As the pandemic rages on and states begin reopening, we're beginning to realize that life will not go back to how it was before. Prices of things we never thought about before are higher. Meat, eggs and veggies are harder to come by and when we do, it's pricey.
What can we do? Well for one, buy local. My family buys beef and pork from a former coworker of my mom, who raises her own livestock. It's not that expensive for a lot of meat and lasts a long time. You just need to freeze it.
We grow our own vegetables - potatoes, beans, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, squash, eggplants, carrots. The stuff we grow tastes so much better than the stuff you buy in stores. And you can can it and save it for future use.
We also get corn from my mom's meat friend. Tip: get a ton of corn. Husk it and scrape the corn from the cob. You can freeze the corn for future use.
It's a ton of work growing your own vegetables, but well worth it in the end. If you tend your garden well, you'll end up with a load of fresh and delicious vegetables.
But wait...eggs? Eggs are one of the most versatile foods in the kitchen. They're also very expensive right now. In some places, they're eight dollars now!
If you have a backyard, I highly recommend getting your hands on some chickens. It's best to get them as chicks and raise them. It'll take some time to get healthy, egg-laying adults, but well worth it.
We have nine hens and a rooster. While three of the girls are older and don't lay as often, we do get at least six eggs a day. That's half a dozen every day, seven days a week.
But chickens are a lot of work. They drink a lot of water and eat all the time. You'll need to buy the appropriate feed from your local Tractor Supply often.
You'll also need to clean up after them. The more chickens you have, the more poop you need to clean up. And trust me, it piles up so you can't slack.
Don't forget you'll need coops for your birds.
They'll also eat bread, veggies, weeds, fruit, bird seeds, etc. If something starts to get a little old for us, we'll give it to the chickens and ducks. If we have meat left over from dinners that's been sitting for a bit too long for us, it's out to the dog and cats.
Don't worry! We're not giving our pets rotten food! It's just stuff that are leftover for a week or so that it's obvious no one is going to eat it. Or if like apples get too ripe.
Also, yes, we have two ducks. They're not laying yet, but I'm sure soon we'll have duck eggs in the future, too.
They're not a lot of work. We have a kiddie pool for them to swim around in, and it needs cleaned out often because they bathe and poop in it. I use a large dog feeder for their feed.
While the pandemic is causing food shortages, there are things you can do you better feed your family. If you have a backyard and can get your hands on chickens, help your apartment friends out.
Chickens lay every day, and unless you're eating a dozen eggs a day, it'll pile up. We have seven dozen eggs in the fridge right now and I still need to go out and collect more.
Give a dozen or so eggs to your friends, the elderly lady down the street, or your kid's friend that lives in the apartment complex. Help out your neighbors.