Meat Can Be A Big Expense

Raw Beef

Meat can be a frugal choice!

Meat can be a big expense if you do not raise your own livestock. We do not. I would have a large amount of pets and an empty freezer if I did! LOL Well, not exactly, since we do not have freezer, but you know what I mean. Some people can do it and some don’t want to. Yes, I know where meat comes from that is sold in the stores. How come people have such a problem with you not raising your own livestock for meat, but they don’t grow their own wheat for baking? I always say, do what you can or want to do, but please do not force YOUR views on others! If you are following a low carb food plan than meat is an even bigger expense. Fresh produce makes up half of the low carb plan, meat and dairy are about one-fourth each. It doesn’t help that our house rabbit, known as “Rabbit” eats a great deal of the fresh greens we grow, or buy from the store. We try to buy organic as much as possible, if available. Winter is tough though and especially around here. 

rabbit eating wild foods

Wild Foods

Since we heat with wood and have no other type of heating, our house gets pretty cold at night when the wood stove is banked back. Starting plants has always been difficult for me. My houseplants barely survive the winter. I am experimenting with some salad greens and herbs right now since our temperatures have been unseasonably warm for New York state. This morning we spotted our first robin of the year and they are never here this early. I usually look for them around the fifteen of March, not the first. I am not complaining though. We have a pretty large population of robins living here for most of the year. I hope it is a good sign that spring will be early this year.

cows

Livestock raised for food.

Because we do not raise livestock for food, what can we do about the meat supply? Well, you can always become a vegetarian, though that is not for me. I have tried it, but I am used to eating meat since I have had it my whole life. Also since I do so much better eating low carbs, I want to eat it. It satisfies you more than vegetables. One of the ways around the high price of meat in the stores is to purchase a supply from a local farmer. If you have a freezer to store it, you can usually get a much better price directly from the farmer who raised it. I think once you buy it that way, you will not want to go back to buying it in a store again. Another way to get an affordable amount of meat is to buy it in bulk when your stores have it on sale. I do that. Except I can it, instead of freezing it. The main reason I do not freeze it is because we do not have a freezer. Not even a small one. Our refrigerator doesn’t have one. But even if I had a freezer, most of my meat and foods I store, I would can. Freezers can break. Canned meats taste much better and will last years as long as it is properly canned with a pressure canner. My husband calls it fast food. Canned jars of meats or chili and stews are super fast to cook and serve. We love them.

Canned Beef

Canned Beef

I normally purchase our meat from a local restaurant supply store. I can get good deals on meat there, as well as produce. Their food is top quality and I have never been unhappy with anything I bought there. Canning a supply of meat and broth can make preparing meals, not only frugal, but easier. The meat is already cooked so you just have to put the recipe together and heat it. Jars of broth make gravy and soup preparing a snap. After I have finished canning the meat, I add more hot water to it, season it and now have number of jars of broth to can. These are like gold! They add such flavor and store bought bouillon or broths don’t even come close to the flavor.


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Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2017 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Fill The Pantry With Home-Canned Foods You Like

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Canned Chicken Breast

This year I am making some big plans on our food supply. I have a lot more canning jars empty at the moment, rather than full. So I need to get them filled up and put away. I am hoping we get some major changes done on our house. Then I will have the space for the jars. Ever since my root cellar has been torn apart, I have not been able to use it the way it is meant to be used. Between the root cellar and the pantry, the food supply should be easy to get to, and the right climate for the stored food.

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Canned Pumpkin

This year I am concentrating on low carb vegetables, since now my husband has embraced this food plan gladly. That is no problem, as there are many low carb vegetables to choose from! I will also be canning a lot of different meats, cheeses, butter and bacon. The more food I have in jars, then I can rest easy, that none of it will go to waste. Living without a refrigerator means you have to make sure you can store whatever food you grow or buy. Canning and dehydrating assures me of that fact. 

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Canned Cheese

Canning cheese, bacon and butter is a controversial subject. I had backed off it for awhile. But I have read new information on it. Jackie Clay, my favorite author from Backwoods Home Magazine has done it. If she can do it, so can I. I do it safely and if I suspect anything is amiss……..in the garbage it goes! I have found new guidelines on canning bacon and will try it first. If I like it, I will tell my readers here all about it. After all, they sell canned bacon in the stores, so it means it can be canned.

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Home-Canned Hot Peppers

Figure out what you eat based on whatever diet you eat, and make your list from that. Grow or buy those foods. Make your main dishes that you eat often, the mainstay of your pantry. It is not hard to do. Don’t grow anything you don’t eat or like. If it is something you want to try, just plant a short row of that plant to see if you like it or not. 

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Last Corn From Daddy’s Garden

Eating low carbs means we don’t eat corn, potatoes or beets. After we have been on our plan awhile, we can have one or two of those vegetables a week. Not a huge helping of mashed potatoes and gravy though! The corn  I have left in my pantry is the last from my father’s garden. The last I will ever have of anything from his garden. I am not sad though! He instilled in me the need to garden. Then he taught me how to can food. So that knowledge will always live with me. Thanks, Daddy! 

katlupe

Copyright © 2013 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2012 Kathleen G. Lupole