With the economy the way it is, everyone’s budgets are getting tighter!
PJ, I don’t know if you have access to fresh eggs from anyone you know, but if so, here is a video where a young woman uses “water glassing” to keep eggs fresh for more than 8 months without refrigeration or cooking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTlcCvvUjl0
The trick is to use only unwashed, fresh eggs. It won’t work with eggs purchased from a store. I’ve never tried this, but found it interesting.
I would buy tinned meat. Canned meat will keep a long time and is easy to store. I tend to buy the large, cheap pork roasts (not loin) and ground beef. I divide the meat into smaller portions that will be easier to handle later on. I think you said you don’t like fat on meat, but fattier meat tends to be cheaper and does provide energy and fills me up more, so perhaps you might use less lean ground beef.
If I think of anything better, I’ll come back and post.
Unwashed eggs have a covering that keeps them from spoiling for a long time. Washed eggs must be kept in the refrigerator, or they will quickly spoil. Consumer preferences vary, so you need to know what the practise is in your area. If you are buying direct from a farmer, ask whether they wash their eggs or not, because they may not follow local retail practice.
Eggs have air holes in the big end (the rounder, less pointy end), and should always be stored with the big end up for maximum freshness. (One of my uncles was a poultry farmer when I was a kid. The things you learn!)
I get my eggs from my gunsmith and his chickens are fed typical chicken food but they run around on a huge grass area and eat lots of bugs. I buy them unwashed. I don’t fear the germs, and they last longer. And if I’m hard boiling them in the instant pot by the time that’s done there’s nothing on there that’s alive anyway lol.
In the US, we wash our eggs. In Europe, they don’t and you buy them at room temperature. (And, by the way, a lot of cooking with eggs likes them at room temperature, so it’s best to get them there if you cook them.)
We went to Sweden and the eggs were sitting on the counter.
Always wanted to get chickens (have almost 5 acres), but we have so many predators. Just saw the hawk yesterday in the back field. I feel as if I’d be putting the chickens out to slaughter and not egg-laying.
We have hawks, owls, coyotes, bobcat, raccoons, foxes - you name it - predators who would love to have chicken for dinner.
We have 5 hens we have had for 2 years now and haven’t lost a single one. They are easy to keep and provide fresh eggs 10 months out of the year.
BUT… as I have said before when you thought you couldn’t keep hens because of predators… you have to built your coop right. You can’t just throw up a henhouse kit and walk away… or put chicken wire up.
The coop mine roost in has hardware cloth on all 6 sides so nothing can get in at night.
Their larger outer run has bird netting over the top, hardware cloth buried around the bottom of the fencing and a row of cinder blocks around it also to discourage digging under the fence. The fencing is plastic deer fence and we have not seen any evidence of anything trying to chew its way in so far.
This is our setup. Yes, it was a lot of work but worth it. We let them out in the meadow only if we are out there working in the garden and then put them up into their big run when we go back inside. Every night they are put up into their coop.
Sadly I don’t have place to keep the chickens… But we have lots of foxes here, I see them very often, the cats chase them if they step on the terrace though
As the more effective golden jackal arrived and drove away foxes from their original habitat, they even enter the villages sometimes but I live close to forests and farther from the villages…
I saw a racoon dog once, there are martens and we have some potentially dangerous birds I suppose but I have no info about that. The foxes are more numerous and apparent.
I would be totally doomed if I had to keep my eggs in the fridge. I have zero room for such things but I need to keep many eggs at home as I run out of them in no time… I have few now, only 80, I went up to 250 in the past (it was the maximum we - mostly me - could eat in a month in average) - but I only got them from houses then and I usually had to buy all that was available as there were weaker times… Now I always can buy okay eggs in a greengrocery’s (I don’t see how the hens are kept but there is a code so I know it’s not the common, horrible method and the eggs are quite tasty. the cheaper common ones aren’t nearly as good tasting to me) but the egg ladies either died or faced too high food prices so they say it just doesn’t worth it to keep hens and sell the eggs anymore.
One neighbour kept hens (still does but no leftover eggs for me to buy). Old, not useful anymore in the factories ones. So they hadn’t many eggs but the hens had a very nice place and for a while, huge freedom, they roamed in the streets… Then foxes ate them, I don’t know how they didn’t know foxes are common here (we were new then)…
The goats were safe, they ate some of my fruits and a young apple tree (but it survived). And I couldn’t even eat some of the goats to balance it out
My grandma kept hens, I remember the fun while feeding them and the excitement and nice feelings to search for the fresh, potentially warm eggs!
Mmm, eggs. Always a nice topic for me.
Some people have guineafowl eggs around here but not for sale. I still couldn’t try that.
I find some of your post puzzling. First, keto OR high protein? They’re somewhat in opposition as protein should be limited/moderate in a keto diet. So on what basis are you deciding in which direction to go?
Past that, a number of items you mention are not suited to a keto WOE. Legumes (pinto beans) and masa flour are off-limits in anything but the tiniest quantities, so I fail to see what good they’d do you (although you seem to realize that as you’ve said they’re for “sheer emergency”).
Meanwhile, details of your kitchen setup suggest you could handle plenty, and while your grocery stores aren’t right next door, they’re close enough that I’d think you could plan to shop something like every two weeks to once a month? Can you confirm the frequency?
So down to what you’ve asked: I read that the shelf life of eggs is pretty long at 3 to 5 weeks. So if you were to shop once a month and get 4-weeks’ worth according to what you’d eat, that doesn’t seem to require any more fussing. Eggs are a great staple for keto.
Otherwise, meats with plenty of fat should store just fine in your freezer, cooked or uncooked – whatever would be easier which, for me, would be a combination. If having a cooked entree ready just to thaw and nuke and eat would work best for you, then just make some ‘stews’ by adding in veggies.
Personally I don’t need a lot more than the above to cover my keto needs because I get closer and closer to carnivore. As for tight money and carnivore, have you considered adding in to your WOE interrmittent fasting such that you’re eating one or two meals a day? That also considerably reduces the overall expense, and if you’re eating correctly with plenty of good fats, being satiated shouldn’t be a problem.
Back to the monthly grocery shopping and what, specifically, to stock: although opinion is divided on dairy, I sure like to have some cheeses and cream around, and they should hold for a month.
What limited fruit we can eat on keto can be managed too in the form of frozen berries. Dip some in chocolate and freeze them and there’s a long-lasting treat for your sweet-tooth :-).
Fresh veggies is the only category I don’t think you can easily cover with a monthly grocery shopping, but that’s where living out in the country should be perfect (us city-dwellers are jealous!). Green leafy veggies are what you ought to be concentrating on anyways, and those are easy-peasy to grow such that you always have salad ingredients.
Anyhow, that’s what occurs to me now. I’ll add a P.S. if I suddenly realize I’ve missed something obvious :-). I get it about limited budget and feel for you, but with some advance planning I think you can do just fine. Just a general bit of advice from my many years of keeping a home and feeding a family: the more you can do with your two hands rather than purchasing convenience stuff processed by others, the more you’ll save.
Well they are not in opposition unless your keto is to prevent seizures; the term is used for a diet commonly high-fat, but only specifically refers to the carb limit. I ate a high-protein version of keto even when I began years ago. Now I’m generally lowcarb, high protein, and it’s often but not always ketogenic in terms of daily numbers. (I’m not trying to be keto, but since I don’t eat many carbs and the foods I’ve adapted to for years happen to be low to no carb, it works out that way.)
Yes of course, though I eat some beans in my current diet such as in chili con carne, but the point here is something I can store long term. Beans are easier to store than cows. I was hoping people would have other ideas I hadn’t come up with.
The point here is that I expect there to be serious issues with product availability IN the stores and/or its affordability and/or my funds at the time, this is generally the point of preparing for months of food ahead, is you don’t think the resources will exist, either the $ or the food or the travel, usually at least one of the three.
If I knew I could shop, and afford it, and they’d have everything I wanted, once a month, I wouldn’t be asking the question I think.
And power issues arise in winter at least where I am, so while I definitely will be storing things in my freezers, all of that could potentially become inedible if we have a particularly bad storm that knocks out power more than a few days. So part of my plan is for freezer foods (meat based) I can afford, but then I’d want something else as well just in case.
Well anybody can fast, I used to do a great deal of it although my body is currently asking me not to. I was rather hoping to plan well enough that starving was not a required part of the diet (Yes I know fasting isn’t starving but if you’re doing it because you have no food it’s in the same category.)
Short of living on cheese (which stalls me in quantity) or butter (which is nice but not a food group) my fats are not so high as most people eat. I don’t have any satiation issues though, fortunately.
Long as every month sees full shelves and affordable prices it’ll be fine.
Well we are talking about winter, which in most of ‘the country’ has snow. Anything I grow will be indoors like even folks in the city could do. Again that is dependent on power, though, at least if done hydroponically. Plants could survive a few days of no lights but unless it’s DWC probably not the lack of flow alas.
It’s money prior to winter for 3-6 months up front as prep that is tough. Money in the present or for <1 month at a time currently is ok.
I think I understand your concerns. When I lived in rural West Virginia, we knew that every winter we would be a few days without power and maybe a couple of weeks snowed in. Plus, the water supply froze, so we had to melt snow on the wood stove.
At another time in my life, I ran out of food at the end of every month. I’d do endless calculations to try to make it work, to no avail.
Okay, I hear you. I clearly missed your overall point, not to mention some sub points. I’m sorry!
In all honesty? I haven’t a clue how you could hope to survive what you describe AND stick to any sort of tightly-regimented WOE. I’d eat the pinto beans, the masa flour, beef jerky, whale blubber, and whatever else I could get my chilled hands on. The six cats would start to look mighty good by winter’s end …
Which you won’t find as funny as I might, but of course I don’t particularly like cats (as pets or food). And although you’ll think I’m being glib at your expense, in all seriousness, when our family is tight on money, I start to resent the money spent on feeding our dog. Pets can be a luxury IMHO.
Dunno. I’ve never lived such a rural existence. You must know far more than I – and other city folk – do about surviving harsh winters. How did you do it thus far? How did your parents do it? How do your neighbors do it? Can you band together with the latter for your mutual benefit?
Don’t worry – if I’m getting it dramatically wrong again with my comments, I’ll quietly drift away. No offense intended, just a straight-shooter.
I think somewhat lack of money (and uncertainty about it for the future months) and the Covid situation at the same time is what makes an unusual situation different from winters in the past… In the farther past, there were way more stores too…
Many of us eat high-protein keto here, it’s a thing. Normally it’s keto if you eat low enough carbs, protein and fat can be high or not. I went into ketosis and got fat-adapted on high-protein, I consider it keto for sure.
Legumes are really not good options on keto, yes but even I would think of them in a pinch especially if long shelf life is important and it’s starvation vs lots of legumes (I still wouldn’t do it low-carb if possible as I need low-carb. but I would survive on high-carb as long as I kept high-fat and high-protein… one must decide what is best even if they are forced to leave their ideal or chosen woe).
@Shinita, I agree. Lack of money’s no joke. Where I live, we feel the effects of Covid, plus those were the cherry on the sundae of a decade of recession in our country. A zillion businesses have closed. Our family business from which comes all of our income is still open, but it’s not exactly robust!
There are different definitions of keto, I think. My understanding has been that protein had to be somewhat minimized, and fat maximized. In all cases, of course, carbs have to be kept very low. I don’t mean to indicate, however, that my idea of the ratios of macros is THE correct one and yours isn’t!
I miss legumes hugely, and yet we both seem to agree they’re to be avoided if possible. But how possible is it, truly, when one’s having trouble scraping together enough money for everything?
One thing brought up either in this thread or in a related one was someone being intimidated by the cooking of liver and other organ meats (which I’m thinking about because, as meat goes, they tend to be on the less-expensive end of things). If that applies to anyone reading, I wouldn’t mind trying to help as I’m an experienced cook and very familiar with cooking those things. Let me know if that would be welcome?
I’d think that picked and dried foods would fit your bill. Anything the settlers did, really.
I know we generally keep pickled eggs in the fridge, but do they really need to be? I can’t imagine so.
Jerky and pemmican obviously. Hell, look into eggnog! It ages months before it’s ready, and if you’re making your own you don’t have to add all the sugar. Maybe time to binge watch Townsends on you tube for ideas.
Unfortunately nothing is cheaper than carbs, but we all know there’s a reason for that.
I have done well at my local Walmart managing my food and cost. 2 meals for $5 or less (thick pork chops, rotisserie chicken, ground turkey, country ham, Italian sausage) with more expensive items for 3 meals like top round/London broil, salmon, lamb) and shop the markdowns too…
Eggs, cheese, bacon, coconut oil etc are generally less expensive than other grocery stores.
I hope you find a good way to organize that feels sustainable!
You know… if TSHTF then we may not have the luxury of fresh foods at our fingertips, which is the point of your thread.
For me, I would keep rice and beans on hand because they keep forever and you won’t starve. Trying to stay keto in a real emergency situation is a silly notion. I have gone 2 weeks w/o electricity and bare store shelves during a hurricane and believe me - you do what you can to manage. Imagine if that was months of intermittent power and food shortages?
I have a wood stove in the basement and unlimited supply of wood since I live in the middle of nowhere with woods surrounding me. Don’t even have to chop anything down - just go gather what has fallen on the ground. This will allow me to cook the beans and rice if I lost power and ran out of propane for my generator (500 gal dedicated tank).
Turkey and ham generally go on sale around November and December. You could pick up a pressure canner (ALL AMERICAN is my favorite but they’re expensive) and go that route but lids are very scarce right now in my area. A deep freeze might be a good investment if you have the space.
Personally, fasting seems like the easier and cheaper solution. My food budget is way down since I started doing that.
I have a 6 + 8 qt All American pressure canner as well as a 6qt instant pot. that said, I know jack-all about canning, seems rather intimidating to me. I’m afraid even if I did it perfectly I’d be terrified to eat it.
Looks like I’ll mostly be trying to premake decent stews and chili and freeze it en masse. Here’s hoping the winter power outtages won’t last too long.
Pressure canning is dead easy. It’s much less of a production that water bath canning since you don’t have to worry about covering the jars with water, sterilizing the jars, bringing gallons of water to boil and then disposing of it. The main thing you have to remember with PC is to let the canner vent for 10 minutes after you’ve loaded it. There is a canning group on Reddit, /r/canning that can answer your questions if you want to give it a try. It’s a hell of a space and energy saver compared to freezing.