Saturday, February 28, 2009

February Totals

So here we are at the end of February and I've overspent on food. Not on booze or pet food but food for the human 2/3 of the family. I can justify it any way I'd like but as this is not an exact science I know this is gonna happen and I'm not too bent out of shape about it. We were close and then Henry returned home and was quite ill for the past few days and he asked for some soda and that put us over the top but the last thing I'm willing to do is sacrifice comfort for a sick 10 year old.

Anyway, February totals are as follows:

Food $201.97
Booze $45.73
Pet Food $43.00

I'm still quite please with this, keeping myself in interesting vino, good relatively healthy food and feeding a 100+ lb dog for under $300 a month is fine with me. Adding in the January totals I get the following figures:

Food $370.91
Booze $88.68
Pet Food $81.65

Now it seems it is probably easier to keep well under budget if I shop relatively equally from week to week setting the 25% goal rather than going hog wild the first weekend and then trying to stay more disciplined throughout the month however we're back to that not an exact science thing and we're low on some staples such as vanilla extract, maple syrup, brown rice, onions, spuds, etc. All of these things are rather spendy especially since we're buying natural - an example is something like Log Cabin or Golden Griddle maple syrup made from hi-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavorings cost about $4 for a qt the last time I looked. Grade B real maple syrup in bulk is $12+ a pint. All of which brings me to the next point I'm trying to make as we continue on this project...

I continue to read how eating natural foods (organic, grass fed, free range, locally, etc) is not really a viable idea for people of limited financial means; well I'm hear to call a resounding bullshit to that. We buy milk from a local dairy (Golden Glen Creamery) that pastures their milk cows as often as weather allows and feeds hay when not able to allow the cows to pasture. No rBST, stabilizers, additives, colorants or any other such stuff and they use only glass bottles as well as only market in Washington state in order to have less of an environmental impact by washing the bottles and not transporting their products over vast distances. I'm all for this and we will continue to patronize a thoughtful, natural, local producer for our milk needs but we pay $8.98 a gallon for this milk. That's right, very nearly $9 a gallon while many are complaining about $4 a gallon for milk and I have been buying as much as we want to drink without reservation; I drink more of it that Henry does and I'm here 100% of the time. We continue to buy cheese that's well over $20 per lb but we buy small quantities and enjoy the yummy handcrafted quality of local conscientious producers. We purchase locally grown organic, fresh vegetables and fruit that is in season or able to be stored for long periods such as local onions, apples and spuds. We're eating right, eating until we're full, having treats (baked home-made cookies last night but that's another post) and we're still able to do it on less than most people would expect.

This past month I was not nearly as careful or mindful of my shopping as I had been in January and it showed by being so close to the edge by the end of the month. I am trying to find that happy medium between conscientiousness/mindfulness and keeping up with a relatively busy scheduled life. We still have quite a few higher priced items left from my purchases last month; chicken breasts, cheese, etc as well as some specialty items such as Sound Tastes Lime Riesling Chimmichurri and Mt. Townsend Chipotle Cheese Curds so one we get staples purchased I'm sure March will go fine budget-wise. So far in 2009 we're averaging just over $175 a month in groceries less than $47 a week. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and state for the record our little project continues to be a big success.

Keep those cards and letters coming, I like getting your comments and I'm open to any suggestions you might have or any successes any of you are enjoying.


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