Thursday, February 4, 2010

Grocery Budget

Let me start this by saying that I have learned (the hard way) that all of the horseradish I ate with my yummy beef strudel gives me horrible pregnancy gas. And by horrible, I mean painful... I probably ate half a jar of that stuff, which left me barely able to stand up yesterday... so no more smothering on horseradish- bummer.


One of the absolute best things about living where we do is the wide availability of organic foods. Not only does our Safeway carry organic produce, eggs, and milk at a decent price- BUT we also live right down the street from a Whole Foods which actually stocks a wide variety of organic, grass-fed, locally grown meat. The meat, however, totally messes with my grocery budget: I purchased 3 pounds of red meat (2 pounds stew meat and 1 pound ground beef) and it was $24. Thank you for the gift card, Santa... but seriously: it made me want to purchase a herd of cattle and set up a butcher shop in our garage.

On Long Island, we couldn't quite find the organic, grass-fed, locally grown meat, but we looked for organic or antibiotic free options. We really have been wanting to make the big jump to great meat like this... the more we read about corn-fed animals pumped full of drugs on massive meat farms, the more sense it makes for us. But let's be honest: we're a one income household and my husband works at a non-profit that currently will not cover our next round of fertility treatments should we want another baby (which is much more than the standard IVF cost you see in ads on TV- trust me). How will we be able to retire if our grocery budget explodes and all our extra $$ in the next 35 years goes to meat (and babies)??

Because we want to make the better choices for our health and environment, here is what I'm thinking:

1. Look into zoning laws for the aforementioned herding/garage slaughter-house option.
2. Limit the amount of meat we actually eat and learn how to make hearty, protein rich meals that are meat-less. These meals must also be yummy. By no means would we go totally vegetarian, but this would give us some dinner options that are a bit cheaper.
3. Hold-up the Whole Foods meat department.
4. Win the lottery.
5. Research a meat share or actually purchase a full animal. We would work with a certified organic farmer in our area, pick out our animal, and he would take care of killing/butchering it. Lovely, right? We'd store Bessie in a deep freezer in the garage. Not sure the pricing for this. BUT, I love the idea of being able to support humane, organic, local farming.

If you have any ideas (or experience farming/butchering cattle) please, please let me know...


Shannon Ofsharick said...

When you find out how to do this, let me know! Our food store expenses are through the roof!

The George Family said...

Bryan's boss and her husband DO actually buy a whole cow every year (ala Jon and Kate Plus 8) and do a deep freeze. She says it is totally worth it, they use the meat almost daily and she said it is especially easy in the summer and winter- BBQ steaks, ribs and then lots of crock pot meals... If you find one and do it I would love to hear all about it!