It has been a lifetime since I updated this blog. I got a job working a graveyard shift, and that alone has made me more exhausted and busy than any other aspect of my life. With that came an influx in our grocery budget, and it was no longer as important to stick to this budget and goal. Every week when I spend and spend on groceries, I feel a tinge of guilt. Even though I only hit my $75/ week goal a couple of times, I kick myself knowing that it is possible to be frugal with the grocery budget, but I am choosing not to be. So, the grand experiment starts again.
Some issues that plagued the former attempt at feeding a vegetarian family on the cheap:
1. In order to keep within budget I had to compromise nutritional choices I would have rather not. One very large compromise was feeding my toddler non-organic fruits and vegetables. As I tend to subscribe to the non-GMO side of the GMO debate, there is developing research linking ADHD with increased levels of the most commonly used pesticides, and my daughters brain is in it's most rapidly developing stage... I feel I can no longer make these compromises.
2. Previously while trying to stick to my budget, the idea of shopping for locally grown and produced items seemed laughable. It has always seemed that fruits and veggies at the farmers market are priced well above their grocery store counter parts. After joining a CSA for 10 weeks, it is no longer out of reach. While I have decided not to renew my membership with the CSA, I will continue to buy local food to not only support local farms, but receive fresher, tastier items. I am convinced there is a way to buy locally on a limited budget.
Visit websites of local farms prior to the farmers market to determine which veggies should be selling at the farm stand. I will plan the weekly menu three days at a time. Given that we live in Austin and a fresh farm stand is available everyday of the week, we have ample opportunity. I will frequent the farm stands/farmers markets on Saturdays and Wednesday. The remaining ingredients will be purchased at local grocery stores. The new experiment is to buy local, organic fruits and veggies while preparing healthy delicious meals for a family or 3 (and a dog) for roughly $100/week. I will post the recipes, cost of each meal, and a weekly grocery list each week. This will now be done a week behind, so all reviews and issues are listed up front.
I apologize for the 6 month lapse! Here's to a fresh start!
The new and improved upcoming weekly menu will be posted Sunday October 17th.