Replacing the Grocery Store Challenge Intro

Imagine, if you will, walking into your own little grocery store and picking out what you would like to fix for dinner, knowing it all came from your backyard!  Imagine cutting your grocery food bill in half, maybe more. Imagine the satisfaction you would have in becoming more self sufficient.  Imagine the healthy mind change to make that commitment.
I really cannot stand going to the grocery store.  The old feeling of being dependent on these stores is enough to make me want to change.  But, I want to take it a step farther.  I want you to join me in this challenge.
We all have different amounts of land, different types of soil, different climates, but I believe the majority of us can step up to the plate and commit to this challenge no matter how big or small our land is.  We can do it!
So who is this challenge for?  Any one of you who feels like I do.  Who is sick and tired of paying up the ying yang at the grocery store?  Who is wanting to eat healthier?  Who is wanting to be self sufficient?
Is that you?
We can do this together.  I will help you by giving certain assignments each week that will help you plan and do what you have always been dreaming about.  And, I will be doing these assignments as well.  It takes a lot of planning for something like this.  It might seem overwhelming to you, but I will share with you my plans, how much of each vegetable I plan on growing, how I plan to preserve, how to grow, how to know what to grow and much more.  Your assignments will follow after I have shown you mine.
Preservation how-to’s are a must!  Step by step instructions and different options for preserving our harvest will be shown.  By the end of the summer, you will be more self sufficient than you ever have been if you take this challenge!
I will also talk about raising our own meat, including how to butcher chickens.  
But, it all starts with a different mindset.  This has to be a commitment or it will not work.  Our way out is too easy.  So, who is ready to take the challenge?
Are you in need of like-minded friends who are taking the challenge too?  Join the Replacing the Grocery Store Challenge Group on facebook!
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Linked to A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Growing Home

55 comments on “Replacing the Grocery Store Challenge Intro

  1. This is a dream of mine as well – but dealing with our land and making the time while homeschooling 4 children will be the two biggest obstacles. We do not get a lot of sun b/c we have so many trees – so we may not get completely to replacing the grocery store this year, but I am determined to do as much as I can in the current usable space!

  2. First, I want to say those photos are amazing in the homemaker since. Absolutely in awe. Are they images of an Amish pantry?

    Second, to answer your question: I think the biggest obstacles are time and space. I do want to can – I plan to this year. I have a baby due in June. This makes six kids. I homeschool on top of this. Sometimes I wonder where the time will come from. But, I have to remember God gives us the exact amount of time we need in each day.

    • When you are able, how about incorporating the learning of food preservation methods, i.e., solar drying, oven drying, electrical drying, canning, freezing…into the homeschool assignments? Even very young children can take on certain skills. While the baby is awake but basic needs met might actually work – all that busy activity might entertain the wee one!

  3. Something I have been wanting to do also! Great idea…I am IN! And will be looking forward to following your lead!

  4. My darn auto-correct changes my words it makes no sense! LOL! again. So, I will try this again. OMG! I love your cellar. I have been teaching myself to garden for the last couple of years and little by little I am getting some things to grow. LOL! I have also avoided shopping at stores by going to our farmers markets, joining a local CSA and buying farm direct. I also culture kefir and some veggies too. I would love to learn to add canning to my knowledge base. Great idea!

  5. Love this idea! Count me in too! Can't wait to be able to spend a whole lot less time in the grocery stores.

  6. I don't homeschool, but could you fit gardening into your curriculum? Sounds like you have a great crew of potential workers there.

    I would love to do this, but we have a couple of challenges that have suddenly popped up, so this may not turn out to be the year I had planned for. We'll see! I certainly want to be "less" dependent on the grocery store.

  7. I've been trying to grow more and more of our food. Last year we added chickens for eggs and have in the past raised our own beef. We are in the process of obtaining a pig. I think we can even butcher it ourselves. How do you deal with milk, butter and cheese. I do not have a milk cow and it would produce way too much milk for us. Not interested in goat milk. How about surgar? Maybe a co-op or something? I could use a realistic plan to feed my family and eliminate the grocery store. Looking forward to your ideas.

  8. I do not raise chickens or meat animals (or any animals) Hubby won't let me, but is supportive of gardening. My obstacle is physical and lack of knowledge. I do can tomatoes and sauce. I tried string beans, but they were mushy. I would love to be more self sufficient though and have a lot more food items that I preserve in my cellar.

  9. I accept. I have permission to plant a garden at my moms place while supplying her needs as well as our. I don't know how big the garden will be, but it will be a garden. I hope to get back to the country again someday, but for now we are city dwellers. This little garden may be just the start we need.

  10. That has been our families goal also. I'm really excited to follow your ideas on here. My biggest obstacle will be our one year old who loves to help (sometimes great….sometimes slows us down a little), our second baby is due in August and my husband coaches baseball and football. 🙂

    • I know how you feel! I am an army wife. :). Sometimes I think having something else little (or big) like a garden or other hobby is good for you if your husband is really busy. I don't think I could do it without a fence! Hehe. You can't even look down to weed without a 2 yr old running off.

  11. Sounds like a great challenge. I would love to stop depending on the grocery store. My husband and I live in the city, so no farm animals for us, but we really want to start a proper garden this year. We tried last year and it was a failure. I think my biggest struggle is convenience, which boils down to time management. I want to keep my house clean, take care of my 3 kids (all under age 4) and make food from scratch, but I get so overwhelmed with it all that I just end up grabbing pre-made food like pizza or chicken nuggets or meatballs from the store. I know some people can handle it, but I'm at a loss as to how to make it work for us.

  12. I am in! I want to plan an heirloom garden this year, but my biggest challenge will be to stick with it and not get overwhelmed. This will be my 2nd year of trying to plant a productive garden (last year it didn't produce because of the drought) and my first year of trying to save seeds.

  13. I am going to pay close attentions and try it out! This is a goal of mine andi have a dear friend who is mostly self sufficient with food. They have their own animals and garden and have about 18 months of food storage!!! I'm in awe! I do have room to garden and raise animals, although we are inside city limits so no animals for us! My biggest challenge is just diligence! With 3 small kids and homeschooling I get distracted easily!

  14. I'm in! My biggest obstacle is the drought! We live in southern Kansas and got a total of 6 in of moisture last year. I can't water my garden at my house because our well is going dry (only have enough for household use), so this winter I'm moving my garden to my granpa-in-laws place- he has a great well! We already raise all of our own beef, pork and chicken, plus we have lots of eggs. We're currently discussing getting a milk cow. Oh, another obstacle has been the heat here. The last two summers it has hit 100+ in June and literally stayed there until September with nighttime lows in the 80's- not very conducive to productive gardening. They are predicting this summer to another repeat of that. But, I must be a "true" gardener, because I'm always optimistic about the upcoming season 🙂

  15. I am in!!! We moved into our home with 5 raw acres this past September. We are working hard to prepare our land for self sufficiency. Goats, bees, chickens, and perhaps, turkeys, lambs, pigs, and ducks are on our list of wants. We are working every hour we can to prepare shelter and fencing for all of them before its time to prepare our garden next month.
    I would LOVE to see posts about how you prepare raw land for a garden and any gardening tips would be fantastic!
    I'm looking forward to this challenge! I will blog about it as well and link back to you 🙂

    • You have to watch the free gardening movie "back to eden". Paul gautschi shows you how to prepare raw land. No tilling and no watering! L2survive is a YouTube channel with more Paul interviews that go more in depth. It really works! There's a website for requesting wood chips from tree guys. Free! We love free! Gods way is always best! That's the basis for the whole method. Good luck. 🙂

  16. Thank you, Susie! We've been talking about growing more than last year and putting more food by than ever, the idea being inspired by a dinner we enjoyed last week that included our home-grown chicken, potatoes, and carrots. It is entirely possible, we realized to mostly eat all year round from our own storehouse, so we am definitely in and will look forward to each week's assignment!

    Blessings! ~Lisa 🙂

  17. I'd love to join in on this. We're planning to plant our first garden in years. I also want to add some chickens to our production. We don't have enough room for large animals.

  18. Those with several children or even just one, put them to work. From a very young age they cna pull weeds, harvest, help prepare for preserving etc. I started at a very young age helping. Would be good to learn the responsibility and know how. I want to be able to provide for all our needs but can't get hubby on board for anything but chickens. Still working and hoping. Need shelters and fences first and that's costly. I do many herbs, veggies, and fruits already. Would love to try to follow. Deb

  19. I'm in! I did a small amount last year of a raised garden and canning and dehydration my own food. I would love to learn more!!

  20. I'm in! I love gardening and many hands make light work. My daughter saw where I "liked" this and she said that's awesome.

  21. I would love to do this! I want one of those pantries you pictured!!! I will do my best, but I have two challenges: first, I am supposed to be moving at the end of March and I'm not sure where I'm going; second, I don't think that I'd be able to handle butchering my own meat, or even knowing that someone close to me did it. I might not be able to eat it then.

  22. I have been working on this in my own little world so YES, sounds fun to be involved with other like minded women 🙂 Count me in!

  23. Yes, I am up for the challenge. My biggest obstacle will be finding space and changing my mindset about the grocery store. Sometimes it is hard not to choose the easy way.

  24. Count me in!

    We already plan on starting chickens and rabbits this year.

    Gardening will be our challenge…. very poor sandy soil ( without the finances to fix it quickly ) and lack of equipment to till it up easily. Our very small garden last year was very labor intensive to establish and between grasshoppers and hail didn't produce much.

  25. Those pictures were great eye candy! I want a pantry like that, too. Our biggest obstacles are going to be; Baby #1 on the way (big adjustment in lifestyle), the fact that right now we both need to work outside the home, and lastly, the fact that we live in an urban area (no farm animals allowed in the city limits) on 1/12th of an acre (no room to grow a whole lot).

  26. I have two challenges – one – TIME – I market grow and had tons of produce last year but the family maybe ate 3 meals with the veggies in them! I have to teach the girls how to cook with produce as they don't have a lot of experience with that.
    And – two – no basement. We had a fire almost a year ago and had to move out of our very large house with a basement and now very small house with no basement or storage. I have some canned goods outin the insulated garage but some jars have cracked.
    And with starting over most beds in the house don't have a frame under them so no room under beds! Just no room period. 8 people in a 1000 square foot house (2 toddlers and a baby included) just doesn't make a lot of space.
    Still, those jars are just too pretty and taste too good to not try…

  27. I won't be able to participate (I don't own a home, or have any source of income at the moment) but I will be saving the posts for further use, for when I DO own a home and have income. This excites me! Those pantries are dreamy.

  28. When do we start? Sounds like fun to do this together! I've been working towards this myself for the last couple years so I'm hoping this will help me fill in some of those missing gaps. We are just coming off another challenge: No Grocery Shopping for a Month, and made it through very successfully. I won't miss the grocery store at all!

  29. I only have a small amount of space and homeschool my to boys but I am in. What better way to teach them it can be done. We can make it part of school. 🙂 The more we save the faster we can get out of our mobile home on onto a farm.

  30. I had already planned to do this after seeing this picture a few days ago. Even better to have people to do it with, so please count me in, I'm adding deyhdrated food to my store shelfs,lol can't wait to see plans, hardest thing will be working full time and getting everything done. Have a good night.

  31. Hi, I have been working on this challenge personally for a few years now, rather passively for fun. But I would like to bone up on it this year. We cannot do the gardening thing because I have no space (live in the city) and will be moving in the middle of our growing season (and being in northern Canada, growing season is all of 2 months). SO, I will be working on it from a different angle… everything else you find in the grocery store that has nothing to do with vegetables… like – cheeses, yogurts, breads (all baking including crackers, cookies, bagels, pitas..), herb mixes, salad dressings, soaps, personal hygiene products… These for me, actually cost more than buying "fresh" produce at the grocery store (since it all has to be trucked in). I can't wait to get started! Is there room for this on the challenge?

  32. I would LOVE to do this!! But, we have walnut trees on our property and hardly anything grows! We have tried for years to build up the soil and ground so that we can but a lot of years go by with wasted seeds that won't grow. Working on it!!

  33. I am in but will not be able to go completely out of the grocery store. First, I live in a HUGE city and livestock is not allowed in my zoned area, so I am not sure how to get around that part. Second, there are a few things I don't think I have the ability to grow (grains for one) but I can buy from local farms instead of the big grocery chains.

    My obstacles: time, ORGANIZATION, and a place to put it all.

  34. This sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing. Our biggest obstacles are space planning to yield the highest vegetable/fruit yield, storage to save it all and beating the bugs and pests that destroy crops. I look forward to joining you on this challenge.

  35. I'm so excited you're doing this. We're buying a place (hoping our offer is excepted today as a matter of fact!) and I was just saying in the last couple months that it's my goal in the next three years to be producing 90% of our family's food (6 of us). I'm being realistic really since fruit trees take a few years to fruit most of the time and our vegi garden's soil will need to be ammended each year until we get it real good.

    This year we are planning to do as much as we can considering we'll be (Lord willing) just moving in and have so much to do all at once!

    Anyway, we were already planning this sort of thing but I'm too busy and too unorganized to figure out the best way. Thanks (already) for figuring out the hard part for me and telling me what to do!

  36. Super excited to take this challenge! Thanks for all your help and guidance! We are non-dairy vegetarians who love to garden, can, and preserve, so we should be able to make this work well for us! We just bought a great house on 5 acres of clear land, and the house has an amazing pantry off the kitchen with an extra range! I simply can't wait to bust out the mason jars. My biggest challenge will be settling into our new house, managing our 2 young kiddos and also starting up my new daycare business to meet the demands of our tighter budget. Hoping this challenge will save us some serious cash!

  37. I was very excited to run across your website. My family & I are starting our own little family farm on a few acres in Indiana. We have huge plans for our garden this year. I look forward to gleaning some information from this series!

  38. Thank you for speaking the truth. Thank you for this website. I am just amazed to find folks who are seeking the live with the same dignity as my grandparents. Your message will help to save so many. I only wish more Americans could read this blog.

  39. What a wonderful idea to help people save money and eat healthy! Yes! A garden is the way to go…I've done it all my life. Love it!

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