I write about food a lot. It is the commonality we share. Heat, medical supplies, gardening equipment and transportation are individual needs and vary a good deal depending on who you are and where in the world you live but we all have to eat. Autumn seems to be a good time to make a committment tot take charge of your personal food supply in all aspects. Think in terms of inventory, acquisition schedule, nutrition and price point. To get started you need to a clean slate to tackle the inventory problem.

This is often the hard part as it requires a full day. Cabinets should be cleaned out and reorganized so that you can see what you have. You can probably feed those nine year old anchovies to the compost. If you have 46 cans of tuna, they don’t belong in the kitchen but in a dedicated long term storage area. As much as possible, I am switching from plastic for storage to mason jars. They are easy to label, display what I have and don’t impart toxins or flavors to my food. I might make another choice if I lived in earthquake country. As you organize you can begin your food notebook. This ties in with taking charge of the financial aspect of food. How can you make a decision about purchase if you don’t know what food costs on a regular basis. I find it remarkable that most people still just toss what they want in their grocery carts. If you spend $200.00 a week on food and incidentals (not unusual at all) you are talking about a $10,000.00 per year expenditure, not inconsequential. Every dollar you saved is like tax free income. You must also consider that your families health depends on what they consume. A pantry heavy on convenience foods will result in more trips to the doctors, more days lost to illness and coping with bad teeth. It is worth it to begin a regimen of healthier eating today.

I put in my co-op order yesterday. I spent about $70.00 on three items. I bought walnuts, dried apples and raisins. They all store well and are foods we eat a lot of. I will not buy any other food this week except for milk and eggs from local farmers. I have cut my grocery bill considerably by committing to baking bread once or twice a week. I also no longer buy dry cereal unless it is a too-good-to-pass-up loss leader sale. We have bread and cheese and cereal and fruit and yogurt and granola. Cereal is not a necessity but a luxury item.

i am out the door early today, planning stops at Deals and Steals, a little store that sells food and household supplies at deep discounts. These are usually slightly post dated or items with damaged packaging. Nearly everything is organic. I often get deals on things like olive oil and tea here.

To be continued when I return home.