December is always kind of a crazy month. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this, however, this year things were a little different. I was in a major funk. I don’t know whether it was stress (holidays and hunting season all rolled into one), my hormones re-balancing, or something in the air, but man I was not doing well. This is pretty much the reason I took an inadvertent break from blogging. Sometimes you just need a rest. I’m mostly recovered now and looking forward to a fresh start in January.
We all struggle at times, so I know I’m not alone. I wasn’t depressed really, but I was having a hard time feeling good. Little things became a huge deal, and my heart just felt heavy. I can’t really explain it. I didn’t feel like myself. This being a new mom thing I’m sure had a lot to do with it. The constant feeling of inadequacy. Is that just me? I always feel like I should be doing better for my kid like everything I’m doing isn’t enough. We all just want to give our kids the best right? I’m trying to believe that sometimes the best thing I can do for him is to be kind to myself. The floor doesn’t need to be mopped right this minute, and it’s okay to sit down and enjoy my tea while he naps instead. Logically, I know I need to do these things to keep my sanity, but the constant inner struggle of who I think I should be and my reality can be a pretty heavy weight.
One day at a time. Right?
This time around, I’m going to go through the end of the year by the numbers. I’m excited to let you guys in on a deeper analysis of our food production and grocery budget. You can read last years grocery budget here.
Our Food Production
Sidenote: if anyone has a catchier title for gardening, canning, and hunting as a header I’m all ears.
Unfortunately, I did not take good garden notes this year, so I can’t tell you exactly how much the garden actually produced. Also, having a baby midseason meant not as much garden stuff got done as I would have liked. Some years are better than others. Luckily, we like in an area full of pretty amazing local farms where we could get our hands on plenty of fresh produce to put up.
Here is what is the list of what we put up this year.
- 6 Chickens – We started the year with 8. Things happen.
- 60 lbs of tomatoes – This became 8 quarts of tomato sauce and 12 pints of salsa.
- 94 lbs of Venison processed
- 1 pair of ruined shoes – Blood stains are only in on Halloween.
- 7 cups of pesto – frozen in ice-cube trays. more probably could have been made, but truth be told, I was running out of steam in the midst of all those tomatoes and a new baby.
- 6 jars of blueberry thyme jam – I stole this idea from our dinner with Field Notes. #sogood
- 12 (1/2 pint) jars of raspberry jam & 4 jars of melba sauce
- 2 ducks & 1 Goose processed
- 1 bushel of corn – half canned and half frozen
- 8 lbs of fiddleheads frozen – we found the mother lode this year
- 14 pints of applesauce
- 5 Quarts of broth and plenty more used immediately
- 20 lbs of manure – amendments to the garden
- 0 jars of pickles – for the first year ever, they didn’t do well and we have some from last year still, so we enjoyed what did grow as fresh cucumbers.
- 4 quarts of sauerkraut
- 4 lbs of purple potatoes – no other types seemed to really want to grow this year
- 0 green beans – while these grew like gangbusters these along with lettuces, radishes and a few other veggies didn’t make it to storage. They were all eaten fresh.
As for our grocery budget. Man is that an interesting stat.
In 2017 we spent about $368 a month on groceries.
This is up from about $251 that we spent in 2016.
Why did it go up? Well, that’s pretty easy, I wasn’t as good about the budget this year. Instead of only getting the deals I opted for organic/free-range/antibiotic free/humane (am I missing any?), for obvious reasons. There was also the pregnancy factor. I almost always had a plan for dinner and then I would pull out the ingredients and feel sick just looking at them, so off to the store we went. I’m embarrassed about the quantity of frozen pizza’s we ate before the gestational diabetes diagnosis. Pre-made food is more expensive per calorie than our usual meals. Finally, there was the kitchen renovation. A few weeks without a well-functioning kitchen means you eat a lot of prepackaged meals, which are still cheaper than eating out, but still more expensive.
I’m hoping that the coming year will be a whole different story, but as always I can’t predict the future so I guess we will have to wait and see.