With a growing family of nine and a small income, we have to make some tough choices when it comes to our food purchasing. Last night we did have roasted potatoes and winter squash from last season's gardens, but for the most part we still purchase most of our food.
If money was not an issue, we would be 100% local and organic, but we wouldn't be able to pay our other bills if we did this. So choices have to be made.
On our shopping trip yesterday this is what we bought -
At a local small grocery store (we don't shop at the big ones like Price Chopper or Shaws) -
5 pounds of conventional rice
8 pounds of pasta
2 jars of spaghetti sauce (we used to buy cans of Hunts but realized they use corn syrup so we don't any longer) - next year we hope to can more. Our tomatoes did not produce this last year.
2 bottles of Hunts ketchup (they do not use corn syrup on their ketchup) and we have some children that seem to want ketchup on nearly everything
1 bottle of olive oil
2 cans of organic diced tomatoes
1 64 oz bottle of cranberry raspberry juice (a brand that doesn't use corn syrup)
5 - 14 oz boxes of Cheerios - usually we buy two large boxes per week but these were on sale (Our children alternate between this and pancakes for breakfast - Mike and I and Abraham eat organic rolled oats for breakfast several mornings each week - the oats are purchased in bulk from the local natural foods store. I have organic raisins on my cereal.)
1 can or Parmesan cheese
1.5 pounds of honey (raw semi-local - but not the really good stuff from our neighbor as it is just soooo expensive and with all of our tea loving children we can't afford it)
1 bottle organic red wine (can you believe they have some for 5.99?)
10 pounds of King Arthur white flour (this goes with our 25 pound of local Butterworks whole wheat organic flour)
1 bag of store brand chocolate chips
1 box of store brand saltines
1 can of coffee (we buy fair trade whenever possible)
3 pounds of butter (conventional)
2 pounds monterey jack cheese (we eat grilled cheese often for lunch in the winter)
4 boxes of organic mac and cheese (once per week for lunch in the winter and this crew needs four boxes)
1 pound of mozzarella (weekly homemade pizza)
1 Stonyfield organic yogurt (we usually buy our local Butterworks Maple at their farm once per week as well)
4 rolls of Marcal no chlorine, recycled toilet paper
1 container of seventh generation dish detergent
At the local Natural Food Store:
1 16 oz bag of organic corn chips
Drews organic salsa
4 - large organic onions - (we are going to grow many more of these this year our self as they keep well in the basement)
1 bag organic Flax seed meal (I use this in bread, cookies and on top of my pancakes and yogurt)
This should get us through most of the week.
I have granola from last week - I use organic rolled oats, wheat germ, sugar and honey, cinnamon, sunflower seeds, flax, oil and butter. This goes on yogurt for mid morning snack.
We purchased organic turtle beans from Butterworks farm which we are having 2 - 3 times each week either with tomatoes and spices or used in soup or made into baked beans for our protein.
In addition, I buy a container of tofu to go with tomato sauce and pasta once per week for dinner.
Then, we buy local organic beef when we can afford it - usually once every other week.
Our chickens only give us about 4 eggs per day right now - but that is enough for pancake batter once or twice a week and all of the baking I do.
Yeast, I purchase about every other week in bulk from the natural food store for our daily bread which ends up being 3/4 organic (with the Butterworks organic wheat and King Arthur white).
We purchase organic raw milk once per week after church at the farm after church and then do drink conventional milk the rest of the time - can't wait until we can milk our goats.
So all in all, we spend about $175 - $200 -per week on everything - that includes dog food, cat food, chicken feed and so on.
Our food does involve many compromises and we hope to do more ourselves each year, but this is where we are at right now.
Any other ideas to share?