Sunday, May 13, 2012

Groceries - week 1

So, inspired by the 100 days of Real food family, I'm attempting to track what groceries I buy for the next 8 weeks - a little over 100 days, but a convenient number.  The goal is $150 per week for 3 people. I would love to do less, and I hope that eventually I can, but I have one fisherman I can get fish from, possibly 2 ranchers I get meat from, and one farmer I get veggies and/or fruit from. The kids can get a few things at places like Whole Foods, but as my farmer is often cheaper, it's not that helpful.

This has a great homeschooling bonus. It helps remind us of the value of food. It's a real eye opener when you see how much you can buy of whole foods vs. processed food, when it's food that WE can eat, anyway. The kids complained about taking pictures of the food, but when they were in a pile and then they got to see how much that pile cost, it started a great discussion about food, processed vs. whole foods, a food's relative worth, etc...

I'm sure cheap processed food is miles cheaper than our budget, but it's not an option anymore, not that it was good for us in the first place, so I'll have to follow my own family's standards for now.

Week 1
Whole Foods - $46.57
Agave nectar, rice pasta, brown rice, smoked kippers, oranges, swiss chard, turmeric root, plantains, and avocados

Fry's Grocery Store - $12.87
3 bags GF chips - yeah, chips free of most of our allergens are insanely expensive. And not great for us, so I'm kind of upset with myself over this.

Farmer's market - $93
salmon, 1 lb grass fed ground beef, watermelon, eggplant, bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, salad greens, poblano peppers, and lemons

CVS - $2.56
GF candy - yet again, grrr. This and chips on the same day, one early and one late. I'm actually glad I am sticking to the budget so I can't do this again this week!

Total spent for Week 1: $155
DANG IT! The sad thing is, I would have kept to the budget, but I forgot a crucial fact - I had to split one of my $20's into two tens and I forgot to do it. When buying, I went by how much cash I had left in my wallet and didn't remember that there were $10 too many until I'd already spent $5 of it. Jeesh.

But aside from that, this worked quite well, as long as I stay 'good' and buy nothing else this week. And the great comparison moment came between Whole Foods and the Farmer's Market.

Whole Foods: $46.57. Two most expensive items: agave nectar and 3 organic avocados

Farmer's Market: $93.00. Two most expensive items: salmon and 5 watermelons

I don't know that I could do this half as well if it weren't for my herb garden. I started that soon after I was diagnosed with the food issues and it has been a godsend. I can't have so many of the spices and herbs for sale at the store - not any, that I've discovered so far - but I now have so many fresh herbs it's great. No matter what foods are in season and for sale, I have herbs that will help make a dish and never have to try to get out to the store for them.

This is really important when I can't do one thing: plan a menu ahead of time. I can buy what's in season and that the farmer has, because that's what I can eat. So if it has calories or vitamins I need, or looks like it might, I buy it. If it has bulk that I'll want, I buy it.

And then when I get home I have to figure out what to make with it that mixes with my herbs and the other veggies and fruits. And save a little for later in the year, always.

Out of the above foods, I am juicing most of the lemons to freeze for later use. One of the watermelons was juiced and is currently frozen. The watermelon rind is being frozen for future use, as well. Half the broccoli will be parboiled and the florets saved as my own version of frozen veggies. I already have a good supply of roasted bell peppers or I'd be roasting those, too.

All in all, this has been a nice, successful week of groceries. :-D

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