At 4 jugs a week times 5 dollars a jug, there was 20 dollars a week and 80 dollars a month just on milk. Then I added 5 pounds of butter and a gallon of yogurt to the mix per month. At $3 per pound for butter and $10 for the gallon of yogurt, that added another $25 a month to the grocery bill. All this math was making me hungry, so I got up to take a peak in the fridge and make some eggs for my breakfast.
Wouldn’t you know it? There were no eggs left either. I spotted a small sliver of cheddar cheese though, left from the 4 pound block I had bought not too long ago. I popped the sliver of cheese that would have barely fed a mouse, into my mouth. Better add eggs and cheese to the list. Eggs are $2 per dozen and at 2 dozen a week is umm…$16 a month. The 2 kilogram block of cheese was another $25 of hard earned money paid out for the month.
That all worked out to $146 upon adding it up to our monthly rationed grocery bill, for just dairy and eggs. I figured if the kids could fill up on eggs and dairy items, it would surely save on other food items. Time for change, time to get chickens and a cow or a goat. The chickens would free range in the summer and cost very little to keep. Within a few months, we had our cow/calf pair and 25 chickens. The wild-eyed cow we bought would graze in the 5 acres of pasture that was already fenced for me on our acreage. Mind you though, with not so very good fencing. Truth is, cows can swim in deep water very well, and can sprint with ease. This monthly advent of sprinting after the cow and her calf through the neighbouring farmer’s heavy canola crops kept me in great shape to boot.
The cow would also give us a calf each year (with a little help from that neighbour’s bull) which would provide us meat and save big on the meat bill. We made very good gouda, cheddar, edam, cottage cheeses, and all the butter and yogurt we could use.
The cow gave more than our family could eat so we sold a lot of the extra yogurt and gouda cheeses along with the eggs to friends and neighbours. After expenses, the cow and chickens paid for themselves within six months in food savings. The main thing to keep in mind is that it takes about a hour a day to do the chores, the cow needs to be milked twice a day, fed, and watered. To make cheese, butter and yogurt does take time. Chickens need fed and watered, and eggs need to be gather. But if you are like me and have an acreage and a little time, it can be a big saving on the grocery bill each month.
© Copying 2008-2012 All Rights Reserved Content & Photos By www.cheesemakingrecipe.com Joyann Mast