Last time I went to the grocery store, I got angry.
Though our real food transformation has greatly decreased the amount of food I purchase at a conventional grocery store, there are still some items for which I don’t have local or homemade sources.
Last shopping trip I went to grab a package of butter and was shocked to see that the prices had risen nearly a dollar since last month. Butter and cheese are 2 things that we use a lot of, and I don’t quite have the capabilities to make them at home yet.
My irritation in the store that day got me to thinking about how much I really dislike being a “consumer.” I’ve become spoiled on the things we are able to produce ourselves (eggs, goat milk, vegetables, etc) and I get a bad attitude when I feel like I have to be dependant on a store to provide me with necessities. We just assume that the food will always be there and will always be the same price, but that is not a guarantee.
Then my thoughts went even further… What would happen if the price of food really skyrocketed or there become a shortage? What then? I can tell you one thing, I don’t want to be the one standing in line for a government handout of margarine (or anything else for that matter)!
So what was my solution to the problem? Clip coupons? Buy in bulk? Start collecting newspaper ad inserts?
Well, I suppose all of those ideas would have been feasible, but instead we decided to go buy one of these:
Meet Oakley, a Brown Swiss/Guernsey heifer. Don’t worry, I still love my goats, but my husband and I decided we needed a larger quantity of milk as well as CREAM. She’s due to calve in July, so I have several months to get her gentle and prepare for this new venture.
Yes, it most definitely was an investment. But, not only will she benefit our grocery budget right now, she also makes us more self-sufficient in the event of crazy food prices or a disaster liked we discussed last week. Once we start milking her, I plan to make all of our cheese, butter, yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, cottage cheese, and buttermilk at home. Plus, we can feed the excess milk or whey to the other animals we have, further reducing our feed bill.
So, even though this preparedness step doesn’t exactly fit into a 5 gallon bucket, I believe it’s a important part of our family being prepared.
And also because, dang it, nothing is going to come between me and my butter.
Can’t Get Enough Homesteading Goodness?
Join over 75,000 others who get the weekly Homestead Toolbox delivered fresh to their inbox. It’s packed full of recipes, ideas, and homesteading tips you can actually use (no fluff), plus a copy of my very popular mulch gardening how-to guide.