I noticed recently that an entry I did about Angelfood Ministries was getting a lot of hits; today I went to check their website just for the heck of it, and I found out they have ceased operation.
We tried Angelfood Ministries one single time. I believe we paid $32, and got a small box with not many groceries in it. A lot of what was in the box was overly processed. I recall there were some steaks, a cheaper cut, that I used in stir-fries and for beef tips. And there was a frozen pumpkin pie ready to be put in the oven.
This was before we butchered Bonnie's first calf, so we had a use for the beef. However, I didn't need a frozen pumpkin pie. It was the year we had so many butternut squashes from the garden, and I could have used them if I wanted a "pumpkin" pie. I've never been one to buy baked (or ready-to-be-baked) goods, unless I see an angel food cake marked down because it's been around awhile. Of course I buy the occasional cake mix, simply because the mix is cheaper than a cake made from scratch.
Looking at the contents of the box of food we got that day, it seemed to me as though a person could have bought similar items for the same price (or less) at the grocery store, especially if she took advantage of weekly specials. Still, there are people who buy lots of processed food, so the Angelfood thing might have worked well for them.
When we bought my Jersey cow, Bonnie, I felt we had paid a ridiculous price. But I wanted a healthy purebred Jersey cow in the worst way; not because we needed milk, but because I love Jerseys. As I recall, the people were asking $1,500 for her. I think they let us have her for $1,300. I had my lovely, gentle, beautiful Jersey cow, so I was happy.
Her first calf was a boy. He nursed her until he was a year old, then we took him to be butchered. We were amazed at how much meat he made! The only actual money we ever spent on him was the fee to have him butchered, which was over $200. We never bought grain for him at any time. Meanwhile, we were getting from one to two gallons of milk a week from Bonnie, more if I wanted it.
I'm fairly sure that if we were to figure how much Bonnie has given us in the way of food, she has darn near paid for herself.
With Bonnie's help, we eat cheaply. We've been eating taco soup and split pea soup for the last five or six days. Of course, we ate lasagna twice at Rena's house; the ground beef she used in it (and what I used in our taco soup) was courtesy of Bonnie-the-Jersey-cow's first son.
For breakfast we alternate between oatmeal and farina (Cream of Wheat). We have an occasional bowl of Mini-spooners, usually when Cliff sleeps so late that I'm starving, so I go ahead and eat.
Even in this year of lousy gardening, I don't have to spend a lot of bucks on food. For that, I am thankful. And guess what? I could still trim the budget even more if I had to. I wish I could say the same about gasoline.