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Sunday Spending: Learning From You

On my one year blog-o-versary, I asked you, my peoples, for some input. Input which you so kindly provided. You’re an obliging bunch, you are. (Thank you. And I’m going to ask for a little more.) My Sunday Spending posts came up the most, as a “What do you wish I’d drop already?” response. The grocery posts are hard for me. Hard Sunday night timing wise. Hard putting it all out to the world wise. Hard continually making progress and having something to show you wise. So, I was a little tickled at the prospect of dropping them, and you’all being tickety boo with that.

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Yet, here I am. On a Sunday. With a picture of my groceries. Again. Because, I am incapable of going quietly into that good night. Everyone needs a little closure. Even groceries.

The feedback I got was that some of you don’t relate to my grocery challenges. Because you live in a different area, you have dietary restrictions, and not shopping big box is not an option. My monster budget and sacred cows are not helpful. Even those of you that are simpatico, want to see me striving for change. Balancing my concerns for uber local, organic, ethical, with that fake budget. I get that. Honestly, that was my intention when I started these posts. Forced change via public humiliation. Telling the world I spend $750 on food, with any sort of ‘frugal’ label in there, I thought there’d be an uproar. But, not so much. If most of you can’t even fathom that total, what you can get is the juggling concerns. The constant negotiation. The calculated choices.

Ever since The Return, I’ve had the luxury of swinging the pendulum to the conscientious consumerism and cost extreme. Of putting my money where my mouth is, and having a budget that reflects that. This isn’t sustainable. Not with
the life I want to live. Now, as I’m anxious to shrug off the corporate yoke (again), I need to bring things a little closer to center. That probably doesn’t involve WalMart or other retailers who shall not be named. Maybe it involves you.

When I read about your concerns, about your restrictions, about your own juggling, I thought to myself “I’d like to hear more of that”. I want to continue to hear from you. I’ll cut down on Sunday Spending. But, I’m not going to eliminate it entirely. I’d like our conversation to keep going. The only way for that to happen is for me to keep writing about it. Although our circumstances may be different, you may wince at the prices I pay, I implore you to call me on it, to tell me how you do it differently and why. Thanks in advance.

P.S. Our yearly half cow is getting delivered today. We are just eating the last of the stew meat from last year’s cow. Last year’s cow that was $5.95/lb. This years, lacking organic certification due to the butcher, but grass fed and finished, $3.75/lb. Boo-Ya!

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Comments

Crystal Wayward
Reply

The yearly half cow is a brilliant idea. Although I wince at the added electricity costs, I often flirt with the idea of investing in a deep freeze. Apparently, it’s worth it for you guys, right?

dogsordollars
Reply

Definitely worth it. We ‘inherited’ our freezer from my former employer, but they are to be had for cheap cheap on Craigslist. Start up cost, even for energy efficient models, is pretty minimal. I focus on keeping mine full, even if its just with milk jugs of water, to keep it running well. And I use it to stock up on everything – meat, dog food, berries, peppers.

laura h
Reply

Great deal on the beef!

dogsordollars
Reply

Thanks! I’m pretty darn happy with it, price and quality wise. A rare combination. :)

Roberta
Reply

I like your grocery spending posts. It’s part of the reason I started reading, well, that and the dog angle, you can always get to my heart with dogs. I can’t believe how much my husband and I spend on groceries. It’s just the two of us. We do have a descent garden and chickens but still we can spend a solid $130 on groceries a week. He’s much more frugal than I am, I tend to be a little hoard-y.

dogsordollars
Reply

Oh Roberta, you sound like me. $130 – $150/week is about comfortable for us. With major upward swings if I’m stocking up (also hoard-y). Thank so for the input on liking the grocery posts. They aren’t going away completely. I think I need to regroup and make sure everyone is getting value from them.

MoneyAfterGrad
Reply

Good deal on the half-cow ! I like the grocery spending posts as well. I appreciate how much you want and value the feedback of your readers!

dogsordollars
Reply

And I appreciate the feedback! Never thought I would stumble on such a like-minded community with so much to add. Frugal, gardening, (mostly) pet lovers. An un-tapped demographic. ;)

Kimberly C
Reply

Some weeks I swing high, but my high is closer to $110, and my average is more like $60-75. It’s rare for us to spend more than $350 a month for the two of us (adults). But my partner is happy enough to eat tuna sandwiches for weeks on end, so his expectations for novelty are low. Sometimes a dinner for us might be salmon (farmer’s market) with a simple spinach salad and steamed peas from a freezer bag. Or ravioli (from PCC) with half a jar of red pasta sauce and another spinach salad. I’ll splurge on local nectarines in season, but tend to still buy zucchini year round even when it’s shipped in from Mexico. When it comes to produce I prefer local over organic, but organic over import. After reading through the blog PocketMint for a while, I follow her advice on perusing various grocery store flyers and trying to build meals for a week around their “loss leader” specials. If QFC devotes half their front page to their special on low price flank steak, well, we’re eating flank steak that week. If I had a bit more of an income, I’d buy more of my meat as local and grassfed, but as it stands I only hit that mark 50% of the time.

And, oh do I wish we had a chest freezer. Someday!

cassadega
Reply

we also get a half cow! my mom has off-site organically raised cow and chickens that she gets slaughtered and portioned out and shares with us. (the chickens provide weekly egg donations, and every once in a while, some tasty soup.) living in rural montucky has it’s benefits: family owned gardens (that shelling a few peas can procure some free produce), hunting (if you’re into that thing), and easy access to fresh fish/berries/root veggies/mushrooms in the wild. downside being, the place deep freezes for half the year, so the crazy ‘case’ sales and costco trips when the roads are clear help to fill the pantry and basement in case of snow drifts and yeti attacks.

major debacle is dealing with feeding the toddler. doesn’t care much for meats or veggies, so we get stuck buying the ‘brand name’ crap that i swore i would never feed my children…but hey…when there’s a hunger strike, kraft mac n’ cheese starts looking pretty good. they also raise your bill my a significant amount once they start eating solid foods. we will eventually strap a bow and arrow to him and send him in the wildnerness for his own damn food.

Tina
Reply

I enjoy the grocery posts in that I hope I can take little bits and pieces from it. Here in Iowa we do have great farmers markets, but if you aren’t a regular it is a little overwhelming. I like to relate you shopping with my brother in Portland and their love of COOPS and conscious in the food they eat. We do have a new market that is set to open soon that touts having local food available in a centralized location year round, so that may help move me toward healthier and varied food choices. Baby steps, but always looking for inspiration!

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