Food – breaking the bank

This whole bio-diesel and alternative fuel trend has done a number on our grocery budget. The problem is, corn or corn-derived products are in just about everything. And if they’re not in it, they’re used to make it. But corn is now in high demand to produce alternative fuels, and that’s driven the price of corn up and up and up.

If you removed everything that depends on corn from your grocer’s shelves the grocery store would look more like a hardware store. With corn prices skyrocketing, the cost of everything else we eat is going up. And for my family, that has corresponded with a growth in the number of people eating our food. In the last 6 months we went from 4 people to 7 people in the house and our food budget is getting out of control.

Up until now we tried to control it by not eating out anymore and cutting back on convenience foods. We’ve been making our own bread, and lately making our own jam. But it’s still out of control. So over the last month or so my mother-in-law has been planting vegetables. Some are of her choosing (beets, garlic, parsley, potatoes – things that aren’t too expensive or that we don’t use much), but others are things I picked out – tomatoes, bell peppers, and… BLUEBERRIES! I’m looking forward to eating locally – as local as it gets – straight from our backyard. In fact, I made a salad last week out of lettuce, and beet leaves, and parsley from our garden. It was a bit of a hassle to clean all those leafy greens, but I have to remind myself that I don’t have to buy $1.99 bags of salad anymore.

So, with the cost of food skyrocketing, what are you doing to make it easier? I’m thinking about making my own cheese, but I don’t know if that’ll save enough money to make the time spent worthwhile. Any other ideas out there for frugal feeding?

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