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!)

example

BREAD:
local spelt bread

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

CHEESE:
"Treasure Cave" Feta

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

HERBS & SPICES:
local, organic star anise
local, organic thyme
local decaf English Breakfast tea
kava kava

PACKAGED GROCERY:
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

PERSONAL CARE:
organic cotton tampons

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

REFRIGERATED GROCERY:
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 . . .

Lunch:
example
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. :)

Dinner:
example
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!

2 comments:

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: http://www3.mda.state.mn.us/mngrown/

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. http://www.emergencyfoodshelf.org/OurFamilyOfPrograms/ffa/