Monday, April 30, 2012


The 9-week grocery average: $159, about $6 higher than last week.
Average weekly spending, each week since March 1.
That rise in the average is because this past week, our  one-week grocery spending totalled $210.
Weekly spending since early March

What did we buy this week?  A bit of splurging (well, okay, two bits of splurging), plus a bunch of frugal spending.

Splurge #1.  An 8-dollar-trip to Market for yogurt and milk transformed into a 39-dollar-trip when I spied real maple syrup, in a real glass jar.  About two years ago, I decided to perform my own little one-person boycott of syrup: the choice seemed to be between cheap processed corn-based syrup, on the one hand, and wickedly expensive real maple syrup on the other hand.  I couldn't hack either choice.  I switched to homemade jams instead.

This is a parade I march in, in which no-one follows.

My husband still loves the expensive, real $yrup.  My boys still love syrup in any form it appears [mumble-mumble-blush: they get the artificial goop.  Pay no attention to the bottle  behind the curtain].  At any rate, when I saw I could get something nice for my guy without getting plastic, I plunked down $22 on a half-gallon of NY state maple syrup.  Call it insanity; call it love; it's the soft underbelly of my devotion to my guy.

Splurge #2.  My only homemade daughter, my sole birth daughter, came back into town.  It is a family tradition that she makes mac-N-cheese mixed with hot dogs and garlic.  This is fake-food-heaven, and my children revel in it.  You do not have to eat this; I share this so you will know I am not at all perfect. (While my husband was at the grocery store getting processed food-stuffs, he also bought frozen peas and several jars of mayonaise, for a total of $42.)
On the lower-left, evidence that my daughter has been in town.
Elsewhere, dry staples.  

Frugal spending:  I took a trip with a friend to Millers, our local Amish-run, organic food store.  I spent $128 on a bunch of staples:  50lbs flour, 30 lbs dried beans, 20 lbs oats, 5 lbs sugar, 5 lbs sesame seeds, 2 lbs bulgher wheat, apples.

Unlike the rest of the spending, the Miller haul is deliberate, planned to last a long time, planned to feed our family for several months.  (For example, I know our family goes through 50 lbs of flour in about 3 months).  The food, because it's organic and mostly local, is not the cheapest of its kind.  The flour, for example, cost $45 for 50 lbs; I'm sure I could scout around and get a cheaper price elsewhere.  Probably ditto on the dried beans.  But the type of food itself is cheap:  it's not meat or cheese or other pricey stuff.  Hearty.
Some people say I'm full of beans.  Hard to argue with that!

Also unlike the rest of the spending, the Miller haul brought home a bunch of groceries that left us with nothing to eat.  The flour has to be made into bread/muffins/waffles; the beans need to be soaked.  The apples are ready to go, but the rest of the food needs some preparation. And yet, this is the food I'm the proudest of.  This is the food I'm putting the Miser Mom stamp-of-approval on.

Meanwhile, the kids do their little happy dance around the mac-n-cheese, the hot dogs, the corn/maple syrup.  Food that can actually be eaten.  Real life, real food, and as always, reality depends on the belly doing the consuming.

1 comment:

  1. We have a simple syrup struggle that goes on around here. Just when I think I've rid us of the high fructose nemesis, I opened the cabinet this weekend to find a brand new bottle.

    I hung my head in shame.

    As processed foods go, box mac with hot dogs is heads and shoulders above that syrup substitute.

    Not sure about the garlic though. :/