Canadian Family Grocery budget? - Page 3
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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nadders11 View Post
    Which farmers market do you use homsteadmamma? I've been to few in calgary and the prices are getting ridiculous!
    We are south of you. I wish we could garden, however we now live in a mobile home park and the lots are so small I'm not sure it would be worth it. We do keep talking about it though and just might have to find a way to do so.

  2. #32
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homesteadmamma View Post
    We are south of you. I wish we could garden, however we now live in a mobile home park and the lots are so small I'm not sure it would be worth it. We do keep talking about it though and just might have to find a way to do so.
    You have enough space for some things

    This past year i put up I think it was 70 pints of salsa. i grew the green peppers and tomatoes for it, along with tomatillos, and celery

    I had everything in planters. I get far better results from planters than my traditional gardens in the past. I made self watering planters from large pails, harvested rain water. I think I've shared pics.

    I also had strawberries. I burried the planters in the ground for the winter, we'll see how they fair in the summer. This spring I'll be setting up 6 really large planters, they held molasses for cattle, got them really cheap. They are nice looking, like they are actual planters, but that size they'd be $50+

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommy4ever View Post
    You have enough space for some things
    I agree, yet we'd have to haul in good dirt and it would take lots. I've tried container planting before and have never been successful. I also don't want to plant just to make salsa or pickles although they are great to have. If we do plant, it will be veggies that we can freeze and eat daily. I've always had a garden until we moved here. We are looking at raised bed gardening, still discussing if it's feasible or not. If I could find a good source to get them I'd buy local and forget the gardening. To be quiet truthful I love the NOT weeding!!

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  5. #34
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    I didn't find it hard at all. The self watering made it awesome Filled the bottom pail once every 10 to 14 days. I have only bought 1 large bag of dirtless soil and added compost. It's wonderful

  6. #35
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Just bumped our food budget up to $750/mo. for 2 adults and a 6 year old...and a doggy...the bread I used to buy has jumped from 1.87 to 3.00 in 18 months.
    I too love farmer's markets but some things are just too much...like 2lbs of hand picked strawberries is 10.00...and while they taste really good...I can get 2lbs at the store for 3.00 during the summer. So I get things like fresh dill, carrots, ccucumbers,etc from the FM.

  7. #36
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    Sophiasmom: I started baking my own bread in self-defense. I'm gluten free, dairy free and sugar free. A loaf of bread I can eat is about $7-8 and it's half the size of a 'normal' loaf of bread. I don't eat bread much anymore, and when I do I bake from scratch.

    The boarder is away for a few months and I've noticed a significant drop in the grocery budget...by $200-300. We are not buying as much junk as we used to. I noticed since my last post, over the winter, our bills have ranged from $500/mth. to $800/mth. With her gone we're down to a steady $500/mth. Sometimes a bit lower.

    I am making my own rice milk now, and that is helping. I make my own mayo. I do my own sugar free canning of pickles, salsa, etc. We have found frozen vegetables from Costco (I caved and bought a membership again) to be cheaper than Superstore, and better quality. Also raspberries are cheaper. So are blueberries, but they are domesticated berries, not wild ones. I prefer wild ones for flavour and because they've been sprayed with a lot less stuff. I also make my own salad dressings. I make my own ice-cream from bananas. I make granola for hubby and boarder. I make my own 'chocolate' bark from carob chips for a treat every now and then.

    I have a stockpile of chicken carcasses in my freezer to make chicken stock for soups. We have not been eating as many soups as usual this winter, and I want to correct that. Primarily they have onion in them and I find I am reacting to onions these days.

    I dread going to the grocery store. One week I may spend under $50. But the next week I make up for it by spending $200! I am finding that as I shop many different places I am gradually gravitating towards one big shop a month. Usually the first Monday of the month, when the health food store has it's 15% off day.

    Hubby is now 61 and qualifies for a lot of the senior discounts, but he hasn't taken them up for the most part. I don't know if the grocery stores have senior's days or not. I know Zeller's used to, but they are no more.

  8. #37
    Registered User Sophiasmama's Avatar
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    Do you think I should invest 80 bucks in a bread machine? I have made it from scratch many times...but with all the volunteering I do...I'm in and out of the house during the day and can't really commit to the baking process...I know the BMs come with timer so you can preset it to run at certain times...we go through 3 loaves a week as Kevin takes 2 sanwiches a day to work and works 22 days a month...so 4 slices times 22 day is 88 slices og bread lol...I mean we are ahead in comparison to buying lunch at Subway persay...as those footlongs start at 7 bucks here. Just a side note...Our lake lot is at Lac Des Isles, SK...do you know where that is Peanut?

  9. #38
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    I would buy the bread machine.

    At 3 loaves a week you're getting artisan quality bread, normally sells for $5/loaf. That's $15/week. It will cost you maybe $1/loaf to make it. It actually costs around 50 cents a loaf for ingredients without the bread machine. But I think the bread machine requires a special yeast or flour or something (added gluten?), and that adds to the costs.

    If you normally buy the cheap bread, you're still ahead by $1-2 (it's $2-3/loaf here). 3 loaves x 52 weeks = 156 loaves of bread a year. 156 loaves x $2 savings per loaf = $302 savings per year on the cheap bread. Or, say ingredients for the artisan bread cost $2/loaf, then 156 loaves x $13 savings per loaf = $2028 savings on the expensive bread.

    I'd say buy it.

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    I just might...or I just remembered my mom has one and hasn't used it in years maybe she'll let me try it out.

  11. #40
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    Good idea to borrow first. Maybe ask your mom why she hasn't used it first. There might be a reason. Some of the old ones are pretty loud!

    ETA: Oops! Just noticed... My math is out in my last post! That should be: Artisan bread at $5/loaf - $2 for ingredients = $3/loaf. $3 x 3 loaves a week = $9/week. $9 x 52 = $468/year in savings.

    I would check on the cost of ingredients though. It all depends what you're putting in. If it's a basic white bread, it really isn't very much in ingredients.

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    By the way, I never us bread flower in my bread maker. I use all purpose and whole wheat and just add a little bit less.

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    I've been really thinking about a bread machine too. Our bread went from 1.47 to 1.97 a loaf in the last few months. And it's the cheapest whole wheat available at our store.

  14. #43
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    Hi everyone,
    This is my first post here, but I have been reading a lot and have already learned so much from you all, so "thank you"
    I am also trying reduce our weekly grocery bill but have a hard time doing so due to where we live at the moment (long story!) However, we hope to be in a place of our own in the next eight weeks or so and will be able to reduce our spending. I was given a breadmaker on the weekend and I am looking forward to trying it out when we move.I am very keen on learning how to make almond and/or rice milk and granola bars, Peanut, would you be able to share your recipes?
    Many thanks in advance.

  15. #44
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    Sure! Almond milk and rice milk are easy. Just put 1/4 c. of almonds or brown rice in a blender. Add 1 c. milk and blend till smooth. Usually 2 minutes in my blender. If you want all the pulp out of it, strain it through cheesecloth (available at Fabricland). The pulp from almond milk is good for baking. Add it as part of the flour requirement and it will help baked goods rise. I always shake up my milks before using them as they have a tendency to settle.

    My granola bar recipe? Hmm...that post must be years old. The only granola bars I recall making are from "the complete tightwad gazette" by amy dacyczyn. I really suggest getting a library card for the province and doing an interlibrary loan for this book, depending where you live. If you're in one of the big cities, the local library will probably have it. I know the Regina library had it at one point.

    I haven't got time to type it out now, but if you can't find it, let me know again and I'll try to get it up sometime before Monday.

  16. #45
    Registered User ChiWOWa's Avatar
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    Thank you Peanut
    I am a little confused though, I thought you were dairy free and thought that the almond and rice milk were a dairy alternative, so I am not sure if I understand the recipe correctly, do you add milk to the rice or almonds? Are the almonds and/or rice raw? Sorry for the silly questions!

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