Friday, July 24, 2009

budget woes, groceries, and meals

I've been saving reciepts during the month of July, and keeping careful track of how much we've been spending on groceries. I had a feeling it was much higher than we had guessed, and I was right.

We have been spending about $600 per month on groceries for two people.

Now, keep in mind we eat mostly organic, local, and/or fair trade. And I seriously feel like I'm doing almost everything I can to save pennies -- I cook as much from scratch as humanly possible, we hardly ever eat out, I shop the farmer's market and bulk bins largely, stock up on things when they are on sale, etc.

But still! I guess I could start shopping at a "regular" grocery store, and buying conventional produce, but I don't know how I feel about that. I know where the expensive areas of our budget are (fresh produce, especially fruit, coffee, and nuts are usually the big ticket items,) but I promise you, we are eating nearly everything we buy in a given week!

Hm. I'm at a loss. Any ideas?

Anyhow, here's this week's load from the co-op:

(You won't see coffee on the list this week, even though it's pictured, since Dan and I bought a pound from "Coffee and Tea Ltd." as a treat. I can't wait to try the Tanzania Peaberry tomorrow!)


local spelt bread

organic dry-roasted peanuts
organic, fair-trade, dark chocolate chips
organic dried cranberries
dried apricots
organic golden raisins

"Treasure Cave" Feta

organic apple juice concentrate
organic orange juice concentrate (2)
organic rasperry juice concentrate

local, organic star anise
local, organic thyme
local decaf English Breakfast tea
kava kava

kalamata olives
artichoke heart quarters
organic diced tomatoes
ginger ale (a treat for Dan)
coconut juice w/pulp (a treat for me!)
Seventh Generation dish soap
Seventh Generation paper towels

organic cotton tampons

local, organic cucumber
organic bananas
organic cantaloupe
organic cherries
organic pluots
organic ginger root
local hydroponic tomato

local, organic butter
organic Vegenaise
local, organic whole milk
local, organic heavy cream
local, organic eggs


I made a couple of simple, yet Earth-shattering meals today . . .

Roasted Yukon Gold potatoes, beets and greens, and chickpea cutlets with mustard sauce from Veganomicon. I must confess . . . I did add ketchup to my potatoes after I took the picture, and it made them that much more awesome. :)

Awesome Greek-ish salad with local lettuce, local cucumber, local tomato, artichokes, home-cooked chickpeas, kalamata olives, feta, and homemade dressing.


I'm sure I'll have a post for you tomorrow, since Courtney and I are going blueberry-picking in the morning, and THEN to the Farmer's Market!! Fresh produce, here I come!


Regina said...

I'm not certain how much you already do in this department, but coupons have helped me out a ton. I also buy a lot of Organic Valley products and I haven't paid full price in forever because of coupons. I find them online, or the boxes made available to everyone at the co-op, or at events like the Living Green Expo. I also save $ on case orders. It's a hit to the wallet initially, but you do get some good deals on staples. Sometimes I find friends to split the cases with me. Good luck! It's so hard to eat well on the cheap, but it's totally an investment! :)

Recovering procrastinator said...

I second the suggestion to check out the Web sites of your favorite organic brands. Organic Valley and Seventh Generation in particular always have coupons.

Regular grocery stores carry a lot more organic things than they used to. Might be better to get what you can there and go to the co-op for what they don't have. I'm sure they are cheaper than the co-op. Also, Rainbow doubles up to 5 coupons on Wednesdays with a $25 purchase.

I'm guessing you already grow your own herbs?

Have you thought about getting a CSA share? It's too late this year, I'm sure, but you could get one next season. It's cheaper than going to the farmer's market. Search listings here:

Also check out Fare for All. It's a food program that is open to everyone, regardless of income. You get fresh produce and frozen meat or a vegetarian substitute for REALLY cheap. It's not organic but it's healthy. Not sure if any of it is locally grown.