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How to Maximize Your TF $$'s & See The Truly Expensive Foods

January 23, 2022

It's week #3 of our 4 week January series to start 2022 off healthy and it's time to talk about everyone's favorite subject, especially farmers πŸ˜‚: money

Seems like everyone has been sick recently so the concept of "health being wealth" might be a little more real for some right now too - can't do much with that wealth if you haven't the health to use it. 

But, changing the way you eat and where you source your food can be, or at the very least, can seem to be, more expensive. 

Grassfed beef has the assumption of being expensive. 

When something is thought of as being expensive we can immediately assume that we cannot afford it and just dismiss any further thought on it.

So we are going to talk through a couple of things today: 1. Is it more expensive? 2. Tips to make it more affordable for anyone. 

Know that I am not coming at this from the position of a flush bank account. If you think starting a farm from scratch is a get-rich-quick scheme and that Andy is still working off the farm full-time (outside all this winter πŸ₯Ά) for funsies, you'd be mistaken. 

But we do understand value & quality and that you get what you pay for. 

If you have ever come to visit us at Burger Night you'll notice our buildings and the stone siding. You also might notice high-quality windows in the house and garage and metal roofs on all our buildings.

Andy is a contractor and builds houses for his day job so he knows materials & has the skills (and all the tools - don't let him tell you otherwise!).

However, we also have budgets. 

So as things come up we have to decide what we value most and where we spend our hard earned money & time: the short-term or the long-term.

We almost always choose long-term.

The costs are: 

  • higher up-front costs
  • (which means) fewer projects
  • (and ultimately) living in a smaller house.

But the short and long-term benefits are: 

  • lower heating & cooling bills
  • practically zero maintenance work & zero maintenance costs
  • beautiful craftsmanship we can enjoy just being around
  • buildings that should outlive us and carry the long-term benefits on to the next generation. 
  • Bonus: a happy husband that doesn't ever have to roof again! ❀

We think these benefits outweigh the costs....well, most days, having 1 bathroom can suck. 

The parallels between a house and your only true home, your body, are pretty easy to see. 

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. – Jim Rohn

If you're choosing short-term for your body by eating the equivalent of particle board (seriously, some of the "food" in the store is not much different!), cheap vinyl windows and patching asphalt shingles on top of old ones well, you can expect some trouble....especially if your foundational health is already weak - any stressor that comes along could completely collapse your home. 

The short-term gains might be:

  • convenience
  • high palatability (although your taste buds can change pretty quickly)
  • targeted marketing that helps you feel included and validated
  • less cost (maybe)

The costs might be things like:

  • feeling tired and losing time & progress
  • losing time getting sick
  • medical bills
  • not looking great
  • not outliving your body (being kept alive by pharmaceuticals or equipment but with zero quality of life)
  • mentally being unable to cope with the seemingly endless stressors

I believe that just like a house, any time we can chose nutrient-dense foods over the ultra-processed foods (think the middle of the grocery store or gas station), we are investing in the short-term enjoyment and long-term health of our body. 

The beautiful thing about life is that we are still mostly free to choose what we put in our bodies (those of you that reach out weekly looking for raw milk know why I say "mostly").

I just want to make sure you are choosing based on facts and not assumptions. 

The only barrier to truth is the presumption that you already have it. - Chuck Missler

So I did some price-checking. 

Our ground beef with no discounts is $8.95/lb which is $0.56/ounce, of course you can get discounts (see below) and we have lower cost items but ground beef is the item people are most familiar with (those superfood kidneys last week were $0.28/oz!!). 

Here's a selection of some of the convenient/palatable/popular items available from Wal-Mart and Woodmans (except the KT snickers). You can play this game easily at the store - simply check the tag for $/oz and multiply by 16 (ounces per lb) or, if the tag doesn't show $/oz just divide the cost by the ounces in the container and then multiply by 16.... 

  • Snickers bar from Kwik Trip = $0.91/oz 
  • --->This is $14.56/lb - grab our snack sticks instead for just 39 cents more! This time of year you can even just leave them in your car.
  • Protein powders seem to average about $0.8/oz with some going much higher.
  • --->This is $12.80/lb - just buy the OG whole food proteins, not ultra-processed protein - there are a LOT of options for less than $12.80/lb.
  • Wal-Mart brand kale salad kit = $0.63/oz or $10.08/lb
  • Doritos from Wal-Mart, large bag = $0.38/oz
  • --->I know this is less than our ground beef comparison (note that single-serving bags are more), but at $6.08/lb is this the best use of food funds and are chips as cheap as people might assume they are?
  • Kind granola bars (on sale even at Wal-Mart) = $0.89/oz or $14.24/lb
  • Annies organic granola bars = $0.69 or $11.04/lb
  • Nature's Valley & Cascadian Farms granola bars = $0.45 and twinkies = $0.46/oz
  • --->Again, very popular items that are assumed to be cheap snack foods but at $7.35/lb is this a good deal for practically no nutrition and lots of sugar bringing with it blood sugar/insulin spikes?
  • Realgood pizza = $0.80/oz or $12.08/lb
  • Amy's cheese pizza w/ veg crust = $0.77/oz or $12.32/lb
  • Realgood Lemon Chicken bowl = $0.61/oz or $9.76/lb
  • Good Food Made Simple Chicken Pad Thai = $0.63/oz or $10.08/lb
  • Catalina Crunch keto cereal = $0.78/oz + milk or $12.48/lb+
  • Kellogg's Snax cereal = $0.92/oz or $14.72/lb
  • Cream of Wheat (single serving container) = $0.52/oz or $8.32/lb
  • Single serving of breakfast cereals like Cap'n Crunch, Cherrios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch = $0.66-0.83/oz + milk or $10.56-13.28/lb+
  • Quaker and Full Circle oatmeal cups = $0.78/oz or $12.48/lb
  • Kodiak oatmeal with extra protein cup = $0.93/oz or $14.88/lb
  • Munk Pack Keto granola bars = $1.27/oz
  • --->This is $20.32/lb - you can eat STEAK and eggs (at $3.59/doz, each egg is $0.30) for breakfast for cheaper AND more bio-available nutrition
  • Clif protein bar = $0.95/oz or $15.20/lb and Clif nut butter bars at $0.85/oz or $13.60/lb

Just for fun, some drinks, since some people replace meals or have these with their meals or snacks:

  • Monster energy drinks = 0.12/oz or $1.92/lb
  • Starbucks coffee drinks = $0.25/oz or $4/lb

Somewhat ironically the keto and paleo foods targeting the health conscious consumer with ultra-processed foods in place of whole foods, especially protein, are the highest cost per lb, as are single-servings of course. 

It's no wonder that, according to Diana Rodgers "Americans are spending less on meat today compared to years before, but twice as much on processed foods & sweets." We actually spend the most on processed foods & sweets now where once we spent the most on meat.

This all empties your wallet fast because the lack of nutrients and protein, turns on your stop-eating or satiated signals slowly and are engineered to make you want to keep eating past fullness. 

Out of curiosity, I checked out some of the fresh meats and was pretty surprised to see that Woodman's fresh beef stew meat was $8.99/lb (TF stew meat is currently $9.95) and their boneless sirloin tip was $9.99/lb ($9.95 for TF's sirloin tips already cut up!). 

So, what's this mean?

Swapping out an ultra-processed food product with no or low nutrient content for a nutrient-dense food from Together Farm's could actually SAVE you some moo-la or at least not cost you as much as you might think AND, at the same time, be a long-term investment in health, community & environment. 

Of course, I understand that you can buy in bulk and find cheaper prices for those things listed above or not buy name brand, etc etc, but that's like buying a house-worth of cheap vinyl replacement windows - you might save a little now but if you do the math, it's probably costing more in the long-run.

It's also worth pointing out that you'll probably need to eat more to feel full and a nutrient comparison at $ per bioavailable unit (like iron, B vitamins, etc) would blow any bulk savings out of the water and of course, there are all the aforementioned costs and missed benefits.

You can also buy in bulk and find lower prices with Together Farms, but without sacrificing your health, the environment or the community. 

But again, it's all your choice as to what you value, I just want it to be an informed choice.  

Tips & Tricks to Save

There are obvious ways to do this: 

  • Buy BUNDLES which are usually available
  • Stock up during a SEASONAL SALE
  • Get MULTIPLE PACKAGES at once
  • --->Watch for items with a drop down arrow  Image
  • Look for bonus items that are put on SALE
  • --->To see all the items on sale at any given time go to All Products and click the On Sale tag at the top or bookmark that link. 
  • --->You might want to see if we're doing anything cheesy for National Cheese Day today! πŸ§€

Those are pretty obvious but there are a few lesser known things you can take advantage of like: 

  • TF's REFERRAL PROGRAM: You get $10 & they get $20!
  • --->We know word of mouth is King and we value your help in spreading the good news to your family & friends
  • --->Simply log in to your account, go to Imagein the top right-hand corner choose Referrals from the drop down list and copy your unique URL to send to family and friends as a link!
  • 30% off GRAB BAG items
  • --->If you love all meat and are feeling adventurous, you can stock up on the packages that are safe but flawed in some way.
  • Live alone or have a small meat appetite? Order SHORTS
  • --->These are packages of brats, chops, sausage, etc that didn't get to the quantity or weight specified - maybe there is 1 chop or 2 brats. 
  • --->To order, send an email, they aren't posted in the store yet. 
  • Take advantage of FREE delivery with orders over $149
  • --->What are the savings in time and money to skip a grocery store trip? 
  • --->note that we are running the numbers now and it looks like this may have to slightly increase soon.
  • RETURN those shipping BOXES! $10/box adds up quick! 

Lastly we are working on accepting EBT for food items this winter, stay tuned for that update. 

Hopefully you found a gem or two tucked in here that can help make eating nutrient-dense foods the easy choice - the more people that opt in to supporting their local farmers directly, the more prices can normalize as systems become more efficient too. 

If you want to make small changes, change the way you do things. If you want to make major changes, change the way you see things. - Gabe Brown

Wishing you health & happiness in 2022!

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