How to eat clean on a budget - Part 3
Last week I made the case that buying seasonally gives you the best chance of getting the best tasting foods. The second attribute that buying seasonally gets you is buying foods when they are the most plentiful. If you buy the ripest apples when they are in the middle to later part of harvest, they taste the sweetest. Right after the first frost the trees begin to push all that sugar into the fruit to help the seeds survive winter. The orchard has already been selling the early apples for a few weeks and know their coolers are starting to fill. You can now buy a lot of apples less expensively. They are at their most flavorful. The orchard has already met the latent demand of people waiting for the first apples of the season. They are now realizing they have to store all this fruit. This is when the best deals are available. Demand is low, supply is high, you can actually save the orchard/farmer money by you storing your apples instead of them storing your apples.
Fundamental economics of supply and demand tells us that when the supply is great in relation to the demand, prices will fall. If you couple the seasonal price fluctuations due to supply and demand with the volume discounts of buying bulk you can really begin to save real money.
If you take our farm instead of an orchard, we harvest our pastured pork from late June through about November. This allows us to grow pork on pasture and to not have to carry them through the winter where they gain less on the same amount of feed because they are using the energy to stay warm. So in June we will be stocking up on pork cuts we have run out of over the winter and spring.. About August or September we have met all of our latent demand and Connie starts to go through the freezer to organize everything to put the rest of the harvest in storage. This is when (hint hint) we will be having a large pork sale. If you were to time your pork buy until then say saving 10% because of a sale and 10% due to a volume purchase, because you bought one of our pork packages. Now you are saving over 20% on your pork without much work at all.
So you are combining the 2 techniques of purchasing seasonally and buying in bulk to achieve your maximum savings. If your farmers or suppliers are not thinking of a sale don't be afraid to ask. From time to time I am in an oversupply of one cut or another, we keep really good inventory records and never let anything get old in our freezer. Most of the bulk discounts I offer are because a customer asked first. Our first discounted product ever were bulk buys of ground beef. Because we had a customer that bought a lot of ground beef and asked about a cheaper price if they bought a 100 pounds. It ended up being win win.
Don't be afraid to ask your farmer or supplier for the best time to buy from them. I know my margins and my seasons so I can typically answer those questions. So can most other farmers. But do your own research, know your seasons of food. Get in step with nature. Once you begin to live seasonally, eat seasonally and buy seasonally in bulk you will be a happier person in tune with creation eating the best foods year round.
Obviously someone is storing this food. Either the orchard in the case of fruit, me in the case of meat or you. So the subject of food storage and preservation go hand in hand with buying bulk seasonally. But to address buying bulk and storing food in the same post would have been too long. So I will keep this one short and deal with storing food next week. I also will provide you with some of the best resources on how to store food out there. The ones I use. So until next week. God Bless.