I've made the transition from shopping at the grocery store to shopping at Costco and a food club. It's not an easy transition and I do still struggle with complete planning, remembering to buy salt for instance and then running out to buy it from the grocery store. I think for the most part I am doing well, my family might have another idea though.
A good friend of mine is MUCH more advanced at this pantry stocking and bulk buying business than myself. I am but a newbie compared to her. I highly suggest you check out her series of posts on buying in bulk and pantry stocking to get the lowdown from a quasi-professional mom of nine. Her posts are well thought out, well written and very helpful...unlike mine.
This post today is my journey to where I am today in the local, organic, sustainable food movement, how I got here and basically to show the world anybody can eat whole organic foods and not break the bank. It truly can be done.
First!! WHY? why change the way you are living if you are happy? Well a switch to the above mentioned foods can save gas, time and money. Eating foods you grow or are grown close to you cuts there travel time which is better for the environment and it just feels good! Bulk buying means you eat from your pantry, never run out of things you need, shop in your jammies online and work with a group of friends to sort your order. I love having a pantry full of jars of beans, my own jams made from foraged berries, dried herbs and teas and drying onions.
Step this way to the time machine---
10 years ago I turned 30 and my ex-husband walked out on me-I had no job, no credit, no money-I put my lawn mower in my truck and started a lawn care business and eventually a maid service too--
9 years 11 months ago-discover that food stamps are not a lot of food money and a food reality check is in order-I learned frugal foods, cut out restaurant eating, dried beans are my friend-I lose an incredible amount of weight and am very healthy-make lots and lots of jams and jellies
9 years ago-I bought my ex-husbands share in my house and still managed to put my 7 year old son on the bus and meet him most afternoons-I have a dear friend who would catch him off the bus in exchange for monthly babysitting for her son- I have a great garden and my own house! still skinny!
8 years ago meet my real husband-get a bit more casual about healthy food but still for the most part make best choices-still have a garden and my own business and I can lots o'jelly
7 years 9 months ago-discover oldest son is diabetic which completely changes my entire approach to food-I continue to garden because I love it-we all eat healthier for the time being-switch to sugar free crap-only to discover it is gross!! drop SF stuff and return to real sugar, just less of it
7 years 4 months ago-discover I am pregnant and leap whole heartedly in to the I can all I want mentality-and gain a LOT of weight
6 years 10 months ago-I have a beautiful baby boy and-I continue to run a business and eat all I want-ugh unhealthy
5 years 9 months ago close my business-still overweight soon get pregnant with boy number 3--this is a vicious cycle
5 years ago have a beautiful baby boy but am now mom to 3 boys, newborn, 2 and 13-what the hell? I lived and so did they...somehow-still gardening and canning more and more
4 years ago I realize we need to teach these new boys how to be healthy-we play hard and eat well-serving 2 different veggies each night they learn that all veggies are good-portion control is not a problem with them-I still struggle with this-we buy and eat organic when possible-
2 years ago we join an organic CSA and that seals the deal-my kids love veggies-we are still growing a garden we put up lots and lots of veggies, herbs, jams jellies the pantry becomes very important with a 5 member household-food prices go up and and organic is hard to afford
1 year ago we dipnet and get a bajillion fish or 60 something like that-we freeze, can and dry as much harvest as humanly possible our food stores runneth over! we also harvest birds for the first time and this almost drives me to become vegetarian--sadly food prices are so high I can hardly stand to buy the organics needed to feed us
9 months ago decide to wade into bulk buying-Costco first which is good I shop every two weeks-stock up and save but the organics are not dependable nor are they local
8 months ago I discover Wolf Lake Wellness and find great joy in their beautiful organic fruits and veggies-we enjoy the daylights out of it-they supply when available local organics!
Fast forward to now-a good friend is upping the stakes in pantry living and pretty much throwing down the double dog dare to give it a go--I am on the verge of ordering 50 pounds of polenta and garbanzo beans here folks! I plan to continue to buy organic through Wolf Lake Wellness and my buy dry goods through my friends buying club
See a pattern here? Not really, except that I kept moving towards a goal of healthy living and eating. Except for that whole pregnancy food buffet eat all I want thing. We eat real butter in moderation, real sugars in moderation, meat happens 1-2 times a week, we use it as a 'treat' or garnish. Vegetables and gardening are very important to our family. We grow and harvest birds now. We dipnet sustainable salmon for a meat source and plan to purchase a pasture pig in a few weeks for winter meat. We grow or buy organic veggies when possible and then source organic during the winter and of course live off our frozen supplies from the garden.
We are not unique. People are making these choices and moving in this direction all over the world. My story is here to show anyone who wants to switch to sustainable organic foods that it can be done. Not inexpensively but for roughly the same amount that I would spend per week at the 'local' corporate grocery store I can supply my family with local/sustainable/organic or some combination of those.
Have you watched Food Inc? Fast Food Nation? I would recommend these to anyone wondering why organic is best or pastured meat from a local grower is a good choice.
Peace and Love--