The experiment turned into a giant “stone soup”, with us eating very well for each of seven days while still having tonnes of food leftover! Amazing! While supplies have definitely dwindled, we could easily feed ourselves for at least several more days, if not another week. We did eat two meals at my partner’s place, but we also fed him twice from our supplies, so I think it evened out.
Finishing the week with eggs, onions, cheese, butter, honey, etc -all items we had limited supplies of- to spare and nary an optional cauliflower purchased has left me somewhat bewildered.
Besides enjoying generous helpings of squash in a pie, a big change was that we ate two meals of fermented lentils, a food we love but generally skip in favour of fatty meats. Per GAPS, we soaked them for twenty-four hours in water with a tablespoon of kefir before rinsing and preparing them. Another difference is that we used a lot of coconut oil where we’d normally use butter, rationing our 1/4 pound of the latter for dishes expressly wanting that specific flavour.
Friday through Monday morning my son’s behaviour was off-kilter, several times resembling a non-GAPS countenance. My intuition is that this was due to the copious orange squash (a bit too high sugar for his body) eaten Friday afternoon and evening. Perhaps for the same reason, or because of the vastly increased amount of coconut oil (an awesome die-off trigger for many), my tell-tale patch of eczema returned with a vengeance. Two nightly doses of Oil of Oregano largely resolved that.
A highlight was making a snack from on-hand supplies that totally delighted not only us, but two non-GAPS, processed-food-addicted kids! What was it? Unmeasured amounts of butter, cocoa (advanced GAPS), shredded coconut, honey, salt. I mashed it together, rolled it into little balls, and refrigerated. They tasted just like nanaimo bars!
Using just what we (or, in the snack’s case, my partner) had on hand definitely saved us money while also igniting creativity. Instead of buying a chicken roasted by Whole Foods (a single mom’s respite), I prepared our own purchased at half the cost. Bored of roasted chicken, but being required to use what we had, I rubbed it with different spices than usual for a delightful change. We also had other delicious new snacks and a soup previously frozen during intro which did indeed prove as yummy as I’d thought it was when I first set it aside.
Surprisingly, my six year old proved totally game, completely eliminating his daily requests for pepperoni sticks from the local deli as well as his rarer requests for things like Lara Bars. (Because he no longer needs to be on strict GAPS, I did let him use his own savings to buy a single, non-GAPS cookie at a garage sale.) He seems to have enjoyed the week and appreciated the value of the experiment.
As for me, I feel I’ve re-set my spending habits and become more conscious of what I’m doing, and what my highest priorities need to be. I plan to focus the next two weeks on comparison shopping, learning which nutrient-dense foods bring the most bang for my buck. For example, if butter is more costly than coconut oil, what amount of butter can serve our butter-specific nutritional needs (eg. Vitamin A), allowing us to rely on the lower cost coconut oil and drippings for the rest of our fats? As always, I’ll report back here.
What are your favourite savings approaches? (To learn how one large family does GAPS on a budget, be sure to read the comment from Cris on this experiment’s original post. You gotta love that girl’s commitment to her family, their health, and their budget! And the results?! Yeah…Seriously, don’t miss her note!)