainly not in the winter. In the NE, true grass fed beef or lamb- first occurs around May.

But still better to buy from a local farm then from supermarket and their horrible fed lots.

As much as I have issues with Whole foods, I feel far more comfortable in their store, than in myy local Shop rite, etc that feels like a posion shop. I cook 99.99 per cent of my meals, so going to market in ther morning is rountine, though several local farms are still providing meat, eggs and winter veggies every two weeks at a pick up spot.

good luck

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on January 22, 2012
at 03:53 AM

I'm glad you pointed this out - it's been bothering me for ages, since I started reading paleo blogs. I grew up raising beef cattle. Grass doesn't grow in the winter, folks, specially when it's constantly being eaten. Hence the existence of hay/alfalfa/silage. Cows are, after all, domesticated animals. When you see them allowed to range public lands in the West, that's because the gov't is subsidizing that industry and because private pastures won't cut it without supplementation.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:15 PM

I dont really mind- all I know is that they are treated well and fed as close to their natural diet as you can get. I have no problem with the cows eating hay during the winter. I grew up with goats/sheep who ate hay and were pastured. I dunno Im still happy=)

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 04:11 AM

Yeah - but the beef we get is frozen SOLID even after a few days in the mail. So Im guessing there is nothing stopping people from freezing animals for later sell throughout the year. The rancher did mention when I asked for short ribs that they didnt have any in stock and wont be able to get more till may...

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 22, 2012
at 11:16 PM

Here is the link to the place I am buying from. If you are located in their shipping area I really recommend them. Their steaks are the BEST I have EVER tasted. The fat just melts in your mouth and is so sweet!! ooh!! http://www.fourpinesranch.com/

E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

(4347)

on January 22, 2012
at 10:20 PM

Possible, but the cows will often at least eat hay, etc., in the winter. (Not fresh grass, but hardly grain.) Pastured cattle are quite a bit older at slaughter than CAFO animals (18 months--?--versus about six months, I think... could be wrong) because they don't grow as quickly on their natural diet. There's nothing wrong with hay in the winter for the animals, but it's not going to be purely green grass.

1
A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 20, 2012
at 03:33 PM

This is a great plan! Living in wintry Chicago, I envy your resources! This is inspiring me to look into whether I could attempt this here.

But I would just add that even if you "gave in" and ended up spending, say, $50 at a conventional store once a month, you'd have reached better than 80% of your goal. Don't let perfection get in the way of amazing progress! In other words, you really can't fail here. Give it your best shot for the first month, and reassess as you go to see where you can improve or refine the process. I can't see a downside whatsoever, since at worst, you could abandon the plan and not be worse off than you are now. You have an ambitious goal, and it seems perfectly acceptable to transition into it, if that's what it takes.

On the other hand, nothing beats the focused energy of initiating a big, hard project to which you feel very committed, and you're doing your homework, so I predict an awesome result! I hope you'll revisit this thread in a couple months and report on your progress!

Ccacf7567273244733bc991af4ac42ed

(5198)

on January 20, 2012
at 04:20 PM

If you're looking to go truly local, the trick I think is to stock up over the summer with things you can preserve at home. Otherwise winter can be a little barren!

A7768b6c6be7f5d6acc76e5efa66464c

on January 20, 2012
at 05:14 PM

I think you're right. For my money, freezing seems about the best method--or at least the one that offers the most options for what to do with the resulting foods. I did get a small chest freezer a couple years ago, but never developed a good routine for stocking up and preserving food from the farmer's market. I always bought only what I could eat fresh, which is maybe short-sighted. I will think more about it this summer when the farmer's markets are back. I don't know if I can produce the right conditions for root cellaring in my apartment, but that idea has always appealed to me too.

1
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21420)

on January 20, 2012
at 03:18 PM

I've done this for a few years with some success. It doesn't help that there is a fairly nice commercial grocery store 1.2 miles from my house (I take a couple cloth grocery bags and balance them on my handlebars on the way home). Because of this and my work schedule - the "only shopping at produce / markets" is not so feasible these days, but I look forward to coming back to that lifestyle some day.

However, when I have been successful on this before, it relied on the following two necessities...

  1. KNOW your produce provider well. Many of our produce providers around my neck of the woods are running "Frutas Mercados" (Fruit stands) and many of them do not speak English. My Spanish is just good enough to buy the things that I need, and to ask where the items came from... but my frequent presence made me a "regular" and I was offered great deals on many items that I bought frequently. Usually berries and citrus come from my own state, while the green veggies and some other items come from South America and labelled as organic. I used to be fairly close to a Mercado that sold fresh chuccarones (fried pork rinds with fat attached) that were the size of dinner plates, absolutely awesome when doused with a no-beans chili.

  2. Become a member of a meat share / co-op. This has resulted in drastic savings for my family in regards to quality meats. It's even better if you make good friends with the rancher that provides the meats to the co-op, in my circumstances my rancher gives me offal (tongue/heart/oxtails) for free because the majority of his customers do not want it.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 03:33 AM

Once again great suggestions thank you!

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on January 20, 2012
at 02:56 PM

We shop at the Food Coop and the farmers market almost exclusively, so it actually doesn't sound all that strange to me!

Of course, if you really don't want to step foot inside anything that looks like a "store", I understand--but really Food Coops are the BEST!

The only reason we go to a more "conventional" grocery is for eco-paper & cleaning products, which for some reason are cheaper there!

Our Food Coop sells locally grown grass-finished meat, eggs & dairy cheaper than the Farmers Market, so it works for us to split our budget accordingly. We spend $500 a month for 2 people (and a dog).

I know Portland has some great food coops:

http://www.peoples.coop/

http://www.foodfront.coop/

http://www.albertagrocery.coop/

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 21, 2012
at 04:51 AM

I will look at the link to be sure.. but we really are trying to avoid going into the store at all. Im afraid the temptation to just grab that *insert item* here would be too great.

1
Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 12:07 PM

I would love to be able to do more of this kind of stuff. My first concern would be if you are in a location to do so, but it seems you are. Secondly (and I know this from my parents living on a farm and buying and selling at farmer's markets), what's your budget for other things you used to buy at a grocery/supermarket? i.e.,

  • Do you use paper towels, or linen?
  • Can you use a drying rack to cut laundry costs?
  • If you bought things like kombucha, can you make your own?
  • Can you grow your own herbs in your apartment?
  • In short, where else can you cut expenses creatively so you can put more into food if you need to?

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 01:09 PM

fair enough. I know where I live (Manhattan), the cheapest I can go for food is $60 a week, and that also means timing meals carefully. Otherwise I feel like I'm underfed or fasting every few days.

Bdf98e5a57befa6f0877f978ba09871c

on January 20, 2012
at 01:11 PM

continued: still I'm sure you can find ways of stretching the budget if you need to. Either way, this is a great idea and I hope more people do it.

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 12:35 PM

Anything non food related (paper towels etc) is not included in the grocery budget thankfully. We will look into ways to cut costs but we are pretty set on not raising the budget for food. At 600 a month for two people we already feel like we are being excessive!

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 20, 2012
at 06:20 AM

Awesome!!! Try and find pastured eggs. Potatoes are cheap. You might go to Costco for their leg of lamb from australia (a paleo bargain). May be a grocery store but it is better than chicken and the same price.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on January 20, 2012
at 06:25 AM

That is very cool!!! You are going to do awesome at this!!!

C836b2644e7319bb957fbb794a97708e

on January 20, 2012
at 06:23 AM

Thanks for the suggestion but we are trying to go completely away from any grocery store. I know it would be cheaper.. we have a trader joes nearby after all. But its about more than just money. We want to go completely away from any chain store.

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