Sunday, April 03, 2011

Great Grocery Crunch: Week 4

Grocery Crunch Week 4

You all probably noticed that I missed last week's grocery post. I didn't think that it was a fair post, considering that I was away, was given some products from Kraft, and the whole grocery thing was thrown off kilter. This week I was back into it and regular shopping, so I took my last photo. Did I make it? How did we do?

Total: $205.74

Can I stick to $200 a week? Uh....Nope. Not at all. What a pain. What's interesting to me is every week I stayed around the same amount, so obviously I have a ball park figure in my head that I'm keeping in line with. The whole idea that I'm buying more one week, less the next? Obviously not happening.

Now I probably could stay under $200 a week, if I made changes. Maybe if I bought less expensive shampoo, or baked less, bought the cheapest products I could find, but the truth is I don't want to. I like the better quality, local, albeit more expensive, stuff.

What have I learned over the past month?

I'm not willing to substitute what I consider healthy for lower priced stuff-but also that it's pretty expensive to eat mostly from scratch. What you don't pay for when you buy the processed food, you pay for when you buy the ingredients. Is the trade off worth it? I think so. The sad thing is that I can't even imagine how people who are on welfare make it, because you obviously wouldn't have the resources to buy decent food. The stress would be unimaginable, and having to decide between buying tomatoes or carrots downright crazy.

The total for a month of groceries in my house came to approximately $820. 62. I am surprised that I managed to keep it under $1000, to be honest, and one could argue that I should include the food from last week that was bought here and there while I was away. It is true that I did have to buy some things, but my plan was to do the challenge for four full weeks and add it all up by the end, so four weeks it is.

If you are interested in the percentage of income that people spend on food around the world, this infographic from Civil Eats is quite interesting. We might be complaining about food prices rising here, but in Algeria, they already spend 43.8% of their income on food so rising costs would be far more devastating. While Canadians spend more than Americans, we still spend less than the rest of the world. Which seems weird, to me. I simply cannot imagine spending that much on food but the reality is, everyone else does.

Which in the end is kind of scary, really.

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