Eating Like a King

I would describe myself as a “Food Enthusiast”, as an alternative to “Foodie” (which I really dislike as a descriptor). I think enthusiast better describes me, because I will eat basically anything available as food. An interest in food, especially “good” food could turn into an expensive habit, since it would be very easy to justify overspending – everyone needs to eat.

I classify “good” food as locally raised meat – I stick to beef and pork mainly, and lots of fruits and vegetables (which is difficult to find locally when you live in Ontario and it starts snowing in October). Based on various studies and my knowledge of growing standards, I don’t really find it worthwhile to spend the extra money on organic produce, but I know people who do.

I get most of my fruits and vegetables from a normal grocery store, but to buy my meat there, would be upwards of $15 per pound for some cuts and much higher for “good” cuts.

I feel very strongly in the meat products I have chosen, I am disgusted with most cattle and pork feedlots found in North America and the impact that these businesses have on both the animal and the environment. I buy my meat directly from farms, where I can (if I wanted to) visit/inspect the operation and see where my meat is “made” – what the animals eat, how much room the animals have to eat. In the past year, I have bought half a pig (at $5 per pound) and a quarter of a cow (at $6 per pound).

Getting animals in this form allows me to eat what I want to eat, at a reasonable price, and directly help the businesses I want to support – the farmer who grows the animal, and the small abattoir that butchers on a small scale (both which are becoming more scarce these days). I get the entire animal as well, which I enjoy (all of the organs, bones, and fat) – it’s as close as I can get to being in charge of what I eat.

Most things that seem expensive in the outset have a cheaper version that is probably 85% as good. Homebrewing (a hobby I am interested in) could cost thousands and thousands of dollars to upgrade equipment to brewery-quality, or you could get by with a couple hundred dollars worth of equipment and cobble together other items. Sports can be done cheaply as well, buying second-hand equipment and resisting the urge to upgrade constantly.

Moving closer to retirement, I know I will have much more time, and much less money coming in on a monthly basis. I think having the ability to find the “Other way”, which may result in patching together Kijiji findings to have stuff I want to have. This kind of thing can be seen as “Cheapness”, but I prefer to look at it as an efficient use of money.

Have you found an “Other Way” (maybe unorthodox) of taking part in something expensive?

6 thoughts on “Eating Like a King”

  1. I don’t think buying things from Kijiji and cobbling things together is “cheapness”. I think it’s ingenuity. Given that there’s *way too much stuff* out there in our world, reusing what already exists is the most environmentally responsible position and the most logical solution to almost any material need/want. Especially if it gets you exactly the same end result.

  2. I’m proud of buying cheap ingredients and making great meals out of them. No one in my family complains and out bank balance keeps on rising every month! We are debt free and soon to be financially free but we’ll probably continue to work. We do get comments about our cheapness but when people realize how well off we are you can see the green envy in their eyes. Keep up the good work, this blog is becoming addictive!

  3. I agree 100 percent with everything you wrote. If one has the space , a deep freeze is a worthwhile investment. We routinely buy a pig and half a beef grass fed locally and it sure as he’ll beats that stuff in the supermarkets that’s often cut and prepackaged in another province before being transported here.
    I also detest the term foodie. It’s pretentious and uppity and to me it is a term for someone who thinks they know what tastes good better than anyone else !

  4. Completely agree! A lot of expensive hobbies don’t need to be expensive, but we are pressured into upgrading constantly and buying the latest and greatest.
    As for meat, we just buy our meat at the grocery store. We don’t eat that much of it but one day I’d like to support the local farmers the way you do. I’d have to get over the fact that I don’t like knowing what my food looked like when it was living..

  5. If we weren’t trying to eat more vegetarian/vegan and if we had a house where there was a freezer available, I’d consider buying half a whole cow or something and eating the parts during the year.

    I like “Food enthusiast”, it describes us quite nicely as well, although we’re also foodies because we’re snobs…

  6. We are very fortunate to have a small retail outlet for locally raised meat and poultry at our local university–Thank you Meat Cutting program!! All the meat they sell is hormone free, antibiotic free, gass fed and local!! Great prices too. They occasionally get bison, what a treat.
    They have the very best ground beef I have EVER eaten!! They are only open for about half a year so I ask to have things vacuum sealed (costs a very little bit more) for longer term freezing. First day open was last Thursday, and the line-ups were huge.
    I just finished eating the tomatoes from our garden but we do have lovely produce stores here and I tend to buy things that happen to be in season…winter makes it tough!!
    a foodie I am not, I just like to eat well.

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