Bluebirds on the Ground. Glenda, Wyoming, USA.

This week our Bluebird is Glenda.  Glenda has been a great encouragement to me and a source of wisdom and knowledge!  When I seriously began stocking I quickly found my USA friends were on a whole different level ahead of me in every way with "putting things up" in their pantry.  Even though Mum and Nana both had great pantries and preserved and grew so much (I have childhood memories of Mum and Dad spending the whole weekend dressing ducks...) they never had cold, snowy, frozen over winters to get through.   This was so far from our reality that it wasn't until I read The Long Winter (Laura Ingalls Wilder) that I "got it" and realised the grim end for anyone that had not prepared sufficiently for winter.   So canning and putting up food was well and truly in the blood of my new found prepping friends!  This opened up a whole new world of knowledge for me to learn from... as you will see...

 Greetings Annabel and Bluebirds,

    First, I will give a bit of background concerning where we live. We live in the second largest city in Wyoming. Our population is 60,285 people as of 2023. We have seven large supermarkets in our city. We, also, have a few meat markets and one small specialty gourmet food store.

    Wyoming (total) has a population of 580,817 people as of 2023. We have a land mass of 97,818 square miles. In short, we have on average in one square mile, six people. For comparison, I checked Adelaide and there is a population of 1,553,036 people in 705.37 square miles. To us, that is very crowded, but so are many other cities in the U.S. We have a lot of wide-open spaces, mountains and animals here. We, also, have frigid temperatures, 40 mph winds in winter at times, and lots of snow, which is the only negative to this state. 

    Due to the above information, we do not have a lot of competition for items in stores. The stores are normally full of groceries and if something is out of stock it comes in as soon as the store can get a delivery on it. Chain supermarkets tend to have a more difficult problem getting stock refilled. Right now, the stores have plentiful supplies of all the foods. We did have a terrible time getting eggs a month or so ago, but that is not an issue at present. Eggs are very expensive, and we pay about $6.99 per dozen for pasture-raised organic extra-large eggs. 

    We buy our meat directly from the rancher. All the beef is pasture raised. The prices, in the past, have been very reasonable and due to the quality of the meat, much better than the grocery stores. They have raised their prices, recently, 10% to 30% depending on the cut of beef. We still feel it is well worth it for the quality. The pasture raised hamburger, on organic land, is $6.50 per pound, as an example of prices.

    The fact that we cannot always get bulk here has resulted in our ordering quite a bit of food online. We, also, try to buy organic whenever possible, so have pursued online sources that offer both conventional and organic products. 

    Pleasant Hill Grain is an amazing source for bulk buying of long term stored grains and beans. I checked a comparison of cost from 2020 to the current date and see that the products have gone up, down or no change. Three items we purchased in 2020, in sealed buckets with mylar liners and oxygen absorbers, were Organic Black Turtle Beans, Organic Einkorn and Organic small white Navy Beans.

     In 2020, the black beans were $126.29 (40 lbs), today they are $150.86; the Navy Beans were $126.37 (40 lbs) and today they are $153.09; the Einkorn (ancient grain) was $121.61 (26.5 lbs) and the price remains the same to today. This is pricey, but we feel that for long term it is a savings to us to not have to buy the bucket, mylar or oxygen absorbers. Plus the grains and legumes are washed three times, dried and are top quality. I have never found a stone, leaf, etc in any of it.

    Another source we find helpful and cost effective is Vitacost. We order two or three times a month from them. They stock conventional and organic products and have wonderful sales. We watch for the sales and take advantage of combining savings; often we save 35 % on organic products. Non-organics are, also, a savings; the same offers are across the board. Comparing prices is essential, however, and we always look online for the same items locally and compare the cost. Sometimes, it is less expensive locally and sometimes it is a huge savings through Vitacost.

     When shopping online it is important to factor in shipping costs and taxes. We pay no tax on food in Wyoming. The online shopping, thus, does not charge us any tax either. Shipping is included in the cost at Pleasant Hill and at Vitacost for an order of $49 or more. 

     The cost of food, in grocery stores, has gone up significantly. Our daughter speaks, often, of how the true percentage of inflation on groceries is between 20% and 50%. My husband does our grocery shopping, and he doesn't pay too much attention to increases, normally. I do online research before making out the shopping list to give him.

    Our property taxes went up this past year $400 over the previous year. It is still low in Wyoming compared to many states. There are many veterans benefits where we live and a percentage off taxes is one of them. 

    Utilities have gone up everywhere, I think. Our water increased about 20% this past year. Our electricity went up some, also. The highest increase, for utilities, was natural gas. Our most recent monthly charge was $168.56. We do have natural gas heat and it has been a very cold winter. Last year, the same amount of usage would have cost us @ $128.00. 

    We do a lot to save money on food. We have two food storage rooms and have stocked up for many, many years. We got seriously proactive in making sure we had, at least, a year of food about 15 years ago. We continue to replace items as we use them and have more than a year's supply now. We, also, garden during the summer and grow fruits for jams and preserves, in town. When 16-ounce packages of organic frozen vegetables go on sale at $2.86 a package, we stock up and I dehydrate them. It works well to have dehydrated broccoli, green beans, mixed veggies and peas on the shelf for soups and stews during the colder weather, which is about seven months here. 

    Many blessings to all of you. Please stay safe and well. 

Love and hugs,

Thank you so much Glenda.   Your tip to dehydrate the frozen veggies is one I adopted and this has both given me much more room in my freezer and the ability to store much greater quantities of vegetables. 

See you tomorrow for Save Like Nana did on the subject of food economy.  xxx


  1. Glenda thank you for your post. It amazes me that we can be on opposite sides of the world, and have so many similarities, yet so many differences.
    Dehydrating frozen veg is not something that I have ever thought of doing. I might give this a go. If we like the rehydrated veg then this could be something that I will start. We're pretty lucky here that we can grow a lot of veg all year round.
    Thank you for giving us an insight into life in your part of Wyoming.

    1. We, mostly, use the dehydrated vegetables for soups and stews. I dehydrate them, then give them another day or two on the counter in a bowl, uncovered, just to assure there is no moisture left. Then I vacuum seal them in canning jars. They keep several years for us this way, but we store them in a dark, dry 60 degree room year around. Thank you for your comment, Jane.

  2. Thank you Glenda. What a fabulous tip to buy frozen veggies on sale and dehydrate them! I’ve just become the proud owner of my first dehydrator so that it such a helpful suggestion!

    1. Frozen vegetables, purchased at the store, have already been blanched. This saves time and effort for the person dehydrating. Enjoy your new dehydrator!

  3. Glenda thank you for the overview of your food sources in Wyoming, and how you manage to keep costs lower. Having a year (or more) in your pantry is a huge accomplishment! I am working through my smaller pantry now to adjust what I store to make sure it is something I will eat. Thank you again for sharing what you do. Living here in Arizona, I can’t imagine your winters…. Hilogene in Az.

  4. Thank you, Glenda, for your report. Wyoming is so far and so different. I think you, being so well prepared, is a daily peace of mind. Life is hard and beautiful everywhere. Greetings from far away. Laura_s_world from Romania

  5. I started dehydrating frozen veggies this past summer and was suprised at how easy it is. I even did up diced potatoes from frozen and they are handy to put in soups too. I will check out the suppliers you mentioned. Thank you.

  6. Thank you Glenda for your post.I actually haven't thought about dehydrating veggies either, but it sure would free up space in my freezer. I order from Vitacost too but mostly it's always been vitamins and homeopathic meds. I will look at the organic food stuffs next time I order.

  7. I enjoy the preparedness series. The Bluebirds Are Nesting is so inspiring with what she shares and shares from others.
    I've occasionally been dehydrating frozen vegetables since the freezers get too full of meats and other frozen foods. It's so helpful to have so much food shrunk down to a manageable size.
    I've found RoseRed Homestead to be a good resource in learning about the dehydrating of frozen veggies and wanted to share her link.

  8. Thank you, Glenda, for your interesting and informative post. Wyoming, especially Yellowstone National Park and the area around Jackson, is one of our favorite places to visit. We live in the dry, hot Phoenix Metropolitan area of Arizona. I appreciated the reminder to dehydrate vegetables rather than freezing them. It seems I am always trying to eat down the freezer, but have a hard time passing up good deals, especially on meat. I am also currently juicing and freezing tangelos which takes quite a bit of room.
    I have been enjoying the posts from different areas!
    Elaine from Arizona

  9. Thank you so much for your post!!

  10. Thank you, Glenda and Annabel for today's post. My husband and I had the pleasure of spending a week in Wyoming this past September. It was the cleanest and friendliest of our travels that month. We did notice that gas prices were highest there compared to all the states we traveled through from Virginia to Oregon and down to Alabama and all the ones in between. The food prices were comparable to where we live in Virginia. I hear a lot about Azure Standard and Pleasant Hill but have never tried them This is something I feel I should investigate once my life returns to normal. I also have never considered dehydrating frozen veg but will do so in the future. I am currently recovering from emergency quadruple bypass open heart surgery. The event happened 2 weeks ago as I was walking my dog. Thankfully my husband was with me and God took care of the rest. At some point in my teaching career I decided I should learn as much about the brain and its workings in order to best help my little students. I learned that there is scientific support of laughter being great medicine. So, Annabel, last week when I was hurting and frustrated from being unable to do anything for myself I opened your feather your nest post to see Jemima in full command of her world and I broke into a smile. As I read the post my pain dissipated and my mood changed completely to a happy, optimistic one. Please know you are making a difference as you educate and help to prepare us for future events. While we are being well provided with food by friends, family, neighbors and church members knowing we have everything we need for weeks has helped my husband to focus on the important things right now. We are still able to feather our nest by freezing a lot of the food our generous friends and family have provided and knowing this eases my mind. God bless.


  11. Have to pop in here for a minute today. Hi Glenda, I live in Ohio about two hours from Lake Erie and can relate to the cold, snow, and winds. My city is less than half the size of yours and we only have Kroger as our supermarket, two of those and a Walmart. We did have a family owned market for decades, but that closed seven years ago. Luckily, Ohio is also exempt from a food tax. I also buy from Pleasant Hill Grain with the same set up of mylar bags and absorbers and often from Vitacost, especially when they have site % off and combined with Rakuten. I also choose organic and eggs here are $7.99/dozen. The dehydrator does work beautifully for frozen veggies as they are already blanched. Thank you for sharing a glimpse of your life. Blessings, Laura

  12. Hello this is Susan, a bluebird from the US, in Colorado.

    There are a couple of great websites for gardening and preserving.
    One is..."Redeeming The Dirt". A Christian farmer was led by the Lord to close his farming business in order to teach and train people in how to produce their own food and offer hope to those around them. He said he felt an urgency and he has many free resources.

    The other is "homesteading a family of 12 growing, and preserving feon a large home garden, and animals. They have online classes and their heart is also to train families to be able to live a healthy life with healthy food and how to preserve it all.

  13. 4 free varieties of heirloom seeds (per family, per year) can be requested

    They are very specific about how to request them, the format must be exactly as they ask and describe on their website..and you can request substitute seeds as well in case they are out. The seeds are donated by gardeners. They also have medicinal herb seeds i. Addition to vegetables seeds and flower seeds. Its quite wonderful.

    If you are outside the US, the is a tab to click.

  14. Dear cheryl, welcome to the world of dehydrating.

    You can also dehydrate peeled cucumbers with the seeds removed. When dry, just grind them to a powder.

    This cucumber powder can be used several ways. It can be mixed with sour cream for a dip, or to go on a baked potato. It can be added to mayonnaise and buttermilk for a "green goddess " type of salad dressing, or added to cream cheese with dill and parsley to make a spread on crackers.


  15. Glenda your account is similar to here in NZ. I loved reading about your experience,as I have with all the contributes to this series Annabel is running. Thank you.

  16. As I live in the US also, this is very helpful to me. Pleasant Hill and Vitacost were previously unknown to me so thank you very much for that info.
    I have a dehydrator, but am very unknowledgeable as to all its uses. And admit I don't know what to do with the veggies once they are dehydrated. But it sure seems like a great way to preserve.
    Thank you for all of this information!

  17. Hi Glenda! We visited your lovely state several years ago (We have family in Cheyenne,WY and Big Sky,MT). I can relate to your weather - central WI gets frigid winter temps and bitter winds sweeping straight down from Canada. You have done a great job with your prepping and planning in your purchases! I like your idea of buying meat from the producer rather than the store, too. We will be looking at our local beef farmers once we get the freezer eaten down more, perhaps going in on a 1/2 with our son and his wife. Thank you for sharing your corner of the world, Glenda!

  18. I see many similarities to Saskatchewan, especially the winter weather. Thanks for your report Glenda.

    God bless.

  19. Thanks for sharing, Glenda.
    What an inspiration, food stored for over a year ! How many people does that include?
    Blessings, Leslie

    1. There are only two of us here, but we have six other family members, so I am trying to plan for them here, also. That is a lot of food.
      I have a grain grinder, so we store a wide variety of grains due to allergies and sensitivities. Same storage in other areas for those who can't have eggs or dairy. We store all the substitutes.
      Thank you for your comment.

    2. Thank all of you for commenting and sharing your situations, also. It is so important for all of us to learn as much as possible, as soon as possible. May God bless each of you with wisdom, discernment and safety.

  20. Debby in Kansas USA21 February 2023 at 04:08

    Thanks to Glenda, Annabel, and all the Bluebird posters I've missed! I've been sick, but reading. Great information and it's nice to hear about life all over!

    I was on a quick trip to Laramie, WY in the late 80s to the university there. It was late November and already very cold. I was struck by the vast emptiness and quiet. It was incredible to this girl who grew up in Los Angeles!! I would love to see it in a warmer season again. I will always remember the chuckles we got when we asked if it was a blizzard!! "This ain't nothing but a little snow!" It was the first time I had ever seen snow swirling in the wind!!

    Great information on the mail order stuff. Thank you again for taking the time to share!!

  21. Great tips and info, Glenda...Thanks so much for your post! xx Jen in NS

  22. Thank you so much Glenda, this was very interesting and helpful. I've not tried dehydrating yet, but I want to learn more. We are seeing the same things you are with regard to food and utility prices here in Oklahoma. We also have sales tax on food (supposedly temporary, but it has been years) and that gets expensive quickly - I'm so glad you do not have that in Wyoming!


  23. Glenda, thank you so much for your report. I was very interested when Annabel announced you would be posting, since I am your neighbor to the west, in southwest Idaho. I have also purchased A LOT from Vitacost and from Pleasant Hill Grain, both great businesses to deal with. For those not familiar with Vitacost, if you subscribe to their email list, they will give you 20% off your first order. It sounds like Wyoming is similar to Idaho with the good availability of pasture-raised meats, a real blessing. I place bulk orders (usually around 90 pounds) of pasture-raised ground beef and the per pound cost is less than Costco's organic ground beef. I appreciate this informative report from my neighbor to the east!


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