How I Shop for Groceries – I Don’t Go to Town!

(I wrote this article years ago – it’s the number 1 post on this site during these Winter days and worth another repost)

How often do you go food shopping for your family? Once a week? Do you stop by the store a few times a week?

Here’s how we get our groceries for the week (or two or three) here in our Valley. Come on along with me for a shopping trip.

I have to remember to grab the green reusable bags.

And I can’t forget to bring back the recyclable glass containers from the kitchen pantry.


Instead of taking the car and driving to the grocery store, I’ll go down the stairs to the cold room.

OK, we’ll definitely need some veggies so let’s get some beans for starters.

And some carrots, we love carrots!

We keep them in a pail of dirt and we trim the greens off low. Every now and then, we mist the dirt to keep it a bit moist. We could also use sand.


Look how nice they still look. They are firm and they taste fresh and very sweet.


We definitely need a bucket of potatoes and also a bunch of onions.

When I pulled the potatoes out of the garden,  I sorted them right there in the field.

All our potatoes to be used as seed in 2010 are sitting in separate bags on shelves in the cold room.

Keep your onions in a different room – they don’t get along too well with some other veggies in storage.

Now that my bags are full, it’s time to head back upstairs and put the groceries away.

 But first, check out what I’ve gathered.

 See the nice large chicken on the left? I pulled him out of the freezer.

4 pints green beans

1 pint canned carrots to use in stew or soup

2 pints canned beets

about 5 lbs potatoes


We’ve got some fruit:

2 quarts applesauce

2 pints Saskatoon berries

1 small jar Zuccini Butter (for on toast)

To have some goodies when company comes over for beers or a glass of wine:

2 jars red salsa and 1 jar green salsa

1 jar pickled garlic scapes and 1 pint pickled beets

More food for meals for us:

2 pints tomato sauce

1 pint pizza sauce

1 jar smoked trout

1 jar salmon

1 dozen eggs

1 quart pea soup

1 more dozen eggs

a good whack of garlic

a bunch of onions


Add to the above the fresh goat milk that we get from one of our Valley friends and that should do us for at least a week. There is no need to go to town.

 And if I need to get more groceries, I’ll just go back downstairs to our cold room.

The bonus for us is that, by Growing what we Eat, we Know what we Eat!

Healthy, Nutritious, Organic and Very Inexpensive!

(By the way, I took these pictures the last week in December.)


  1. I love the way you presented this! Very good meals too!

  2. We live in 150 Mile and are working to become self sufficient, but it’s a challenge with 6 children:) I would love to come out and visit your farm some day and learn from you. I have goats, chickens and a garden, but I’m still learning and love to meet other people who are on the same page. If you enjoy your solitude, I understand and will read through these pages to glean all I can! Thanks:)

    • Hi Chelsea, You’re more than Welcome to come out to our place. Come out next Spring when we’ve got more to show you…just send me off an email.

    • Hey Chelsea, I can’t help replying because I live half an hour from you in Big Lake and, while we aren’t as self sufficient now as we would like to be in the future, we are doing the best we can on our little rented farm. We just moved here in September so nothing is set up yet, but we have a milk cow and a horse and a handful of chickens. We’ve usually had gardens in the past, grown meat chickens and turkeys, raised ducks, and preserved anything we could get our hands on. I have 3 kids under 5 and it’s tough to get things done that I want to do. Awesome that you have 6! Do you homeschool? I also love photography, riding, designing and decorating houses and reading about farming. Contact me if you’d like to chat. There aren’t too many people who like this lifestyle. :)

  3. I loved that as well… great post!

    • Thanks, it is a repost but I try to put it up again every year in January, so that new readers know what we really eat all Winter :) Gotta love a full Cold Room

  4. avatar Johnnal Salyer says:

    I’m so jealous on so many levels! I will be starting my first Garden in a couple of weeks! Fingers crossed for good results, I have a blak thumb! Gardening in central Florida is a crazy, sandy business, althought the growing season is super long. I have been canning for a while, and my goal is to be able to store up enough so I can shop just like you did. I’m also SUPER jealous of those Saskatoon berries! I spent a summer with friends outside Winnipeg, Manitoba and hunting those berries, canning and eating the resulting pies was the best! No matter what my Canadian friends say blueberries are not even close to the same! I love your blog and I’m learning a ton!

    • Hi Johnnal, I will be interested to hear how your garden does this year. I’m glad you’re getting something out of our website :)

      Those Saskatoon berries are really good. Even in Canada they don’t grow everywhere, we never could grow them when we lived on the West Coast. I think maybe they need the really cold winters, although I am not sure.

  5. I love your store! That’s my goal, for a few years from now when my littles are bigger and better at helping. I’m in the cariboo too! This will be my first year trying to grow things in this area. I lived in the coldest parts of the okanagan before this. I really enjoy your blog!

    • Thanks for your comments Rebekah, always love hearing from people who enjoy our site. Hopefully you are staying warm this winter; enjoy every wonderful thing the Cariboo has to offer!