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This is a list of foods consumed by my husband and me while living simply in the mountains of Colorado for one year. To understand this list and adapt it for yourself or your own family, it helps to know a bit about us and our eating habits so you can see how to adapt it for your own habits and needs. We are a couple in our early 30s, eating a primarily vegetarian and grain-based diet, with moderate activity levels. We only had access to a small solar oven, so we did minimal baking of cornbread, quick breads, granola and cookies. We had limited solar electricity, so were unable to home make things requiring blenders and processors.

My husband eats granola and cold cereal for breakfast and I eat hot grain cereals. He prefers flour tortillas and I prefer corn. We both do not digest beans well, so the amounts consumed reflect that. We are big vegetable lovers. We received a CSA (community supported agriculture) box of fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, and bread every other week, so these items were selected for us. Whatever we got, we ate, and we ate a lot of potatoes that year because the CSA farm grew potatoes. We supplemented our diet with whey and soy protein-green drinks a few times a week. We bought everything outright for the whole year, so we did not have to go shopping. That is why we only had dairy products that could be frozen (butter and cheese), but not other products like yoghurt or cottage cheese that do not freeze well. Our main intentions were to be healthy, produce little waste, and keep cost to a minimum while living simply and fully.

Estimated food cost for one year for two people (2008):

$2750 =Fresh Foods (fruit, vegetables, eggs, bread)

$1500 =Dry Goods and Dairy

$     50 =Teas (bulk)

$4300 =Total food cost

(That calculates to approximately $180/per person/per month)

(Note: We bought our dry goods from a wholesale distributor, so we got a discount on our dry goods.)

Food List for 2 Adults for 1 Year

Organic Grains:

25# brown rice

15-20# white rice

12# quinoa

10-15# millet

10# cereal flakes

25# rolled oats (if you make your own granola)

8# popcorn

30# pasta

?# granola (if buying, lessen the amount of oats)

Organic Beans:

12-15# red lentils

12-15# brown or green lentils

4# mung beans (for sprouting)

Assortment of favorite beans (pintos, white, adzuki, black, and black soy, etc.)

Organic Flour:

25# whole-wheat pastry flour

6-10# cornmeal (10# if you are a cornbread fan)

Oils & Fats:

40-50# assorted cheese (ex: 20# mozzarella, 20# cheddar, 10# feta)

20# butter (stores 6 month in freezer…buy half, then the other half in 6 months)

6-8 tubs Earthbalance or Smartbalance

3 gallons extra virgin olive oil

1 gallon expeller-pressed canola or safflower oil

8 medium jars mayonnaise (watch the expiration date!)

12 parmesan cheese shakers

Raw Nuts and Seeds (store in small bags in the freezer):

10# walnuts

5# almonds

5# cashews

5# pinenuts

6# sunseeds (1# is for sprouting)

2# flaxmeal

2# shredded coconut

1# raw sesame seeds (optional)

2# alfalfa seeds (for sprouting)

6 jars tahini, organic

12 large jars peanut butter, organic (roasted)

4 jars almond butter, organic

Organic Dried Fruit:

8# raisin, unsulfured

2# prunes, unsulfured

2# apricots, unsulfured


1-2 jars molasses, unsulfured

4 small jugs maple syrup, pure, grade B

4 large jars honey

10-12 bags chocolate chips, semi-sweet

3# brown sugar, organic

1# cane sugar, organic

12 jars jam, assorted flavors


10 packages flour tortillas (store in the freezer)

4 extra large packages corn tortillas, non GMO (store is smaller stacks in the freezer)

4 large mustards

4 ketchup, organic

3 small bottles hot sauce

2 boxes baking soda

1 box corn starch

2-3 8oz jar baking powder

yeast packets or bulk bag (if you are making your own bread)

4 tubs miso

½ gallon sea salt

1 gallon apple cider vinegar

1 gallon Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or tamari)

2 small spray bottles of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

3# nutritional yeast

6-28oz cans diced tomatoes, organic

3-12oz cans tomato paste

Dried seaweeds (dulse, arame, wakame, nori)

3# ground turkey (not lean) (used for one large batch of spaghetti sauce we froze in small bags)

4, 8-pack nitrate-free chicken dogs (used as a supplement and a treat)

Notes: Silken tofu (non-refrigerated), canned coconut milk, and jarred olives were all things we didn’t eat for the year, but sometimes wished we had! I think we would have used about 12 of each for the year.

Paper Goods:

84 jumbo rolls of toilet paper

6-8 large boxes of Kleenex (how’s the weather?)

6-8 rolls paper towel (select-a-size)

Fresh Foods: (These foods came in our CSA box)

52 dz eggs

52 lvs bread

155# potatoes/yams/winter squash (mostly potatoes)

50# onions

50# carrots

50# tomatoes

80# apples

50# citrus (30# oranges, 5#lemons, 10# grapefruit & tangerines)

20# salad greens

5# peas

35# cherries/grapes

35 bu bananas (222 each)

70 ea stone fruit (plums, peaches, nectarines) & pears

12 pk mushrooms

90 ea avocados

70 ea bell peppers

40 ea cob corn

40 ea cucumbers

10 ea melons

60 ea kiwis

20 pt berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry)

10 bu celery

10 bu beets

20 ea bulb garlic

10 ea cabbage

20 ea broccoli/cauliflower (mostly broccoli)

50 ea summer squash

16 bu fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, basil)

5 bu radishes

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