Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday's Meal Plan- 2 Week Challenge for Free Range Chickens :)

Seems like everyone around the frugal blogosphere is doing "pantry challenges" for any given amount of time.. some 2 weeks, some 30 days.  This is when you spend that amount of time eating out of your stockpile you have accumulated through couponing and deal finding.  These types of challenges are great because it keeps you out of the stores for a bit, gives you a break from couponing and causes more creativity to come out in the kitchen.  Honestly after the holidays, I don't have as big of a stockpile as I normally do, but I need to do a form of the "panty challenge" for another reason.

We have always been good about buying organic when we can and keeping things preservative free.  Also buying local meat and produce is so important to us, but we can't always fit that into our grocery budget.  Well, after watching "Food, Inc.", there is definitely one thing we are making a priority.  Free Range Chicken.  We have found a wonderful local farm with very competitive prices ($2.90/lb).  If you are in TN, you are in luck- you can email Top of the World Farm- topoftheworldfarm @ wildblue. net (take spaces out) to place pre-orders.  Chickens are available starting in April.  I received this from them today in an email re: their chickens.

They're as all-natural as we can get them (I say this because our customers just can't afford organic feed.) We do not feed or administer antibiotics or hormones.  We use Purina Sunfresh Chick Starter and a Game Bird feed when they're older.  They stay in the brooder for 2-3 weeks, depending on the time of year.  We then move them into 'drag pens' that are about 12 feet x 12 feet and 5 feet high.  When the birds are older, we move it twice a day to make sure they always have fresh grass to eat and aren't in a nasty environment.

I need these chickens sooner than later.  My tendency would be to pull from another area of our budget to make this happen.  But I'm going to be good and do it the right way by saving up from my food budget.  The challenge I am taking on is to start now and stay out of the grocery store until Monday, February 1.  (2 weeks)  I haven't purchased anything special to make it through, and I don't have a huge stockpile.  Hopefully the only things I'll need to go in for are milk, produce and a block of cheese.  Since I'll be depleting what we have in our pantry, the other part of the challenge is to only spend my $40 budget for the week of Feb 1st and actually be able to stock back up with that.  This will help me start saving money for our chickens! I do have a meal plan, but I'm not going to post the whole thing, but rather keep you updated daily on what we are eating.

Has anyone out there done a similar challenge?  I'd love to hear about it!

Let the games begin!

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