Friday, February 3, 2012

Part 1: Grocery Store Free

Here we go!

To start off with, I am just as excited, if not more, about the response I have had to this challenge than I am about actually doing it. I have already had 4 people tell me they signed up for a local CSA in their area, and a couple more say they were looking into it! Think of the impact on local farmers if more of us started buying local, sustainable! 

We are off and running on our No Grocery Store Challenge for the month of February. I am already amazed at some of the options that existed right under my nose that I never realized. So I will start with this week, what I have purchased and what I still plan to purchase.

1)     Eggs- I found a source for local, soy-free eggs for $3/dozen. It is a local family who has a small working farm and is selling the extra eggs they get. They are located a couple miles from my church, so I have set up with them to pick up on Sundays after service on my way home. Additionally, I found another source, a little further from me (still within 10 miles) for $3/dozen as well that I can use if I don’t get enough from my first source.
Look at Craigslist or other local selling sites to find small, local sources for eggs. You may be surprised what you find!

2)    Milk-  Blackjack Valley Farms, Fresh Breeze Organic
a)      Raw- I use raw milk for making yogurt and ricotta. I had a bad experience with a close friend of my family using raw milk. It resulted in a 3 year old girl ending up in the hospital and the entire family very very sick. Because of this I do not give my kids raw milk products that I do not bring to temperature on my own. I do use it for making homemade yogurt and cheese.

b)      Pasteurized- My kids drink a glass of milk a day, so I purchase organic Pasteurized milk through my CSA provider, Full Circle Farms.
3)     Produce- Full Circle Farms. I like that I can choose what produce I want each week, and have the option of using their ‘Green Grocer’ to get additional local organic things. This includes the milk I mentioned earlier, and much more. During the summer, when farmers markets are open, I can cut my box down smaller. During the winter I can purchase a larger box for our produce needs.

4)     Beef- Purchased 100lbs locally a couple months back. Check out Craigslist for local, small farmers who are selling in your area. I looked today and was amazed at the number of GF Beef available around me, for very decent prices!

5)     Bison- Purchased 48lbs from Tropical Traditions last month that will last.  You can hear more about their bison here. You can purchase your own HERE.

6)      Coconut Oil- Tropical Traditions. I am pretty stocked from sales the past couple months, so I don’t foresee needing more anytime soon. But if I do, it will be from them. Hands down, they have the best coconut products!

7)      Honey- my husband eats some raw honey every day. I know a lot of Paleo purists would frown on this, but here is the deal. By doing this, my husband has completely removed the at one time daily, high dose allergy medication. He no longer wakes up with a headache and congestion, or walks around in a allergy med daze (yes, even Claritin had that effect). For us it is a no brainer! 
     I purchased a large container from a local source at the farmers market, and now that I am out and between Farmers Market Season I have purchased some from Tropical Traditions. This stuff has the best flavor, according to him. You can check it out HERE. I found 2 local options (again on Craigslist) that I will be checking into when I run out of the stuff I have. 

8)     Maple Syrup- My parents still live in Western NY, where I grew up. They have access to the best pure maple syrup at a great price. My mom is gracious enough to send it to us when we need it! (Love those ‘if it fits, it ships’ boxes)!

So all in all, things are going well. I am excited to have found new sources, and more to look more into over the next week.

My next challenge: I will need to find Chicken soon as I am down to my last bag in the freezer. Anyone have experience with purchasing quality chicken meat locally, or have suggestions or leads?

Here is a bit on my spending so far and some planned expenses:
Local GF Beef (purchased 100lbs at $5/lb)

GF Bison from Tropical Traditions (Purchased 48lb @$6/lb)

Full Circle Farms- Produce
BlackJack Farms- Raw Milk ($7/Gallon)
Eggs ($3/dozen)


  1. Hi Esther,
    How much honey does your hubby eat daily? I have allergies and have relied on allergy injections for the past 7 years. They are effective, but it's pain to get them every several weeks. (Yes, the pun was intended :D)
    Thank you,

    1. He eats a couple tsp a day, not sure on exact quantity.