Nedster7

Can't afford feeding a family of 9... :-(

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I am only on day 5 feeding myself and 6 children (12, 11, 8, 6, 4, 2) and my husband. I'm struggling with being able to keep this up for 4 weeks. We live in Alaska and produce is very expensive (almost $5 for 5oz of baby spinach, 1 head of romaine over $2). We just went through 5 dozen eggs in 4 days... We are used to spending about $100/week on groceries and I've already spent $400 this week. We can't afford to eat this way, so I'm having an internal battle of whether to continue doing this with everyone (not sure how at this point) or just doing it for myself and only eliminate a few things from their foods, which would still be more expensive than we can afford.

Please, any ideas are helpful. Need to figure this thing out.

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What did the $100/wk usually entail?   

And ya, $16/lb for spinach is definitely not sustainable.  Chicken leg quarters can be a great deal in many places --- have you priced them at your local stores?  Do you have a chest freezer where you can stash extra quantities of stuff you bought on sale?

My stereotype of Alaska tells me that game meat might be more available than in other parts of the country?

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I was also going to add in my thoughts/sterotype of Alaska that maybe you can hook up with hunters and try and get game protein for a fraction of the cost?  Perhaps then the cost of the veggies won't seem so onerous.... 

Can you try for frozen veggies?  There are some canned veggies that aren't so bad in a pinch... even frozen spinach could be put into soup (I do that even tho my produce isn't typically that spendy).

Apologies if mine and Kirkor's thoughts are perpetuating an offensive stereotype... I already try and coerse my hunter friends down here to give me game, so I would be tenfold more annoying/aggressive in a place like Alaska. ;)

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Just wondering if you normally grow a garden in the summer months? If you do, it might be more reasonable for you to wait until the later summer months when the gardens are producing to do this, given the cost of produce in your region. Are there farm markets and garden-shares in your area in the spring/summer?

While you would not be on a whole30 if you did this, legumes tend not to be horridly inflammatory and there was a brief discussion a couple years ago when it was thought that maybe legumes could be added to the Whole30. This didn't pan out for reasons that I am not aware of but there it is. Maybe this would help with costs?

Realistically, while we would love for everyone to do a Whole30, it simply isn't accessible for all people and from the sounds of where you live and the prices of foods, it simply might not be feasible for you at this time. :( 

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Do you live in an area with a kill list? My friend in Valdez was on the kill list and got all kinds of awesome proteins that way - can sound off-putting to some, but to me, roadkill that someone reports and the next person on the list goes to pick up where it might even still be warm (just recently died) can be a good way to save on proteins.

I second the suggestion for the frozen or canned veggies. Are potatoes available to you? Those can be added to extend meals relatively inexpensively. Also, I agree with the suggestion to plant a garden. Save some of the seeds from your peppers, tomatoes, squashes and string beans and you can start sprouting them now, ready to plant them when the soil is soft enough and the weather is fair enough. Plant enough and you will have some extras to can or freeze at the end of the growing season.

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I know this was posted a while ago, but I'm also in alaska and wondering what ways you found to save money. We are just a family of 3, but on a very very tight budget so I'm trying to find ways to cut costs and still be successful. Going to Costco has helped a lot, but I'm wondering if maybe there are butchers who sell meat for cheaper than the chain stores...

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