Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Voting with Our Grocery Dollars in July

Salome LOVES organic celery

This is month 2 of recording what we bought, what we grew, what we found in the dumpster, and what we earned from our garden. This has been a learning experience.

For those of you who haven't been keeping up with our running log or expenses in July, it can be found here.

Our stated goals at the beginning of the month were to reduce our spending on groceries and gasoline, and limit 90% of our spending to bananas and local foods.

Total Grocery Receipts: $432.75
Estimated value of Free Food We Obtained This Month: $361.55
Estimated Value of Food We Grew This Month: $115.50
Total Consumption For a Family of 5 plus 1 Cat on a Raw Diet: $909.80
This works out to $29.34 per day.

We met our first goal and significantly reduced our spending on groceries! Yay! Our total grocery receipts were $213.02 less than last month. This even includes a whopping $78.38 restaurant tab, and $11.65 on food gifts for friends. If you remove cat food, restaurant and gift spending, water, toilet paper, and my husband's nonraw cheats, then we only spent $395.31 in total. Of course, last month's tab was artificially high because we invested over $100 on frozen meat for the cat. However, if you adjust both June and July's spending to only include raw human food, then we reduced our grocery spending by $74.79. Could have been better if we didn't buy so many lychee and raw bars and dates on our Chicago trip.

It was also nice to see that we double our money's worth out of our garden, although we earned about half at the Farmer's Market. I forgot how much I made selling lettuce!

Gasoline was harder to track since we didn't keep track of gas expenses either month. We took a trip to Chicago in our car, so it is unlikely. Also, we made a total of 30 separate trips to buy food. That's almost one trip per day. This is ridiculous, although I believe it was a couple of less trips than we took in June. We have obtained a bike for my husband and we plan to fix my bike. We hope to do more by bike and limit car trips. However, almost daily car trips are inevitable, since we garden 5 miles from our house on the other side of a busy highway. Often we must carry tools and large quantities of produce, so it makes riding a bike difficult. Tacking 1 or 2 extra miles onto the trip to stop at stores seems like no big deal. But, it really adds up over time.

We increased our consumption of locally grown products slightly from $274.00 in June to $292.56. However, when taken in context with our overall drop in spending, this means However, most of this was either grown by us or gifted to us by family and friends. If we think of each dollar we spend as a vote, we only increased our votes for local foods from $35.00 to $38.85; hardly a victory. We also bought more organic foods, though I didn't calculate the exact amount.

We definitely got more bananas this month than in June, but as to limiting our spending to bananas and local, we did not meet our goal.

In August, I begin an experiment to follow the 100 mile diet with the The Northwest Illinois Local Foods Task Force. Stay tuned for more information about this tomorrow. Should be an adventure!


Anonymous said...

Good Morning Marjorie! Couldn't sleep and saw that my daughter had left the computer on, so finished reading your blog entries for April and May. I had already read July, so still need to get back to June. I am going to try 80-10-10 in the morning and am excited/nervous. It was your blog that really got me interested, so I thought it might give me encouragement; it did. :-) I have a refrigerator full of fresh fruit and greens, so I am as ready as I will ever be. Much more restrictive than I have ever done, so am a little nervous.

Thanks again for your lovely, informative blog and sharing your beautiful family and experiences. I am raising a raw grandson and have the same fears you have. The proof will be in these children. He was a late talker and people even asked if it was his diet! Now that he talks and is perfectly healthy, there are no more questions, but it is hard not to question ourselves. I am back to bed.

Raw Blessings for You and Yours!

Greenmama said...

Hi Connie,

I am so thrilled for you and wish you all the best with 80-10-10. I absolutely LOVE reading your blog.

I encourage you to rethink your idea that it is "restrictive." This is a very negative and painful vibration to hold and will undermine your success. I don't feel restricted, and as a result, have not had a problem cheating.

However, if you've read my blog, you already know that eating healthfully is intertwined with being emotionally and spiritually healthy. And that journey is a BIG ONE and not always easy.

I wish you much love and happiness!


p.s. I want to give another plug to the Path of Health Yahoo community. I have gotten an immense amount of help there.