Groceries are getting expensive. Everything is going up in cost. It can make the little details in life feel stressful. Eating should never be stressful.
To start, we've reduced our diet to nearly vegan with a little bit of fish here and there. We have also purchased a few reusable grocery bags and begun a garden. We are going sustainable, and hopefully we'll survive.
I know, you are thinking, "Well won't that all cost more?" And my answer is an emphatic "NO". Turning to our local community and the fruits of our own hard labor will reduce our cost. Below, you will find the three things that we are doing to reduce our bill.
A CSA is a style of purchasing produce that has been going on for centuries. This spring/summer/fall, my family has contracted with a local farm to deliver us a fresh basket of produce weekly. It is a huge savings! For example, the farm that we are receiving our farm-fresh produce from is only $768 for 48 weeks! That is sixteen dollars a week to feed a family of four. There is no way that you'll find that kind of savings in a grocery store. Not only that, the box includes eggs, bread, and honey!
The next thing that we will be doing to reduce our produce cost is to rent out a community garden plot. Many cities, towns, suburb areas are sprouting up more and more of these areas. Community gardens work by renting out a section of a garden for a certain amount of time. Some gardens charge by the month, others by the season, and some (very few) by the year. This year, we found a community garden located on the nearby university grounds that charges by the year. We paid $40 for the entire year and we can grow whatever we desire. Adding that to the bill, plus the cost of seeds, and we are still no where near what we were spending prior to this adventure. Community gardens are a great way to get to know your neighbors, spend time with your family, and learn the lesson of "reaping what you sow"....literally.
The Farmer's Market
I used to think that the people who buy their produce at the local Farmer's Market were snooty and loaded with money. Sure, some probably are, but the family went to the market recently and I noticed something fantastic-- the prices aren't so bad. In fact, many of the booths come in at a lower cost than that of the supermarket. This is because there is no middle man. To supplement the above sources of food, my family will use the Farmer's Market growers to acquire produce, grains, etc. in order to feed our growing family. We are giving ourselves a budget of $20 for the weekly market venture.
Okay, so let's look at the new budget for groceries this coming year: combining the CSA, the garden, and the Farmer's Market budgets, my family will be spending approximately, $35 per week in groceries. I don't know about you, but that is a stellar number. With a little hard work and sacrifice (i.e. no eating out and eating whole foods) you can do this with us, too!