Milk $2.89...gas $2.00 gallon last week!!!

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Cheri in NY, May 10, 2004.

  1. Cheri in NY

    Cheri in NY Well-Known Member

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    I didn't come home with nearly as many bags of groceries last week as I usually do for the same $. I only go every 2 weeks and cut and scrimp where I can. But this is getting foolish, when milk and gas are almost the same price. We can drink other things, I can make iced tea real cheap with tea bags. There is no substitute for gas in your car. It won't be any time soon getting the second car on the road at this rate. I make my own detergent, use cloth napkins, cloth for monthly cycles, free range the chickens, dry food for the cats, plant a big garden each year, raise chickens and turkeys for meat. Any other ideas for this one income family of 5?
     
  2. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    While iced tea and soda may be cheaper than milk, they are
    damaging. They have caffeine in them, and they wash away
    calcium from your body which can be particularly bad for you as
    you are probably past the age when you are building calcium and '
    maybe on the downswing of loosing it, helping eventually to get
    to the stage of bone loss. Plus, those drinks aren't
    good for the children, either the caffeine or the sugar. They'd be
    better off drinking water when they are thirsty. The overall
    savings going from milk to iced tea is misleading. If you drop milk
    from your menu, be sure to include other calcium rich foods.
    Ann
     

  3. Milk isn't bad yet here, about 2.50 a gallon, which is normal. Still goes on sale sometimes, .99 for a 1/2 gallon. I have read of people mixing dry powered milk half and half with whole milk, and also skim milk. I cant attest for the tase, however. We don't drink it straight. I do use powered milk in most everything I cook(including mac n cheese) and we can't tell the difference. here's a short list of calcium rich foods I found. Its not a complete list, but something to get you started. HTH

    http://www.afscme.org/wrkplace/osteo2.htm



    -----Almostthere
     
  4. elinor

    elinor Well-Known Member

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    Geez,....$2.50/$2.89, cheap compared to here in PA. Just went to the market, and for us, a gallon of 2% is $3.43 and 1/2 gallon of whole milk is $1.90.
    And 2 packages of butter (1lb each) is on sale for 2 for $6.00! And that's the store brand!. It's just terrible! And the farmers themselve get very little in return.
     
  5. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

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    I've been threatening myself with buying a buggy and training my horses to drive!!!

    Also,, you could check out the "keeper"; a cup to use monthly. Buy two, be done with the cloth and it's extra necessary washing and extra soap.

    Um.. (I know this one won't go over.. but HEY.. it's SAVING MONEY, okay?!!) Disconnect from montly internet fees. (WEEEEEELLLLLLL... If it's a matter of food on the table.... *feels the glares*) :eek:

    Barter w/ a nearby farmer for milk????
     
  6. Seems that bush has got the economy pumping.

    I don't know how young families can feed their kids properly.
    I try to eat fruits and veggies mostly and cannot afford them so how are young people feeding the kids healthy foods.
    I have noticed that the pre made foods seem to be more affordable than making meals from scratch.Personally I can't stand the over seasoned pre-made stuff. Heidi
     
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    When my kids were small, we would go through more than a gallon of milk a day. Save some extra jugs. Mix up the powder and mix it half and half with the real milk. If your kids are like mine, don't let them see you put that powdered stuff in there! You get used to it after awhile.

    In this particular case, the farmers are getting more for their milk. They are blaming it on mad cow, saying that there is a shortage of BHT (the hormone to make cows make more milk), but I don't know if I buy that one.

    Jena
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My internet fee would buy me enough gas to drive 200 miles a month.. Drinking boughten water out of the pint bottles cost about $2.00 a gallon..
    I agree that gas is rediculous, but so are the miles we drive that are completely unnessesary. If we only drove the miles that a buggy horse could take us our gas bill would be a whole lot cheaper.
    Also if I took the money I am spending on horse feed for horses that don't make me a dime, I could pay for all my gas.
    I guess it boils down to priorities.
     
  9. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    This is a copy of a post I wrote last year on saving money on food. You might get a few new ideas, but it sounds like you are doing a lot already.

    My goal for the year is to spend $60 a week for a family of 6 people, 2 adults, and children ages 11 to 17. I often feel I could lower this even further. According to my current calculations I should be pretty close to my goal this year.

    These items are included in my food budget: any food purchased at the grocery store, farmer's markets, restaurants, farm stands etc.. chicken feed, and any seeds or garden plants, also canning supplies (I count the cost of lids but not cost of jars)

    Here are some of my favorite ideas.

    A few things I rarely ever or never buy: mixes, convenience foods, hot dogs, lunch meat, white anything (rice, pasta, bleached flour,ramen noodles) I don't buy much meat in the stores either. My husband hunts and that supplies most of our meat. Chicken and pork is purchased from organic sources.

    Drinks: We drink milk, tea (herbal, decaf we don’t drink anything with caffeine, use honey for sweetener), lemonade (from real lemons), real juices, cider, tomato juice. We rarely have kool aid or pop. We also make lots of fruit slushies with fruit, yogurt, ice, and some oats or wheat germ blended into it.

    Garden: I raise a huge garden and can everything I can get my hands on. I also get a lot of excess stuff given to me from other people's gardens and I will can it and give them some of it to repay them for their generosity. We are able to put back about 1000 jars of home canned foods and lots of stuff in the freezer as well.

    Do you need to plant trees around your house??? We planted a few oak trees and then we decided that every other tree we planted would be a fruit tree. Now we get peaches, apples, pears and cherries right here from our own place. We had a plum tree but it died this year. However I was given 3 bushels of plums so that more than made up for it.

    Do not be shy about asking people for their excess fruit. Ask if they would like to sell any of the apples off of their trees. Most people who are not using them will tell you to take them, and you can give them something nice like a fresh apple pie, or home canned applesauce to repay their kindness.

    Forage for what you can.. You may find mushrooms, berries, nuts, wild greens and much more right in your yard or woods.

    Cook from scratch! Yes it is the only way to achieve black-belt tightwad savings on food!!! It is much better for you too. I am able to use my own eggs, and real butter, honey, whole wheat flour, etc... to make really good, high quality foods.

    Head to the library! Don't buy a lot of expensive cook books. You can go to the library and check out 3-4 books every few weeks. Go through them to get new ideas that make your cooking more exciting, using basic ingredients you have on hand.
    Start an herb patch. For literally a few dollars worth of seeds, you can have hundreds of dollars worth of fresh herbs right outside your door. I grow basil, parsley, sage, dill, garlic, chives and much more.

    Plan your meals early in the day. I know what I am having for supper before I eat breakfast! I have found that planning it early helps me to get myself organized and I am not standing looking into a full freezer at 4:00 in the afternoon, wondering what to have!!!!

    When you are in the grocery store, look for unexpected bargains and specials. You never know what you might find. I do not shop with a predetermined list, except for the really good sale items I want to get. I go looking for the best deals, then I cook according to what I have available.

    Never NEED anything. I always try to have things ahead, so that I am not desperate for something, Because without a doubt if I have to have something, the price will probably be double!!!!!


    I always shop with cash. I have found that if I have my checkbook or credit cards on hand, I will overspend every time.

    Pray before you shop! Seriously, ask God to keep your eyes open and your discipline intact. It works!

    I only shop at about 3 stores, but I don't always go to each one every week. I look over the sale papers and check for the lowest prices. Most stores have some fresh fruits and veggies on sale each week. I buy a good supply of these when they are marked down.

    I don't normally use coupons. Very rarely I will find one for something I would actually buy. They seem to be mostly for gimmicky foods, not real ones, so I never got into the coupon habit.

    Eat oats. I can buy them in bulk very cheaply and they are the best breakfast you can get. I wil not buy any sugary cereal. I pay less than $1.50 a box for cereal. But my kids are not big cereal eaters, so I don't need more than a box a week.

    Think soup! Soups are the cheapest, easiest foods you can make. Very filling and nutritious for a family or single person. I have soup at least twice a week in the fall and winter months. My husband came from a family that was used to having big platters of meat on the table. However they always had money troubles, and never owned their own home. I truly believed the money they spent on meat alone would have bought them a nice house. I told him (my husband) that we would have to eat lots of soup to own our own house and we were able to build our home mortgage free! No debt and everything paid for on an income of less than $20,000 a year for the last 16 years.

    Leftovers: Use all food you buy or prepare. I try not to waste anything. I use all the leftovers to make a soup or casserole. Save bits of things for snacks, or make your own homemade TV dinners. Last night's stew was made from leftover boiled potatoes, carrots, a jar of deer meat, a jar of tomatoes, a small onion, lots of herbs, and a spoonful of hot mustard. It was very healthy, good and there was plenty for us and for company and some leftover as well for lunch today.

    On the rare occasion I have to throw something out, I give it to the chickens, so they have a treat and we still get some eggs!

    Think Healthy! In the last few years, I have made a commitment to not buy certain things. I do not buy anything with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil. When I started reading the labels I was shocked at everything it is in... I do not use bleached flour, white anything (flour, rice, pasta, ramen noodles etc..) I have found that while whole wheat is a bit more expensive, by cutting out the other things I am still spending less and less money.

    Here is a site from a woman I love! Laine writes a letter you can read on her site, or get by e-mail. She has a recipe section with many good wholesome recipes. I think you will all like it.

    www.lainesletters.com

    Snacks are so good. I love them and so do my kids. I try to make everything home-made that I can. We watch one show a week on TV, that is Survivor, and I make a nice snack to go with it!!! (I know the show is a bit hokey and contrived, but I think it is like summer camp for adults.. I want to go but I am too fat and out of shape to survive those challenges!!!! )

    Anyways I think the kids like the snack as much as the show. Last week we had homemade pumpkin bread, popcorn, apples slices with caramel dip,and peanuts. To drink we had apple juice I heated up with a cinnamon stick and some cloves. It was so warm and good. This whole snack costs about $3, which is less than a bag of chips and a bottle of pop, but was much healthier and nutritious. We had a very light supper that night, just some leftovers or a peanut butter sandwich, since I knew we would be having a healthy snack later on.

    Stocking up is the key to really saving money. Sometimes I feel like I should spend less, but then I realize that with the amount I am spending I have a lot of food put back also. It takes a while to get ahead so you can stock up, but the peace of mind is worth it.

    These are just some of my ideas, feel free to post more.
     
  10. jupiterflamom24

    jupiterflamom24 Well-Known Member

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    I eat alot of oatmeal, so I am curious, do they sell oats at feed stores and if so are they fit for human consumption?

    Barbara
     
  11. Melissa

    Melissa member

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    They do sell oats at the local feed store. They are about $6-7 for a 50 pound bag here locally. I am not sure if people should eat them. You might ask at the feed store and see if they know how they are grown/what chemcials are used etc...
     
  12. Barbara,

    Yah, they most likely sell oats at your typical feed store, but wouldn't they be a bit crunchy? You're probably eating rolled oats now, right? If you prefer eating your oats raw and unrolled, the feed store would do ya just fine.
     
  13. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    2% milk is $3.47 a gallon and gas is $1.86 a gallon here.
     
  14. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Out here in Wa. milk is up to 4$ a gal. I buy it on sale for 2$ and freeze it. Yesterday I paid 2.18$ for gas and that was the cheapest I could find. I just stay home as much as I can and combine all my errands into one trip. I pretty much follow Melissas strategy but thank goodness there are only 2 of us to feed now. When my kids were growing up we raised most of our own food. Trying to feed a family out of the store today must be a nightmare.
     
  15. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    Why is $2.00 gas surprising in a land where pickups sell for $30,000?
     
  16. OUVickie

    OUVickie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Amen!
    I about croaked when my FIL said he looked at 1 ton that cost around $50,000! My MIL pretty much told him that would be a cold day before she'd sign on the line for that one. :p

    Cars and trucks now cost as much as my first house did. I've put off buying a brand new car for years, my remark to prices like that, "If I bought that I'd have to put a mailbox on it and live in it!"
     
  17. boren

    boren Well-Known Member

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    You can buy oats, rolled or not here at the feed store. If it's for human consumption they charge sales tax, for animal feed no tax. I only use whole oats in my feed so I don't know about the rolled ones. Can't be much different, maybe more weeds, etc, but their rolled too!
     
  18. june02bug

    june02bug Well-Known Member

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    Most people on here wouldn't pay $30,000 for a vehicle. :haha: Thats why.
     
  19. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    I bicycle to work, and I'm in the process of building a copy of the "Slipstream" electric bicycle. I have a windmill & a PV panel so recharging my batteries won't be a problem.
    Selling my '71 Dodge Vacuum (wallet sucker) to complete the bike.
    I don't know what many of us are going to do if prices continue to rise. We too garden, can, pickle, preserve, dehydrate, jerk, hunt & fish. But some things have to be purchased.
    Building a solar dehydrator and oven after I finish the bike.
    Cable TV left two years ago. We buy tapes/dvd's that match our eclectic tastes. Yard sale books line our shelves.
    Good luck to you, and us all.
    (Baby brother is in Iraq now.)
     
  20. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    People who are real finicky about what they feed their horses buy cleaned crimped oats.

    There's not much difference between crimping and rolling.

    I'd eat them in a heartbeat.

    Jena