Wednesday, February 4, 2009


So we're a few days into the new month and I don't find any reason to go off half cocked and start spending crazy amounts of $s on food. I had a big shopping weekend of which we'll talk more in a moment but it's been busy with life getting in the way of my project so rather than obsessing about it I just quit writing about it instead. I even heard from one of you my fair readers telling me more posts! Alright, alright...

As I wrote above, a big shopping weekend. A trip to the big box discounter and bought chicken breasts, asiago, omega 3 eggs and broccoli. I know, I know I was going to try and buy fresh all the time but the chicken there is grown locally in WA or OR and although the broccoli is brought in from CA at least it's the West coast, a 3# bag lasts a couple weeks and it's all usable, no throwaway even nothing for the worms or the compost pile. I had to drive to the city last week so rather than driving again I went to the wine shop where I usually find a number of nice little juice bottles for inexpensive and so although not yet the new month, I shopped rather than driving back in and I'm putting that trip on February's ledger.

Sunday found Henry and I meeting friends Scott and Edie @ the farmer's market where we sampled a plethora of fine tastes. Flavored sea salts; vanilla, garam masala, apple spice, olive, etc from a new purveyor. All delicious and really interesting and great flavors. Cheeses, organic fresh nut butters, breads, organically grown local in season vegetables... Even in the winter the pickings were far from slim. I ended up with a fresh cheese called Ladysmith from Samish Bay Cheese in Bow and chipotle cheese curds from Mt. Townsend Creamery in Port Townsend. Some lime / riesling chimichurri from Sound Bites in Tacoma, organic carrots from Full Circle Farms. A trip to the grocery to round things out for a big pork shoulder roast, whole wheat flour, and organic milk for yogurt and I was into the month having blown a full 50+% of my food wad for February!

Not to obsess about this, I figure that although in about $102 already, I really don't need to buy much besides fresh produce and milk for the remainder of the month (although I do need honey for bread but more on that in another post as well) so really it's not all that bad. The wine bill was $45.73 for 5 bottles; two of which are from the NW so didn't even need to be shipped a long way either and usually the inexpensive juice that's worth drinking is all from far, far away. We did end up under by over 15% last month, if I maintain this month which should be slightly easier as it is 3 days shorter, then I think some good habits will have taken root.

RESEARCH WARNING! Semi-Scientific Findings!
OK, so in researching what the average family spends on food I have come up with a few things here. The feds believe that the median family spends about 13% of their income on food. The median family income for King County is just under $70K so that means about $760 per month for a family of 4. Halving that I come up with $380.00 per month for a family of 2 so based on that I saved $210 last month on groceries and counting the fact that there was not dining out, I couldn't really count that against the grocery bill except for the Chinese New Year lunch and would have come in under even including that. I have now told my 10 year old that whatever we save under the $380 while still maintaining and healthy, fresh and varied diet we can stash for a trip to Costa Rica that he's been asking for the past 2 years. I think that's incentive enough to keep on keepin' on with "the plan".

OK, so that was a mouthful for a guy that thought he had writer's block when he sat down. I'm back to the tube for some last minute R&R before an early bedtime and early rise tomorrow (5am alarms get old).


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