81 Comments
Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Get some friends together and share the cost of buying the whole cow: https://www.bastropcattlecompany.com/half-and-whole-animals

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

$700-$800 dollars. Several of the big Rubbermaid bins (like the kind you store Christmas decorations in)

I used to see families doing that for gatherings, like weddings and such.

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author

Genius !

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Emily - I agree with the cowshare idea - assuming you’re still in DC, it might be worth checking out Farmhouse butchery in Tightsqueeze, VA (seriously, that’s the name - it’s an hour south of Lynchburg). We’ve been buying from them for 3-4 years now, it’s the best grass fed beef that I’ve ever had. We don’t eat any other beef at home, and we drive an hour + from NC to buy 25 or 30 lbs of their meat, three times a year. (I have no financial or any other connection to them other than being a devout evangelist for their grass fed beef). Also, think like Grandma did, save the chicken bones from Costco and make stock - save veggie scraps and trimmings, toss them in a ziploc in the freezer and throw it all in a stock pot when you’re ready.

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I just googled Farmhouse butchery and putting this link here for others to read about this great find ! https://www.chathamstartribune.com/news/article_131085d4-e5a5-11eb-b1c4-8f9b1b4a8068.html

So when you have that much beef, how do you divide it up to freeze ? Also what ways do you cook it for best flavor ?

Thanks for this tip !

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

They package it up into individual cuts - you can usually specify what you want (50% burger, 25% steaks, 25% roasts, for example) but understand that usually with a side or quarter of beef, you’re not getting all the meat from a single cow, you’re getting an equivalent weight of beef in various cuts. If you’re ordering ahead, they’ll have it frozen for you and vacuum packed, so just toss it in the freezer (mark the date with a sharpie to keep track) and you’re good to go.

I cook 85-90% of it on a Big Green Egg - I can smoke, grill, roast, bake and it’s outside so I’m not fighting the HVAC system by heating up the house. About the only exception is when it’s below 25° outside in winter, b/c then you want some oven or stove heat! As far as best flavor, the best tip I ever got was that you always need to salt your beef before cooking, preferably an hour or two ahead of time. Don’t go crazy but give it a good dusting and let the salt do it’s thing before cooking, it will make even lousy grocery store meat taste better (unfortunately it won’t help improve the nutritional profile of feedlot cattle 😢)

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I agree with the bulk buying concept. BJs Warehouse Club is what I have instead of Costco. Not much difference. Steaming frozen vegetables instead of dealing with canned can be healthy. It's also not too hard to throw together a nice lettuce salad using salad mix. Rotisserie chicken already cooked is a decent idea. Otherwise, it's true that sometimes using the food staples of long surviving cultures such as rice, beans, lentils, and maize can really help. Refined sugar products should be used extremely sparingly. Unrefined sugars such as coconut sugar, pure maple syrup, and pure honey are much better. I am not into stevia myself but I am aware it's natural. As for oils, olive oil works best. Sunflower oil can be used for stir fry. Peanut oil is something that should be used sparingly but is excellent for french fries. And plenty of water based fluids. Soda is guaranteed to cause more thirst and problems. Kool Aid... not recommend. Artificial sweeteners... I hate them because they rot my cerebrum. I may sound like a health nut but I'm actually not. Oh...ocean seafood is better than freshwater fish. Food processor should be a part of your equipment. So should a good skillet and a good steaming system.

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I don’t have any of those appliances and need to get on it ! Do you like steamed veg ? I think they are too mushy so I get my veg by eating two salads a day with tbsp olive oil and vinegar - but that only changed two weeks ago after I stopped buying the overpriced sugar free salad dressings in bottles. What is your main proteins ?

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

A pressure cooker is another great appliance to have. We have had the stove top kind for years. Our son got us a computerized electric one for Christmas that we use as long as the power is on.

Pressure cooking can give you a wider range of protein as it can make tougher cuts tender.

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Instant pot is a variation? Pressure cooker might be okay as long as you learn to use it safely. Personally the things chill my gonads as pressure cooker can be used for adverse purposes that I don't want to mention here other than the term Gonorrhea Zsarnaev

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Steamed veggies are good if you have the correct method As for meat, I enjoy beef, poultry, seafood, and occasionally terrorist repellent....excuse me, I mean pork products. I also enjoy some cheeses as long as they are wholesome. Butter too... conservative. Nut butters I don't do. Balsamic vinegar is very good. Mrs Dash has good zest. Of course I'm supposed to concentrate on chicken and seafood but it's tough because I'm addicted to good food.

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

My mom makes her own salad dressings.. if you have the time you might want to google some recipes

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BTW, is Botulism Biden an appropriate reference to the fool in the POTUS seat right now?

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

I cook the vegetables in the oven with olive oil and spices..

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

We grew up poor. A common meal that I remember from childhood that I enjoy to this day is salmon and rice. A can of boneless salmon, pan fried with onions, and pepper to taste with rice.

Biden idiocy proof satisfaction.

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One staple I've not seen get outrageously priced is oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal, flavored up with some honey and cinnamon, plus a cup of coffee gets my day going--simple, fast, easy, and nothing processed about it.

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Peter, I wanted to be sure you saw my story today and quoted you on shrinkflation expert here https://www.emilypostnews.com/p/lunchables-shrinkflation-frustrates

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I did see it. Also shared it around my social media accounts--even had a small discussion about it over on Gab!

Thanks for the mention!

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Wonderful !

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I haven’t had oatmeal in ages and you made me miss it. I’m definitely getting some in my next grocery run.

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Jun 21, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

I’m with you every day. I add a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed meal. As well as high octane cofffee 👍

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I put flaxseeds in my Greek yogurt. I like the crunch but I can’t remember why flaxseeds are good to eat!

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Flaxseed is a good source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which is important for good neurological health among other things.

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Ahhha that’s it !!! Now I remember. I looked at the list of foods for omega fatty acids and didn’t like any of them but flax seeds ! I take a supplement though. Thank you for reminding me!

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Ehhh, vitamins, Omega-3 fiber, lowers cholesterol and a bunch of other stuff. I use the ground flaxseed meal as opposed to the seeds. They’re more innocuous that way 🤷🏻‍♂️ Aldi has inexpensive bags that I usually buy (way cheaper than Bob’s Red Mill (I think that’s the one)

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There is no life before coffee.

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I used to drink a ton of coffee but got that down to two cups a day for past year. And in Feb i decided to try cutting it back so now I drink just one cup.

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Cutting back? ::shivers::

While I don't drink as much coffee these days as I have in the past, that's mostly a side effect of not being up to my eyeballs in programming code.

True Geekdom requires a healthy caffeine addiction!

"It is by caffeine I set my mind in motion

It is by the beans of Java that thoughts acquire speed and the body the shakes

The shakes become a warning

It is by caffeine I set my mind in motion."

(Fans of Dune will get the reference!)

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

We don't have a Costco in my town but we do have Sam's Club. They still sell a large rotisserie chicken for $4.99. I do very little of my grocery shopping in regular grocery stores anymore. It's just too expensive. Although prices have gone up, on many items, at Sam's, they seem to be raising them slower than the big chain supermarkets.

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I wonder whose rotisserie chicken tastes best - Sam’s or Costco ?

I bet memberships are up at those places because of prices increaing slower there.

I find I can only do non perishables at Costco because I could never use up the veggies and fruit and cooked stuff (except the chicken!)

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

I just wanted to inject a little humor and state that nobody needs a chicken that lasts that many meals, and we need to pressure the government to ban assault chickens (or at least expand background checks for the purchase of assault chickens).

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Lol !! We need a red flag law for cheap chicken so we can know we are safe from Biden economy.

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founding
Jun 19, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Hunting! There are even ranches that let you "hunt" a buffalo. For $2,000 you can shoot a 3 yr. old bull that gives you packaged meat at $8 a pound, 500 pounds of it. No antibiotics, just healthy buffalo meat. They are cheap because they are able to survive the harsh prairie conditions vs. cattle which will drop calves in a snowstorm! And it's fun if you aren't opposed to hunting.

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That’s so smart and a great time to be outdoors.

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller
Jun 20, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

the Church of Latter Day Saints is a really good source of info and products: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/topics/food-storage/longer-term-food-supply?lang=eng

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This is incredible resource! I will keep bookmarked

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Not to pile on the stockpiling bandwagon, but according to the NRA Biden is now thinking using some method (possibly EO) to prohibit Lake City from selling M885 62gr green tip 5.56 ammo to citizens https: //twitter.com/lkeane /status/1537187687530057729?s=21&t=bg5Vdo3Z84x6xhbJ4b0f7Q

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Small garden here🥒. (Cherry tomatoes are especially easy to grow, for beginners). GRILL your vegetables for a change up. Zucchini, peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes tossed in EVOO with S&P as your main dish with a delicious grilled protein as a side. And perhaps, a wine.

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I was thinking about learning gardening for veggies (I only have flowers) and now you've inspired me to get a tomato plant to start. What kind of sunlight works best for it?

I loveeee grilled veggies but never done them myself. What is EVOO? I'm going to get cracking on grilling because that would actually be fun too.

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

We got one of those indoor hydroponic herb growing gadgets this last Christmas. I expected it to be like a salad shooter or a chia pet - essentially useless but a nice thought. Instead, the thing is amazing -with the right herbs. We have already gotten two crops of basil and one of dill from it. After drying and pulverizing the leaves and stems, we get enough to fill one of the jars from the store with each cutting. I don't know what other herbs would work as the basil has shaded everything else out. It started sort of slowly in January, but now there is a thick root mass in the lower third of the water tank. I pruned it back two weeks ago and today I have to cut the basil back again.

I think I may get another one or two units and try planting only one type in each one. This isn't going to prevent starvation, but if we end up eating the cat, at least he will taste better.

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Lol cat

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That’s amazing! It’s fun to have the project that gives real rewards.

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Check out the Lodge Cast Iron vegetable basket, works for shrimp too!

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EVOO=extra virgin olive oil. Find out what garden zone you live in before you plant. Herbs are always expensive and mostly easy to grow, so grab a basil plant when you start your tomatoes 🍅

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Mar 11Liked by Emily Miller

I love all food related content and thank you to all the commenters who provided suggestions for lowering our food bills

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I like to browse the market before I buy anything for the best prices & quality produce. I like Eco-Friendly Foods at DuPont for high quality pork & chicken; salad greens for salads; herbs (my apartment has an herb garden now.) I’m sure the meat is more expensive now, but the prices were good in the past for grass fed meat. Check the weekly WF specials online for your local store. Some WF’s have a rotisserie chicken special once a week. I started stocking up on sale items like Primal Kitchen vodka pasta sauce. The WF’s product line is also a good value. The Kirkland Olive oil at Costco is a good buy. It was recommended by several chefs. Let me know any of your favorite places in Baltimore.

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I will go to dupont farmers next weekend and report back on what I find and buy. I am excited about a new adventure. I’ll look at the WF now and figure out what is good pricing.

Also I have been reading and rereading your most recent newsletter and still want more. It reads like a magazine and it makes me want to print and keep it as reference. I love what you’re doing and you have such wide ranging topics expertise and interesting recommendations. There is no one else in your space who does it nearly as well !

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Thank you so much for the kind words! I'm so glad you enjoy the newsletter.

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Rotisserie chicken is definitely a value meal. The local grocery store always has them and they’re delicious. It’s around $6.60 IIRC but still cheap. For now 😉

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It’s cheaper than buying uncooked chicken which makes no sense but I’ll take it

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Jun 20, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Here’s a quote from an Axios article, “Caution: Bummer Summer Ahead:”

“Plus: You could theoretically spend your summer sipping AriZona iced tea and eating Costco roast chicken while reading books — three products with stable prices.”

Looks like you’re on to something, Emily. At least for the moment 😉

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They copied me !!!! Well at least I’m a trend setter for figuring out how to get us all through this recession.

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They did! your post is in the ether before Axios 👍

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This is another reminder to me that when I have an idea, I need to write about it here on substack instead of tweeting and letting other reporters steal the idea !

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Jun 20, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

That’s a good point. Can’t fault you for that 🤷🏻‍♂️

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founding
Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Well, you pretty much blew my plan to wait by your trash can to grab the bones from your chicken!

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I wish I could post a photo in the comments here but I tweeted my gnawed chicken carcass on twitter -- no shame in inflation days!

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founding
Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Just so you know, I’ll eat democrat talking points before I give up my Emily Posts subscription. :)

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Jim, You’re so kind and generous to say that!

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I shop at the farmer’s markets. Baltimore has a couple of good markets and several farmers offer free delivery to my apartment building. The DuPont Circle market is my favorite in DC. Trader Joe’s is another great grocery store to save money. I don’t purchase the produce prefer farmer’s market I have Amazon Prime for extra savings for sale items at Whole Foods. I buy flour at the Bob’s Red Mill outlet.

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Marla, I didn’t know you live in Baltimore! I grew up there! I never go to farmer’s markets but now you’ve inspired me and I’ll go to DuPont one. What do you recommend I buy there?

I go to Trader Joe at least once a week. I buy bags of the organic spinach and a few other bagged lettuces and veggies. I also buy their grilled chickens packaged but I want to try grilling myself. I also go through bottles of their everything bagel shakers because I put it on, well, everything.

What do you buy at Whole Foods with prime so I can look into those things ?

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Buy staples now and store for the future. With inflation, everything now is effectively on sale compared to the future.

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That’s scary to think about. You think it’s going to just get worse?

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There are a number of reasons why food price inflation is likely to increase--with or without the Federal Reserve tinkering with interest rates.

1) There is a global shortage of fertilizer, and fertilizer prices are skyrocketing.

https://www.world-grain.com/articles/17026-supply-constraints-keep-fertilizer-prices-elevated

Without fertilizer, of course, crop yields suffer. High fertilizer prices today means slimmer harvests (and thus higher food prices) tomorrow.

2) The Russo-Ukrainian War is disrupting grain shipments around the world, exacerbating food shortages that were already unfolding in several countries (10% of Sri Lankans faced food insecurity BEFORE the pandemic disrupted supply chains, and that has only gotten worse).

https://www.wionews.com/south-asia/nearly-10-per-cent-of-sri-lankas-population-faced-food-shortages-before-covid-19-pandemic-report-487811

3 ) Within the US, a number of food processing plants and distribution centers have caught fire and burned--some to the ground. With many supply chains already disrupted, there is significant fear that food distribution could be significantly impacted by these.

https://humansbefree.com/2022/04/several-very-large-food-processing-distribution-plants-have-recently-exploded-or-burned-down.html

4) Product recalls such as the recent recall of peanut butter products associated with Jif brand peanut butter can trigger shortages, and in the case of the peanut butter recall there have been some indications of panic-buying and hoarding.

https://www.fda.gov/safety/major-product-recalls/2022-recalls-food-products-associated-peanut-butter-jm-smucker-company-due-potential-risk-salmonella

The shortages plus the panic-buying tend to push prices up over the short term.

The key thing to remember is that these are all forms of supply shock. To the extent that supply situations ease going forward, the inflationary pressures from these shocks will also ease. For example, while fertilizer prices are elevated there are also indications that distribution warehouses are starting to fill up with fertilizer, which will ease prices and that will tend to moderate food price inflation from reduced harvests over the near to medium term., but it won't eliminate the inflationary pressure from reduced harvests on crops already planted and growing.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/fertilizer-stockpiles-swell-farmers-shun-191350568.html

2022 is going to be a bad year for food price inflation (it already is, and the inflation isn't going away any time soon).

How much food price inflation we see in 2023 is still somewhat problematic. The general backdrop of soaring global inflation suggests that there will be significant food price inflation into 2023 as well. Certainly when you look at producer price inflation globally--and producer price inflation generally precedes consumer price inflation--there is a strong signal that consumer price inflation around the globe is going to get worse over the near term.

https://allfactsmatter.substack.com/p/inflation-is-going-to-get-worse-but

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Thank you so much for informing us about these economic issues. I really value your input and learning from you. I quoted you in the story im doing for tomorrow on the lunchables shrinkflation and linked to your newsletter.

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Thank you for the kind words!

I'm a data geek (seriously!). I chew on these kinds of numbers and trends quite literally for fun (yes, I'm that seriously strange).

I've also got about a quarter century of disaster recovery and business continuity planning in information technology under my belt. Understanding what can go wrong and why in any system is something I've spent more than a little bit of time cogitating.

That's the perspective I take on topics like this. I see what's happening, look at the data, and then ask "why is this going wrong?"

And then I write about it on my Substack!

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Jun 19, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

TQ for posting this, very concise and certainly puts things into perspective. GB

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Nailed it 👍

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Absolutely. If you look at any measure of the devaluation of the dollar (since 1967, since1980 etc.). It is a fraction of what it used to be. We have been able to export most of that loss of value via the rest of the world needing dollars to balance trade, primarily for oil but also for almost all other globally traded goods. Other countries gripe about that, but their politicians were all happy to base their currencies on our rapidly reproducing dollars as opposed to something like gold that would discipline them. That is ending as their economies blow up.

This game has been going on at least since Lyndon Johnson's Guns and Butter Great Society. Nixon gets a lot of the blame, but he was trying to play the hand he was dealt.

Anyway, this has been getting worse for decades. There was a little respite in the 1980's when Volker jacked up the interest rate and slowed things down but it has never reversed.

Our last chance to pull out of this dive was the 2008 bust, but we didn't take advantage of it.

If the metaphor of a dive is accurate, then the trillions pumped into the economy over the last couple of years is the equivalent to pushing the stick to the firewall. It is becoming unstable and what we are seeing is likely to be just the beginning.

By the way, I was in a water-cooler discussion at the office a couple of years ago and said some of the same things. The response was "Oh yeah, we have been hearing the same things for 30 years". I managed to get in the last word - "And now we are 30 years closer".

Maybe we can muddle along for a little longer. Japan has been in this situation for two decades, though from what I have been reading lately, they may be reaching the end of their road.

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Jun 18, 2022Liked by Emily Miller

Agree 100%. Buckle up tight, assume crash position. It’s gonna be a rough ride, for a long while.

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Ugh I have to admit all this bad news is getting to me. I didn’t mind the pandemic because I knew it was a short period.

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I agree with D, this is a multi-layered attack on our minds. It’s almost impossible to keep your wits about you when you’re being bombarded with negativity and conflicting information that you struggle to process and make sense of. We don’t generally process chaotic and contrary information when it’s presented thru a fire hose, hence, the near-constant blasts of fear porn and 1984-Ministry-of-Truth-style inverted reality, e.g., “Birthing people”, “Putin’s price hike”, “more votes than Obama”. When the chaos and confusion reach a crisis point, the sheeple among us are expected to beg and plead the powers that be to lead us to clarity and tranquility. THAT’s when the trap snaps shut.

Believe what you know to be true, be your own moral and spiritual compass. You will find others who share your beliefs and have similar morals and standards. We are all literally our own first responders, keep that at the forefront of your thoughts and actions. And keep George Carlin in mind - never trust anything the government tells you. Ever.

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The bad news is intended to get to you. It's psy war. I've been pretty depressed about it for a while now, especially because I couldn't figure out anything effective to do to fight it. Recently, I realized that refusing to be depressed and getting on with what I'd be doing otherwise was exactly how to fight it.

You are fighting it very effectively with this blog. This very thread is alerting people, giving them ideas, stimulating their ideas and making your corner of society more durable and resilient.

So when you feel the bad news getting to you, get mad and get on with what you are doing all the harder.

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My personal fave is broccoli soup, but the nice thing about the Vita Mix is that you can put in what you want. Some people taste certain veggies more sharply than others, so you may want to experiment - and know that even if it isn't perfect, you can tweak it, rather than have to call it a loss. Another one I like a lot includes tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, spinach, and garlic, or you can do cream of tomato, spinach, cucumber, potato, , corn, pumpkin or avocado soup. I also like to do, in my slow cooker, something I call chicken chili, which I've done a few times but without any recipe; I just kind of made it up as I went along. One time I took the cooker with me on an overnight trip with a friend who is super picky about what she eats, and she loved it. I can make it next weekend and let you know what I put into it if you'd like to check that one out too.

Do you like smoothies? I make one (recipe from VM recipe book) with cranberries, celery, an orange, banana, and a carrot (I think that's it but I'll double check if it seems like something you'd like to try). It sounds weird, but it's REALLY flipping delicious. I can smell (and sometimes taste) the celery more, and it doesn't bother me but my son's not in love with it. Also, blueberries are great at covering the taste of stuff you want to include but don't exactly love, or don't want a really sharp taste of (e.g. avocado). There's also a great tortilla soup recipe that one can make with or without chicken.

Oh, re: the smoothies: you probably know this already but also for anyone else: for the bananas you can buy the discounted ones that are starting to go brown. Then just peel, toss in a baggie or other receptacle and freeze. Or do this when you see you aren't eating your bananas quickly enough.

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I would break down one right away, if you haven't already. You may be better at it than I, but I've found that no matter how well intentioned, I opt for something else in the course of those few days, and the chicken just isn't as yum as when you first get it. I'd probably keep it in the fridge for no more than two days. It's a tad more challenging to tear the meat off when it's not hot, so you can throw it into a pan and heat it up a little, then put on a pair of plastic dishwashing gloves (I keep a pair just for this) and then just tear that sucker apart. Then tear up the bones and you can use some immediately to make broth, and save some for next time (if, e.g., your slow cooker is small, like mine). Enjoy!

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Thank you so much for this guidance! You’re right it doesn’t taste as good after day one and it gets so hard in the refrigerator. I never thought to do it by hand and that’s so much easier than a knife! I don’t have a slow cooker and don’t know how to make soups but I’ll eat all the chicken! Thanks again for the help.

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I tear apart the bird and put the meat (that I'm not going to eat right then) in a bowl, or freeze, depending upon what I'm going to do with it. Sometimes sandwiches or wraps, sometimes with salads, other times in slow cooker soups, for example. (These slow cooker soups, btw, often get divvied and frozen for lunches or meals when mom is not home.) When I get down to the bones I immediately make broth with them so that everything gets used.

As for those vegetables, Emily, you can use them up in soups that you can freeze - I use a Vita Mix, which makes doing soups so easy it's not even funny. That way you can get veggies cheaper and worry less about wasting them.

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I got two chickens today. Do you think I should break down one right away and freeze or do you think I can just eat them for about 5 days refrigerated? I thought about getting more but it was holiday crowds so stuck with two.

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I never thought of breaking down the children right away. That makes a lot more sense.

What vegetables do you put in the vita mix ? I get all my veg from two BIG green salads a day but it gets boring. Soups would help also to not have to have fresh veggies all the time which feels like a never ending trip to grocery.

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If you didn't want to move to just one salad a day, you could maybe add some meat to salads? I do hard boiled eggs, turkey bacon, chicken (flavored with different spices and cooked a few different ways), hamburger, biltong or biltong crumbs (which can be a lot, which is nice), torn apart rotisserie chicken, sometimes scrambled eggs. Also, sometimes I cut up grapes into quarters, which gives a really nice tang to the salad. If you like kalamata or goat cheese you could also add that sometimes too, it's really delicious. Oh and radishes, which I sometimes take with to eat if I get sort of nibbly. Oh and avocado! By the way I had two hard boiled eggs (peppered) and avocado slices for breakfast on Friday and I was still super satisfied at lunchtime.

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