Monday, March 12, 2012


Keeping with the “prime spender” theme, the two-week average for food spending in the Miser Mom Household is $331.  This is a definite decrease from last week's one-week average of $577.  Both 331 and 577 are prime.  Pure coincidence, but cool.
Average spending: last week, then this.

There is seldom such a thing as a “typical” spending week around here.  (Does that mean a usual week is unusual?   I guess so).  This week’s grocery haul includes food from a visiting guest who purchased groceries from our local Asian Market (more on that in a subsequent post).  Her contribution to the household food is not part of the new total.  You may rightly call “foul” on this exclusion, but I’ll keep her part out of the tally both because it’s unusual, and also because I don’t know how much she spent.

The other purchases ($39.52 + $46.07 = $85.59) are more representative of our home philosophies.  Note the plural: There are two distinct shopping approaches in this home, and what is typical for me is not to be confused with the approach preferred by my husband.   [Note also: what 39, 46, and 85 have in common is that they are NOT prime numbers.  That is also merely coincidence.]
Total amount spent, last week and then this week.

Food Trip number 1.  My husband (who is not a miser) told me he needed his special lactaid milk, so he headed out to the store.  Thirty nine dollars and fifty two cents later, he came home with his milk.  Along with the milk, he’d picked up a few things he decided we needed: 6 half gallons of ice cream, one pack of sandwich cheese, breakfast cereal, apples.

Food Trip number 2.   A few months ago at a trip to Millers (an Amish market), I’d seen cheese there at $2.65/lb, less than half the price of cheese at our local farmer’s market, and also much lower than the grocery store cheese.  It’s locally made and organic, so it scores high on just about all my shopping criteria.  Back then, I bought a bit and tested it; it tastes good.  So this week I returned and bought a stockpile of stuff: 9 lbs cheese, 3 lbs butter, 5 lbs potatoes, 5 lbs carrots, a bag of black beans, a small bag of baking soda.  Total: $46.07.

It might be instructive also to explain what I did NOT buy. 
  • Although I like to stockpile, I didn’t buy more than 3 pounds of butter; I’m still searching for a place that has a good price on it (the butter at Miller’s was a decent price, but still more expensive than their cheese); instead, I bought enough that we won’t have to do a special grocery store run for more butter this month or next. 
  • We’re out of yogurt.  I’d planned to buy a small starter batch of yogurt and more milk.  But when I got the cheese (etc), I changed my mind about the urgency of yogurt.  We’re going to be milk-less and yogurt-less until Tuesday at the earliest.  The boys are drinking large amounts of water and small amounts of cider instead. Given the rest of the food in our home, this is not the deprivation that it sounds.
  • I didn’t buy apples, even though clearly my husband loves to eat them.  First of all, he’d just gotten some, and secondly, the price at Millers wasn’t that much better.  Even more importantly, he’s choosy about apples in a way that I haven’t fully managed to master.  On the other hand, about two months ago, I made a note to self:  Come next September, I’m DEFINITELY planning to can some “cooking apples” for use in things like muffins for next year.   This will reduce our need to buy out-of-season apples as often.  
  • And I didn’t buy main-course items: thanks to the pantry principle, those are already in our freezer and cupboard at home.  

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