I was very happy to send the little red doe kit with the white spot on her face off to a new home today. I gave my son 1/3 of the purchase price and the rest is going towards feed costs. Thankfully feed costs for the animals have not been going up here.
Food prices for the humans definitely are. At least in the grocery stores. I happened to glance over at eggs the other day and about fell over. When did they get to be $3 a dozen for regular, conventionally grown eggs? I know folks who sell their farm fresh chicken eggs for $3 or $4 a dozen if they are organic. I am glad I don’t have to buy eggs. Regular milk has gone up, from $3.29 a gallon for the cheapest conventional milk, to $3.79. The organic milk I buy is so far holding steady at $5.29. Wild caught salmon is going for $9.99 when it used to go for $6.99, though I can still get it cheaper than that if I buy the whole fish and I generally do. I almost never buy any other fresh fish though. It is just too expensive.
As for produce, cabbage went up. Cabbage is generally dirt cheap, and it still really is, but it has gone up 20 cents a pound. Apples and oranges have gone up, but bananas seem to be holding steady. Potatoes are getting kind of ridiculous. Glad I canned so much this summer, but I might buy some if they go on sale at Christmas and can some more. Garlic is still cheap, as are onions. I can still get a 20 pound bag of juicing carrots for a steal. I do this every so often and then can them. Doesn’t matter if they are seconds, they can great. Ketchup is $4 for a pint. That’s kind of nuts. Mayo is $5 a quart. I make my own mustard and will likely start making my own mayo since it is easy.
Olive oil and sunflower oil have both jumped. So has ice cream. And cheese. And butter. I won’t even buy beef or pork at the store anymore, just farm direct. I am so glad we have raised so much food this year and have a freezer full of meat and fruit. I still have to buy dairy and some produce, but not nearly as much as I would have if I hadn’t put so much up when stuff was in season and cheap or I was growing it myself. I worry about people who don’t have my options. I have a feeling 2015 is going to be a tight year for some people.
One of the things I do that helps me immensely is that every week I make up a meal plan. I shop my freezer and pantry first and fill in the gaps at the store. I am also kind of ridiculous about leftovers. I get a bit militant in making sure everything gets eaten. Part of that is not wanting to waste money, but a much bigger part is having respect for the animals that gave their lives for the food and the farmers (or me) who worked hard to grow the fruits and vegetables. If I wouldn’t go out to the rabbit shed, kill a rabbit and place it directly in the trash can (and I wouldn’t), then I shouldn’t kill it, butcher it, cook it, put the leftovers in the fridge, and then throw them away because no one got around to eating them and they went bad, either.
We are not feeling the food pinch, but that doesn’t mean we won’t. Who knows how much our medical insurance will increase again next year. It is good to keep in mind that if I practice good habits when money is okay for us, I will do them automatically if things get bad.