Last week of our challenge month. My assessment: I need the big box store for about 3 things. Dog food, cat food, and toilet paper. Otherwise I can pretty well skip it. It is convenient in that I can shop once for the month and be done other than one maybe two other trips for some fresh produce. The lack of headache and frustration though is awesome. All-in-all I really haven’t spent any more money than I normally do. Maybe a tad more in gas since I have had to go to a couple of different stores to get everything. I have found my little co-op is great for meat, granola, chocolate, and a few other small things here and there. Another store is better for the produce and dairy.
What have we learned about our eating habits and money habits? We eat mostly local with a few modern luxuries thrown in. We love bananas and coffee. Cereal is a wonderful convenience in the morning. Not better food but wonderful in just how convenient it is. We balance it with local raw milk.
Our experience has always been that we try to eat healthy but we aren’t above taking advantage of some of the modern convenience foods. Do I think we should use them every time for every meal? Not at all. For example, I try to make all of our own bread but there are just some days it isn’t happening because of schedules and poor planning on my part so we occasionally buy a loaf. I don’t care for it but if it means getting dinner on the table at a reasonable hour without stressing everyone out to the nth degree than we are good. No sense in stressing every little thing.
It is things like the fact that I know how to make yogurt, I don’t. I prefer store-bought and it means I don’t have to have a bunch of extra jars and stuff handy and I find the family doesn’t realize the yogurt is there if it is in jars. I can make granola, and I do sometimes, but usually I’d rather support my friend that makes it. She isn’t expensive, it is delicious and it takes one more thing off of my plate of things to do. Sure, I think it would be better for our pocketbook and our health if I did it but there are limits to how much a person can do in a day.
Oh! I just remembered a funny store from my shopping trip the other day. I went into the store to get produce and found Gala apples on sale for $.99/pound so since the produce guy was standing right there I asked if he had a case of them in the back I could buy. He said yes and took it up front for me. I proceeded to finish my shopping without thinking about anything in particular. I also found flour was on sale so I picked up a 10 pound bag. Not a lot when you figure I usually try to find a 25 pound bag, but most of the stores don’t carry them. I got to the checkout and as I’m paying the cashier was asking me what I was going to be baking. I gave her a blank look because I was confused. I couldn’t figure it out. Then she explained, “A case of apples, and that big ol’ bag of flour, you must be making apple pies or something.” Nope. I had to explain that no, that was just our normal amount of apples for about a month and same with flour. The flour may last more like two or three but still it isn’t out of my normal to buy that amount of flour. It made me realize that most people probably buy boxed food and don’t really cook from scratch. That trip I had nothing but ingredients. Fruits, vegetables, cheese, and flour. I suppose it did look like I was going to do a bunch of baking. I am, just not all in one whack.
This whole month has made me realize our family has many things we can work on in order to eat healthier but we do make an effort. We cook more from scratch than the “average” person but not as much as others. I think we will continue to try to avoid the big box stores. Right after I go get some dog and cat food. 🙂