In addition to running the homestead, the boyfriend and I also work full-time jobs! We've had weeks where our meal prep was totally on point, and then we've had some weeks where it seems like we are buying 3 meals a day out. Totally not frugal. At all. One of the things I like to do is meal prep for breakfast. Both the boyfriend and I are quite fond of the breakfast sandwiches they serve at WaWa or 7-11. Give me a sausage, egg and cheese on an English muffin and my morning is complete. Since the only livestock we currently have are chickens, we buy bacon in bulk from the local BJs. It generally comes in a 3 pack and I'll throw two packs into the feezer, cut one pack in half to cook and place the other half in a zip lock bag in the fridge. I'll fry up an entire half pack at one time and then store it in the fridge, wrapped in a paper towl, in a tupperware. I'll use this to make a bacon, egg, and cheese on an English muffin, bagel or toast during the week. Since bacon takes the longest to cook and since my oven doesn't have an exhaust fan and smokes out the kitchen when we cook bacon, this method saves me both time and having to smoke out the house. It also saves money since we don't have to spend any money on breakfast!
When I read blogs about homesteading or read posts by others in FB homesteading groups, I often wonder how people came to the decision to become....essentially Farmers. Was there one defining moment where that person just decided this was what they had to do, or did the idea come about gradually? For me, the seed for this lifestyle was first planted about 20 odd years ago when I stumbled on an article about the Dervaes Family in California who produced almost all of their food on just a 1/4 acre just outside of the city! If you haven't heard about them, check out their website: PATH TO FREEDOM – The Urban Homestead I was immediately taken in by the passion of their patriarch, Jules Dervaes. He preached that self sufficiency was almost an act of revolution and the only way to truly be free. That spoke to me. But in my early 20's, there was little I could do to begin my journey. I am fortunate that my parents had land (we lived on a former blueberry farm that's been in the family for a few generations), and they had a small garden every summer. When I was in my mid-twenties, my Dad decided he wanted chickens and ducks for pest control, so we got to learn about poultry and fowl. And I've been involved in horses since I was 7yrs old! Covid pretty much clinched it for me though. If there ever was a defining moment for me, it was coming back to NJ after leaving my (now ex) husband in Missouri in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was starting to ramp up, and heading to the local ShopRite to get some food and supplies as I had nothing. I walked in and immediately walked out when I saw the lines for the cash register extending down multiple aisles. Nope! I left and went to a local Farmer's market to get my supplies. With the toilet paper shortage that first year, I switched to cloth wipes that can be washed (pee only, I'm not a savage), and planned a small garden that didn't really produce much the first year, but it was a start. Now, two years into the pandemic, things only seem to be getting worse. I keep seeing reports of empty grocery store shelves, and I've definitely felt the sting of inflation. So, I'm more committed than ever to be more self sufficient and provide for myself. It's prompted me (a former vegan) to take a chicken processing class last summer and to seriously consider raising some chickens for meat (I have three big dogs that I cook for and I now eat meat) in addition to growing feed for said chickens as well as a diverse garden for myself and my boyfriend. That's what got me into this. What about you?