I've been thinking through our food budget a lot lately & praying about ways to save money while still eating real, nutritious food. I also want to be more efficient, cutting back on how often I shop to help save on gas costs & better manage my time. I'm reading up on ideas from an eBook that I'll review soon & was reminded about food preservation. We've done it in the past to a certain degree (canning applesauce, picking strawberries & peaches) but I'd gotten away from it and I'd like to increase the amount we preserve.
So last week, the children and I went with my parents to an organic u-pick blueberry farm just around the corner from our home. We picked for almost 3 hours & brought home 15 quarts (plus my parents brought home 10 quarts)! :) It was a lot of fun & will save us so much money this next year. After sorting them & eating some, we were able to freeze 22 bags (3 cups each). I used my Foodsaver baggies because they'll be in the freezer throughout the year. The total cost was $30 for the blueberries plus the cost of the baggies b/c I had to buy a new role (another $11) but I still have majority of that roll to use. WOW! That is a great deal! I'm hoping to go back for more on the 4th of July.
The little ones enjoyed "helping" us, though I'm not sure how much the boys picked. It was just too tempting to walk around with the bucket & try to pick from every bush. Or to run around chasing each other or feed the goats. Patricia was a great help though! :) You had to watch out for Abigail- she like to dump your bucket. :) And, Lizzie & Matthias both ate more than they picked.