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In the last few years, we've all heard that it's more inexpensive to eat high-calorie, nutrient-sparse foods.    Are we then doomed to a life of either nasty nutrition or perpetual poverty because of our ballooning food budget?

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No way!   The whole premise turns out to not really be true.


But then, those of you who cook your own food probably took the earlier studies with a grain of salt.


Fresh and whole foods are cheaper especially if eating from scratch... whole grains and legumes are especially inexpensive per serving (you know, that stuff that stores long-term really well!).

The original studies, we now learn, were comparing price per calorie in healthy vs. unhealthy foods.

Now, if you're comparing a fresh apple to a side order of fries, it looks something like this:

1 medium apple, about 5 ounces (141g) = about 80 calories    at $1.50/lb,  this costs $ .47  (if you buy them when they're on sale for $1/lb, then it's $ .31)

1 medium order of McDonald's fries, about 5 ounces (147 g) = 453 calories, in my city it costs $1.49

Both weigh approximately the same.  You'll feel about as full with each one; they both fill the same amount of space in your stomach.  According to the old numbers, though, the fries are much cheaper because   $1.49 divided by 453 calories gets you 3 calories per penny.  The apple, at $ .47 for 80 calories, comes out at 1.7 calories per penny. 

This would matter in a country where every calorie is precious.  Our problem here, though is the reverse.  Most of us eat too many calories, and being full with fewer calories is a helpful thing.

The price difference gets worse, too.  Here in Utah, sales tax on food is 3%.  Sales tax on food from a restaurant, however, is 8%.  That means you're paying one to two cents to the government when you buy the apple, and twelve cents when buying those French fries.  (Maybe that's where the money came from to fund that first study saying fast food was cheaper?!)

So is healthy food always cheaper than fast food?  No, not always.  Often.  It depends on what you buy.  (like Dave Ramsey says, eat "beans and rice; rice and beans" for those trying to live very frugally.) 

But your grocery budget already told you that.

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Click on the link below to read the article that sparked this blog entry:

http://www.foodnavigator-usa.com/Market/Are-healthy-foods-really-more-expensive-Not-necessarily-say-USDA-researchers

 
 
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Once the dough is mixed, if you use a greased/sprayed 1/4 measuring cup to scoop the dough, you'll get a more traditionally-shaped biscuit.

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Yum.  Tender and light on the inside, crunchy on the outside.  This batch was made with 1 cup whole wheat flour.

How much will your year’s supply cost you?  I just got an emergency supply store’s catalog in the mail; they advertised a year’s supply of food for ‘just’ $3649.95.  For one person.  Is it really that much money to get a year’s supply?

Adding up all the essentials, a month’s worth of food for one person is $16.23

                            A year’s worth for one person is  $194.76

Figure in that you’re getting your year’s supply after building your three-month supply; that knocks it down to getting nine months’worth;

                                                            $146.07 per adult.   

You CAN afford to get your home storage! 

If you really want to spend $3649.95 plus tax, you could buy a year’s supply for not just one person, but for NINETEEN people.  Yes, basic storage is different food than that ‘gourmet’ version, but here’s the counsel we’ve been given:          
"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time  and that you can use to stay alive(fromAll is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet)


Here is the cost breakdown:


Grains, 300 lbs- if you get just wheat and oats, at the cannery they cost between $5.80 and $8.15 for 25 lbs. depending on if you get white or red wheat, quick or regular oats.  If you average this out, it will cost you $6.98 per person, per month.  $83.70 per year’s worth.

Milk, 16 lbs is $1.40/lb at the cannery, which is $1.87 per month, $22.40 per year.

Sugar, 60 lbs is $ .56/lb there, $2.80 per month, $33.60 per year.

Oil, 10 qts –this isn’t sold at the cannery, but the price at Macey’s last week was $2.50 for 1 ½ quarts (48 oz.) At that price, after tax, it’s $1.43 per month, $17.17 per year.  It’s only $14.38 if you buy it at Sam’s Club ($6.98 + tax for 5 qts.)

Salt, 8 lbs- 4# box at Costco or Sam’s Club is a dollar; $ .16 per month, $2 per year.

Legumes, 60 lbs– the cannery sells black beans, pinto, and white, from $14.10 to $16.30 for 25 lbs.  Averaging the prices, it’s  $2.99 a month, $35.92 per year.

Water, 14/gal/person-   You can store this for free by using 2- and 3- liter pop bottles, or juice containers (not milk jugs- they break down).  Or use the 5-gallons square jugs or big blue barrels; they’ll run you about $1 per gallon of storage. 

When you’re done storing these items, you might decide to add a few ‘gourmet’ items- but that’s just extra stuff.

Notice that the costs were just for food, not containers to store them in. Most of my storage containers cost nothing.   You CAN get buckets for free, with a little effort- most bakeries give them away; all their frostings and fillings come in those buckets.  Plan on washing them at home.  There are two main sizes; 5 gallon and 2 1/2  gallon.  I keep packages of dried fruit in the smaller buckets, also cornmeal or other things that I don’t use as much.  They are a great size for a pantry, too.  Some of the buckets have gaskets, some don’t.  The ones that don’t seal well are still good for storing sugar. 

If you want all your wheat, powdered milk, sugar, and legumes in #10 cans from the cannery, it will cost you $85.83 more to get a full year’s worth, $65 to do 9 months' worth.

Here’s the year’s worth breakdown and quantities:    51 cans of wheat $137.80, 11 cans of beans $48.95, 10 cans of sugar $46.50, 4 cans of powdered milk $28.20.

 I don’t can my wheat, sugar, or beans because we go through large quantities; one batch of bread would use a whole can.  Pretty silly storage for me.  Besides, it’s easier for me to find space for 10 buckets than 60 #10 cans; they hold about  the same amount of food.

 

Best Drop Biscuits
 adapted from Cooks Country
Makes 12

 1 cube butter, melted and cooled a few minutes- set aside 1 Tbsp. of this.
1 cup cold buttermilk or sour milk  (1-2 Tbsp. vinegar in 1 cup regular milk)
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½  tsp. salt  (3/4 tsp. if you used unsalted butter)
1 tsp. sugar

 Heat oven to 475 degrees, no, that’s not a typo.  Mix together the butter (except reserved) and buttermilk; stir until the butter forms clumps.  (This is a faster way of getting the same results as ‘cutting in’ the butter.)  Mix all the dry ingredients together, then pour in buttermilk mixture.  Stir until just mixed in and dough pulls from side of bowl.   Drop onto  greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet.  A greased  ¼ c. measuring cup makes the perfect size scoop.    Brush with reserved butter.  Bake until tops are crisp and golden, about 12-14 minutes.    Serve warm.  These also reheat well the next day (10 minutes at 300 degrees) and freeze well, too.

You can use powdered milk in this: mix in 3 Tbsp dry milk powder when you’re stirring together the dry ingredients.  Use ice water  and 1-2 Tbsp. vinegar to make 1 cup, stir with the melted butter.

 
 
 
Hi,

Remember  this?

"We encourage members world-wide to prepare for adversity in life by having a basic supply of food and water and some money in savings.” “For longer-term needs….gradually build a supply of food that will last a long time  and that you can use to stay alive (from All is Safely Gathered In, First Presidency pamphlet)

Here is what a basic supply of food includes:  it will provide about 2200 calories a day, which means you’ll probably get 1800 and your husband will get 2600.  This is less than most people are used to, especially if you're suddenly living a 'more active' lifestyle, but it will keep you alive!

300 lbs grains- includes Wheat, Rice, Rolled Oats, Dried Corn, Popcorn, Flour, Pasta Products, Dried Potatoes.  Some lists say 400 lbs per person, but the current Church site says 300.  Take your pick, according to what you can handle.  Storage-wise or hunger-wise; that extra 100 lbs provides an extra 435 calories per day.

16 lbs. powdered milk- this is just enough for cooking, about ¾ cup per day.  You can store instant, regular powder, and canned milk.  It takes about 5 (12-oz) cans to equal one pound of powdered milk

60 lbs sugar- this includes white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, molasses, jam/jelly, corn syrup, fruit drink mix, gelatin.  If you have honey that crystallizes, set the bottle in the sun on a warm day, or put it in a pan of water on lowest heat overnight.  It will become liquid again.  You will want more sugar than 60 lbs. if you can your own fruit.

10 quarts cooking oil (2 ½ gallons)- yes, YOU NEED FAT.  Your brain is made mostly of fat.  Guess what happens if you don’t get any fat in your diet?  Plus, it’s a lot of calories for very little storage space.  The darker & cooler you keep it, the longer it lasts.  Fats include shortening, cooking oil, butter/margarine, mayonnaise, peanut butter.

8 lbs salt per person-  this is the cheapest of them all!   In addition to the round canisters, you can buy salt in 4-lb rectangular boxes; these stack together more efficiently.  At Sams’ Club, these boxes are just under $1.  Woo-hoo!  Two bucks and you have your personal salt for the year!

60 lbs. legumes, dried- includes soybeans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, lima beans, anything that ends with ‘bean’ (unless it begins with ‘jelly’), black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils.  These are a great, inexpensive source of protein.  Store the same as wheat- dry, clean, dark and cool  if possible. It takes 4 ½ (15 oz) cans to equal one pound of dry beans.

14 gallons water per person.  This is just 2 weeks’ supply, for drinking and a tiny bit for washing; the minimum our church leaders have counseled.  You may also want a way to purify water for longer-term use.  To purify, you can boil water for 2 minutes, or use chlorine bleach (plain only, not scented!)  If the water is clear, use ½ tsp. per 5 gallons of water.  If the water is cloudy, use double; 1 tsp. per 5 gallons of water.

Children do not need a full adult’s portion.  For them, figure age 3 and under= 50%, ages 4-6= 70%, ages 7-10= 90%, ages 11 and up= 100%.

Obviously, kids' ages are always changing, so when I calculate what to have on hand ( I inventory every Conference), I project out six months to a year. For instance, if someone is 6 years old, I count that child as 7 years. That way I'm not always slightly behind when it's time to replenish.

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Recipes today are for a whole meal….

Roast Chicken               FromLiving On a Dime, Jan 2010.  
Here is a very basic but yummy recipe. You can also put this in a crock pot to slow cook all day.


1 (3 lb.) whole chicken
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tsp. onion powder
1/4 cup butter or margarine ( You may use lite margarine)
1 stalk celery, leaves removed

Season the whole chicken inside and out with salt, pepper and onion powder. Place breast side down in pan placing margarine and celery into cavity. Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until internal temperature is 180° (82° C). You can baste with juices or melted margarine once or twice. Remove from oven and cover with foil for 30 minutes and let it rest before cutting.

You can easily adapt this recipe to your own likes and dislikes. For example, you might use garlic powder instead of the onion powder, you could slide slices of lemons or garlic cloves or even onion slices under the skin. Try other seasonings, too.

The main thing that makes this recipe great is cooking it breast side down, which makes it extra juicy.

Cheesy Peas and Rice

2 1/4 cups rice, cooked                                               1 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen peas, thawed
1 (6 oz.) can of mushrooms, drained                          6 oz. Velveeta, cubed*

Combine all the ingredients in a greased 1 1/2 qt. baking dish. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes.

I didn't used to buy Velveeta because it used to be more expensive than other cheeses, but it is the same price or less than cheddar now, so I buy it more often.

Apple Butterscotch Crisp

This recipe is good served with ice cream or, for something different, try a slice of cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

 5 large (7 small) apples, sliced and peeled                1 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar, depending on your apples            1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal                                      1/2 cup butter or margarine, cold                                     
1 pkg. (3 1/2 oz.) cook and serve  
          
butterscotch pudding


Place apples in a greased 9x13 pan. Mix everything else in a bowl, cutting in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.* Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.

*Whenever a recipe says to cut in something, that means to take a pastry cutter and mix the butter, margarine or shortening in with the dry ingredients until the mix gets crumbly looking. (I just use my fingers. It is easier for me to wash them than a pastry cutter.)

Roast Chicken Leftovers:

Chicken Spaghetti Bake-  Make your favorite spaghetti, mixing noodles and sauce. Instead of adding hamburger to it or leaving it without meat, add some cubed leftover chicken. Put it in a 9x13 greased pan sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° until heated through and cheese is melted.

Make Chicken Soup with leftovers- see the recipe for turkey soup.  Use ¼ the amount of water and spices for chicken because it’s so much smaller!

Leftover Leftovers- If you have any of this soup left, thicken it with a little cornstarch or flour mixed in water. Make a batch of biscuits or use any leftover biscuits you have and pour the thickened soup (now like gravy) over it.