Like many people, I have a hard time reconciling my healthy, sustainable self with my cheap self. I realize that there are some serious issues with our modern farming systems. In my writing, though, I tell people not to buy locally produced, grass-fed or organic products because they are way too expensive on a tiny budget. If finances are your first priority, you can't afford to buy health food. You just can't. There are ways to HAVE health food, but you can't afford to buy it. As I mentioned in my last spending report, however, we have not been using up all of our grocery money. It's been too easy to buy junk food and still be under budget. I'm ready for a new challenge besides just spending not-a-lot of money on food.
While I don't plan on buying everything organic, I would love to gradually transition to mostly grass-fed meats because I feel like they have real health benefits. Of course there are some health benefits to certified organic products as well, but I feel like the difference is greater between grass-fed and grain-fed than between organic and non-organic. Over the past few weeks, I've been pricing out grass-fed meats to see what a good ballpark price is. I looked at buying meat by the piece and also by the whole animal. It's actually slightly cheaper ($1.00 per pound or so) to purchase grass-fed meat by the piece, if you stick to buying ground meat or the very cheapest cuts.
My festival-purchased meats were $6.00/lb. (beef) and $4.50/lb. (sausage). Average price per pound was $5.21. While this is 2-3 times more expensive than what I normally buy, it's the going rate for what I was looking for.
Aside: I also got two Free Friday items at Kroger! You can see these in my haul picture later.
2. Cooking: I made two potluck items this week out of things we had on hand. I also made yogurt, Greek yogurt, and "healthy" sugar-free brownies. Meals: baked potatoes, leftovers, tacos, "southwest" potatoes, hash, mac 'n' cheese, hotdogs, pizza, ham and potato soup, and more leftovers.
3. Gardening: It was a bit cooler this week, so I didn't do as much gardening. I did weed the strawberries and some of the raised beds.
4. Free stuff: A nearby town had their annual "junk days" where people set out their junk by the curb. For date night, we went "junking". A lot of it is just trash, but I did find a nice belt, some Nike flip flops, flower pots and a Thermos that I'll either sell on Ebay or use (if it doesn't sell).
5. Personal Care: I restocked my stash of baby wipes at Kroger for $0.66 per package. I waited until I had coupons and they went on sale. Huggies and Pampers are so much better than Parent's Choice. I buy the individual smaller packages to keep in our diaper bag. At home we use cloth wipes, so these disposable ones will last a long time!
In the pic below you can also see the Free Friday deals I picked up: