Friday, August 27, 2010

The cost of eating

Last night, my husband and I had to make a trip to the grocery store for a few necessities, like milk, tea, lunch meat, etc. and I was just appalled at how much prices have gone up in the last few weeks.

The sale price for chicken breasts was $1.99 a pound! On Sale! That is simply insane. Generic canned corn was 79 cents a can. When did that happen? Granted, I do not buy a lot of canned vegetables since I put up most of ours, but the last time I looked they were around 50 cents a can. Some times, if the store is having a case sale, you can get them 3 for a dollar. But almost 80 cents a can is insane. For generic. I didn't even look at the name brand. I was afraid to.

All of this is convincing me more and more that I am not putting up enough food. We need to be able to eat out of jars or the freezer and not have to make bi-weekly trips to the local grocery store. I have canned some chicken and beef, but I am thinking I need to do more. I need to find a couple of bags of chicken legs and thighs for 59 cents a pound (sometimes I can still find them for that) and can them up. 10 pounds bags will make around 8 or 9 pints of meat and 7 or 8 quarts of broth. So for $5.90, that is a minimum of 8 or 9 meals, but really closer to 12 since I don't always use a whole jar of meat per meal for the 3 of us. And the broth is quite useful for a lot of things too, not just soups.

I have canned a lot of fruit this year. Mostly peaches and plums but I have done a few blueberries and some cherries. I think I have enough beans to last the year, but you never really know. I didn't put up enough corn this year but that is one of those things that sometimes we eat a lot, sometimes we don't. I don't know, I guess we will be OK.

I plan to start curing some more Canadian bacon today. My son really likes that for sandwiches in his lunch bag. And it freezes well so I might as well. And the pork loin was on sale for less than $2 a pound, which is quite a bit cheaper than over-processed lunch meat.

I really don't know how people on fixed incomes or low incomes with families can afford to eat. I realize the over-processed convenience foods are cheaper, but you don't actually get much food value out of those.

There has to be a balance somewhere in all of this.

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