Monday, November 5, 2012

$129: More happiness

This past week, we spent $14 on groceries:  my husband bought coffee.  That's it.  It brings our 33-week grocery average to $129/week.

129 (like last week's 132) is a happy number.  If we had 6 fingers instead of 10 --- which, oddly, seems to make a lot of sense to me from a design standpoint -- we'd write 129 as "333" instead.  In base 2, 129 is "10000001".  That's cool.

But $129 (the dollar amount, not the mathematical number) means a lot to me.  I started keeping track of grocery spending last March because I felt in my bones that it was entirely reasonable to spend less than $25 per person per week on groceries.  I felt this, even though I live with (and love) a non-miser husband who purchases a bunch of non-miser-style groceries.
(This week's purchase of coffee, by the way, is something I admit I wholeheartedly approve of.  Mathematicians are machines for turning coffee into theorems, or so said mathematician Alfréd Rényi, and so I do consider coffee to be an essential staple of our home life).
We're entering the months that I expect to be entirely "fringe" spending.  That is, we have vegetables canned up and stored in abundance.  We have meat and cheese and butter in the freezer.  We have pasta and rice set by.  There are beans galore in jars and cans and bags, down in my cellar.  So the only things we need to buy before next spring's growing season comes around are the fringes, the "extras":  dairy products, primarily.  Occasional condiments.  And stuff my husband deems essential.  This week is partial proof of my theory that our spending is going to continue to be low in the months ahead.  And I expect that time will prove me right, and that our weekly grocery average will come down to well under $125/week for our 5 person family.

Time will tell, of course.  But I'd like to think that eating mostly healthful foods (healthful for us, but also supportive of our communities and our planet) doesn't mean spending lots of money.  Rich eating can be a frugal adventure.

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