...we bought a pig.
(Okay, I'll let that sink in for a minute.)
Well, we actually bought half a pig.
(I'll let you cogitate on that a moment.)
Alright...let me do some 'splainin.
We went in with another family on a weaner (as in a baby pig that has just been weaned...it has nothing to do with what it might become later) which they are housing. We are helping pay for the feed (they're doing the feeding), and in the fall my husband (not I) will help with the butchering.
For an investment of about $50 or $60 we should end up with about 125 pounds of meat. We will still have to pay the local butcher to smoke some ham and bacon but I'm pretty certain it will still be A LOT less than we would pay for all that meat at the grocer's.
So why would we buy a pig? Well I had to think about that for awhile myself. I am not a big pork eater. However, when an opportunity presents itself for inexpensive food, sometimes you have to take it.
With prices on nearly everything taking such incredible leaps I'm looking for all kinds of ways to save money. Raising our own food seems like a no brainer. In the past what that meant for me was growing a garden. And this year we do have two tomato plants and two struggling squash plants (I think we will be lucky to get anything off of them) but we are already making plans for a much larger and more productive garden next year. And we are now raising animals.
Honestly we are doing more than just planning a garden and raising chickens and a pig, we are rethinking our lifestyle.
It's very easy to go to the grocery store with a list of things I need and pluck them off a shelf , put them in a cart and pay for them. It's somewhat harder to dig around in the dirt...er...soil, make sure everything gets water, isn't eaten by a bug, harvest the produce and find a way to store it for future months (ie. can, freeze or dry it). However, I think it is more satisfying and much less expensive to do so.
The same goes for the pig and the chickens. (Besides that the chickens add a lot of entertainment value.)
Some friends of mine and I have also begun looking at the things we buy out of convenience that we could be making ourselves at home. Soaps and cleaning products have become our target. We are a little bit surprised to find that they are easy to make and much less expensive. Did you know that you can make your own laundry detergent that cleans your clothes just as well as the name brand products for a fraction of the cost? Check it out here at The Family Homestead.
I like the thought that I can stretch our ever shrinking dollar by learning how to make some things myself and also by growing some of our own food. I also think that in many ways it is much more wholesome. I like knowing where my food is coming from and how it has been raised.
I know I've seen this question asked on other blogs but I'm going to go ahead and ask it again. What kinds of things are you doing to stretch your dollar (or pound for my friends across the pond)? Are you making lifestyle changes? Have you bought a pig?
By the way, the picture of the chicken at the beginning of the post is one of our newest editions. Her name is Nellie.