Grainlady, some questions
I have some questions. Are there definitions for "homemade" "prepared," "scratch" and "convenience" foods?
For instance, you mill own flour. Do you take everything back that far? If one does that, does one also make one's own mayo? Every time you want a little mayo? Do you somehow make your own oil to make the mayo with? What about mustard and ketchup? Jams and jellies? Peanut butter? Do you churn butter from cream? Would you buy anything canned or frozen, like green beans, corn, peas, or do you grow and preserve it yourself?
Baking soda? Cheeses? Spices like garlic, cumin? Vanilla? Wines?
I'm not trying to be a jerk; I'm trying to figure it out. It seems to me it's more a way of life than anything else, and that there is a very large time investment involved, as well as a very large investment in supplies and equipment, and storage. Certainly, grainlady, your food budget seems lower than mine, but I have never done an analysis of mine, and I have a big family. I am an excellent cook, love doing it. But I do use prepared foods to a certain extent. It seems to me that many things are cheaper to buy prepared commercially than to grow and raise myself.
I feel like my lasagne is homemade, yet I use canned tomatoes, boxed noodles, ground chuck and pork from the grocery, commercially dried spices, blocks of commercial cheeses that I grate myself, tubs of commercial ricotta. If I read your posts correctly, my lasagne is not homemade or from scratch, but sort of a hybrid.
Having said all that, I have always tried to buy prepared foods that have as few added chemicals as possible, because I felt that was better for my family. Like natural peanut butter, real whole wheat breads, rolled oats, fresh fruits and vegetables. I've baked my own pies, cookies and cakes from what I've always considered "scratch, but now I don't think so according to your standards.
Also, I've tried to be very green for the past 40 years. Never bought a pesticide, or lawn or garden fertilizer. Mow our very large lawns with a reel-type push mower, don't use much power equipment, turn over the gardens with a spade.
So, back to definitions. Would you share yours? How about sharing your time and equipment investments? I realize it's also about nutrition and money.