Since today was our payday I am doing a soft start to our eat/shop local challenge. Since most of October has to come out of this paycheck (we only get one a month) then I figure I’d better start. My groceries were pretty straight forward but with the caveat of I have company coming this next week. This means two things: There are dietary restrictions and three extra people to feed. Not a big deal, just something to take into consideration.
So what did I buy and what did I spend?
Total spent: $90.41
Number of people in household: 4 (+3 next week) We are broken into two kids, two adults, and next week there will be three more adults.
Dietary restrictions: We lean toward the lactose intolerant (mostly we ignore this). Our guests are vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
What did I actually buy? Tea, baking powder, mustard, gluten-free pancake mix, yogurt, tortillas, dish soap, chocolate, gluten-free chips, coffee, animal crackers, raspberries, lettuce, bananas, guest soaps, shampoo bar, and two cold drinks (a coffee and an apple juice) for the drive home.
Not a ton of stuff, several splurges, almost all local or organic, and will only last us a week or so. But, I have a pantry full of things, I have a freezer full of meat, I have two hens that give me eggs, and I will be shopping at one other store and the farmers’ market this weekend.
Where I shopped: Our local grocery co-op Hometown Harvest.
What I still need to purchase this month:
Cucumbers, flour, sugar, salt, butter, cheese, chicken breasts, garlic salt, Lemishine (for my dishwasher), oatmeal, beer, wine, salsa, rice vinegar, apples, mayonnaise, and pop tarts (our Saturday morning treat). Most likely I’ll need more lettuce/salad greens as well as some more fruit. Oh, and my household items I’ll need conditioner but I think everyone else is okay on stuff. My grocery budget tends to include household items in addition to actual groceries.
I’ll bake bread or get it at the farmers’ market. The markets and produce start to become scarce this time of year though. I am also lucky in that in my state it is legal to buy raw milk so long as you go to the farm. That is a $5/week purchase for our family. We do one gallon a week usually. Sometimes a little more that we usually buy store bought for a half gallon. We seldom need that though. Lactose intolerance? Well… the raw milk is less of an issue than store bought. Why? Not sure exactly but we think it may have to do with enzymes that help with the digestion of the milk. Just our random guess though. No proof or scientific evidence. We just know things are more pleasant around our household on the raw milk than on store bought and it helps support a farming friend. I think I am going to start getting butter from her as well. Maybe. That decision has not been made yet.
So how does all this compare to the big box store purchase? I usually spend $150-$300 at the big box store in one big chunk and then end up with a few weekly purchases of produce at $20-$50 so all-in-all I’m spending around $600-$700 a month on groceries and household goods. This month may very well end up being more expensive for us. We shall see.
Oh, I just remembered. I also usually do food for the dog, 2 cats, 2 chickens, and soon to be 2 goats in that budget as well. Dog food is about $25 every other month with one large dog. This gets me a 50 pound bag. When we had two dogs, this was every month. Chickens are about $20 every other month. One bag of layer pellets and one bag of scratch. When they are ranging like right now it is less money because they eat less of the commercial stuff. The cats are about $15 every other month. One disappears and must go either hunting or to a neighbor’s house to eat so I don’t go through much there. No idea what the goats will run me yet. I’ve got about $30 worth of hay (4 bales) and a couple acres of pasture. We’ll see what they run through.
This gets me started. Local grocery store that has lots of local products. Tomorrow will be the farmers’ market and all local goods.