30 Day Challenge ~ Crossing the finish line

We did it.  We finished our September challenge!  And since we did not spend a single dollar during the last weekend of September (other than gas and eating out because we did not know we'd be away from home so long on Sunday) we finished the month spending a grand total of....$53.83 at local grocery stores and $432.52 at local farms, farmers markets, dairys and chicken or beef producers. 
Total for a family of three for 30 days: $486.35
Had we removed some of the items that we purchased to help us stock up for the winter, this final number would have been more near $350.00.
Some people claim that "But It costs so much to eat healthy!"  Well here you go.  It cost us $486.35 for the entire month and we were eating pretty darn healthy and we were stocking up our larder for the winter!  Fresh produce, straight from the farm, fresh milk straight from the dairy, fresh delicious eggs with buttery orange yolks, wonderful, tasty pasture raised chickens and hormone and antibiotic free Angus pastured beef.   
Keep in mind now, our grocery store budget pretty much only allowed us paper products (think paper towels, toilet paper, tissue), ziploc bags, an odd purchase here or there (like the time we forgot to get Kale at the farmers market), and of course, I grabbed a bag of peppermint patties. We did start this challenge with a few extra items already in our pantry.  Basic things like flour, cornmeal, bisquick, and beans.  In our freezer we had frozen meats along with many of the fruits and vegetables that I have put away through the summer.  So we did already have a larder stocked up to pick from.
That made things a bit simpler, financially. But really, anyone can do this.  What I learned this past month is this just takes discipline, which I think most of us really lack. After all, it's much easier to say "It costs too much to eat healthy" and then pop in your tv dinner into the microwave or oven than to figure out which items you have in your pantry, plan out your meals for a week according to what you do have, and then cook that dinner every night. 
If you are a full time working Mom such as myself, you might even have the extra task of preparing some ingredients a day or several days ahead of time because you will not be home to work on it. You just have to be ready prepare things ahead of time.

Now that we enter the month of October we will be entering a different phase altogether. 
Many might not be aware but September was Preparedness Month.  I didn't actually know this until mid September.  Oops, my bad.
So, as we proceed through October we have decided to spend a bit more of our time educating ourselves on emergency preparedness.  We have decided to make October our preparedness month. 
As our garden begins to fall asleep for the winter I will explore a bit more on what it takes to be prepared and what kind of emergencies to be prepared for. 
Also, stay tuned because I will be adding one neat little tidbit.  A frugal little trick called buying your coffee in bulk and then roasting it yourself.  You'll never return to Folgers! I promise!

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