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How we managed $450 Worth of Free Food

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How we managed $450 Worth of Free FoodI'm sort of following up on a blog I wrote last March, "Would You Like Free Food?" In that blog, I shared how my husband and I are foragers and how we save money by taking advantage of shopping in God's grocery store-the great outdoors-and many of the delicious nuts, fruits, and vegetables that you can find.

Just for fun (and maybe even for a future blog), I kept track of what we were able to find in the way of free food this year.  I even tried to come up with a dollar figure for the food by comparing the price of the same item at the grocery store.  You might be surprised at how lucrative foraging was for us this year. 

Here's my list:

  • Wild Asparagus:  Our secret patch served up 10 pounds.  (Grocery store price $2.99/pound or a total of $29.90 saved).  I estimate we ate 5 pounds and I put 5 pounds in our freezer for the winter.
  • Wild Blackberries:  We picked 18 quarts of blackberries.  (Grocery story price $2.50/pint or a total of $22.50).  I made several blackberry cobblers that we ate right away, put 8 quarts in the freezer, made 7 jars of blackberry jam and had fresh berries for our breakfast for at least a week.
  • Wild Strawberries:  I found enough in our yard to have with 8 bowls of cereal-I put approximately 8 to 10 wild strawberries in each bowl of cereal. 
  • Apples:  We picked 4 bushels of apples from an abandoned orchard.  There are approximately 48 pounds of apples in a bushel.  (Grocery store price $2.49/3 pounds or a savings of $159.36.  I made 5 apple pies, 10 pints of cinnamon applesauce, 7 quarts of apple pie mix, and had plenty for snacking.
  • Pears:  We picked 4 pounds of pears.  (Grocery store price $1.50/pound (Bartlett Pears) or a savings of $6.00)
  • Walnuts: We gathered 8 pounds of walnuts (Grocery store price $6.99/pound or a savings of $55.92)
  • Morel Mushrooms:  Our very top secret spot yielded 8 pounds of these delicacies.  I have never seen them in a grocery store; however, I did find fresh Morels online at Oregon Mushrooms for $29.00/pound.  That's a savings of $232.00

So, if my math is correct (and it may not be), this year's foraging expeditions netted a whopping savings of $449.76.  We put out a little effort, found delicious free food for our table, and by freezing and canning will also be able to enjoy during the coming winter.  Not only did we save money and were able to put food away for the winter, we got some good exercise, as well.  How many squats and knee bends can you do? 

How do you feel about getting $449.76 worth of absolutely free food to enjoy?  That's just what we were able to squirrel away this year; you might find even more for an even greater savings.  I urge you to join the ranks of Food Foragers and start planning now so you will be ready to go when next spring gets here.    

Kimberly Johns, Debt Management Plan Customer with leading provider of debt relief, CareOne Services, Inc. Kimberly Johns

Kimberly has been on the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP) for just under a year. Kimberly is very active in the Community Forums, some of you may recognize her Community user name; Tiquie. Recently retired, she is going to share how she and her husband manage the financial challenges of living on a fixed income. The John's have found some really creative and fun ways to offset the limitations of a retirement income, which Kimberly is generously planning to share in her My Journey out of Debt blog! Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services.


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  • I have had the pleasure of being friends with apple tree owners and have already picked at least $50 worth of delicious tree fresh apples also knowing no pesticides were used is priceless. This is wonderful since my son takes an apple a day for his school lunch.

  • Hi amkinsch and thanks for reading the blog!  It is amazing how much money we can save when we are able to find fruits and vegetables growing naturally rather than on the grocery store shelf.  As you point out, everything is pesticide free which is such a plus for us health wise.  You are an official "forager".

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