(almost) Free Food!
So, my husband and I are kind of into self sufficiency and homesteading. People have often asked me how we manage to eat so well on such a small budget. Aside from producing most of our own meat and some of our own vegetables, a big part of it is bulk meal prep and utilizing leftovers.
We were given a country ham from a friend for Christmas. What a wonderful gift! So, as usual, we made the most of it and ended up with over 40 meals from the one ham! We ate ham for Christmas dinner, again for breakfast the next day, used the cooking water start the base for cabbage soup, and added the bones to a crockpot full of water to make bean soup. We added the leftover ham to the cabbage soup. After cooking the bones in the crock pot overnight, we removed them and carved off any meat remaining on the bones, which was then added back to the crock pot. We did add more stuff that wasn’t free (carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, tomatoes, etc), but it was very inexpensive. Even if we had purchased the ham, it would still be very low cost for the amount of food it produced. Both soups were pressure canned, mostly in pint sized jars which make the perfect single serving meal to take to work and not have to worry about refrigeration.
We do the same thing with a turkey, with variations of course. Sometimes it is soups, sometimes casseroles, or both. When we process meat, we save the bones to make stock. Trimmings from carrots and celery are saved in the freezer for future stock. We often cook very large batches of soups or meals and freeze or pressure can the leftovers. I could go on and on. Almost nothing is wasted. It does take more time and effort, but it is well worth it in money savings and provides a great sense of satisfaction and fullfillment. As if that weren’t enough, since we started this journey we have been eating a much healthier diet and I feel so much better than when we ate processed foods!