My primary area of focus for the month of July is going to be to grow/replenish our stockpile. The only constraint is the $700 food budget.
The rationale behind this decision has several different aspects. First, July should be the month in which our garden produces the most. Next, and more importantly is that we are running low on items that can no longer be neglected. As we made our menu list for the week, we realized that 4 of 7 meals were going to be chicken. Zaycon also notified us this week of a change in the delivery date of our ground beef order, unfortunately this is our week of vacation.
Our first stop was the “local” meat processing plant- Shuler Meats. We ended up purchasing $230 worth of meat. This may seem extremely high but in reality this meat in addition to the chicken we already have will last 3-4 months. We purchased 30# of ground beef, chicken drumsticks, NY strip Steaks, cube steak, round roast, beef stew and sausage. Looking at the numbers we have enough meat for 47 meals, that is an average of less than $5 a meal or less than $1 a person per meal. Wondering what we did with all this, glad you asked! We took 20# of the ground beef and fried it up, freezing it in 1# packs for use in many common recipes and for quick meals like tacos and hamburger helper. The other 10# we made into “Salisbury steaks”.
We have also made trips to Aldi, Costco and Food Lion in the last two days as well. Aldi had an awesome deal on blueberries so I have froze several pints of these for future use. I also purchased a couple of bags of dried beans that have been cooked and frozen. Throwing away food is the biggest waste of money in the US, so I ended up steaming and freezing spinach as well as a bag of apples that became fried apples/apple pie filling to prevent their waste.
Out of our garden, we are getting an abundance of cucumbers, I have made several batches of “cucumber relish” and discovered an awesome recipe for “refrigerator pickles” that the kids love so I currently have 3 gallons of these. Tomatoes are one of the easiest items for me, I simple dice and cook we use these for any recipe that calls for diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes. I have even been known to add seasoning to these for recipes that call for Italian style tomatoes. I am able to finish and freeze at least one batch ever couple of day.
The final and smallest way, I am growing our stockpile this month is couponing. I am determined to stick to our budget but hope to add a couple of snack foods for future list if the right sale occurs. Do you have any plans to grow your stockpile this summer?