Saturday, July 12, 2014

Our Year without Groceries | Issue Two | Let's Gather

Our Year without Groceries | Issue Two | Let's Gather

I would LOVE to do something like this. But unfortunately it's not that easy.

We simply can't rely on being able to grow anything at all ourselves and just can't afford the handful of local farmers. We live in the northern desert (north Nevada) No rain, essentially and freezing temperatures (sometimes in July!) Our growing season is June to September, but that is unreliable. Our dirt is rocks held together with clay and sagebrush (short sagebrush, like you see on infertile land) The winds in August dehydrate everything on the vine (you can practically stand there with a running hose on a plant and watch it wither!) And if we can overcome the weather, we have to deal with the bugs swarming to the only green around, the sparrows, quail, jack rabbits and mustangs (yes, MUSTANGS!) invading the garden. We do have chickens,but have to buy feed for them since our 1 acre just doesn't produce enough to feed them. Our rabbits were basically non-producers (we have a new breed and it looks good so far, but there again, we have to buy feed). 

All these "live without the grocery stores" or "cut your grocery bill in half" stories start with big gardens and lots of local farmers. Honestly, there is a reason this area isn't known as "the Bread Basket of America." The few "local" farmers there are live an hour away and the extra gas to truck the produce to the local Farmer's Markets raises their cost so much that, well, fruits and veggies would be out of the question if it wasn't for Wal-Mart.

Coupons have helped some, but not enough. Most coupons are for processed foods or housekeeping items we have allergies to.

I price match, shop sales, make a monthly menu, never go to the store hungry or without a list.

But still, we spend way too much:-(

This "way too much" is between $200 and $250 per person per month (though that does include allowances, school supplies, shoes, pet foods, and clothes at the local thrift store.)

How is a, uhhh, financially uncomfortable family supposed to make it?

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