Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Food/Money Debate

Gosh darnit... We are trying so hard to save for a house, but everything just keeps going up, and before we know it, we are dipping into our savings for things like gas or groceries. I menu plan, I make shopping lists, and stick with them, we've eaten out about twice a month since Christmas. And yet, our food bill just keeps going up. I know this has to do a lot with the food prices going up... that doesn't make it less frustrating. Today, at Trader Joe's (which is my favorite chain store) the organic black beans that were $.89 a can in my price book last year were $1.09 today. The organic pasta that I always get was $.99/lb... which is AWESOME, and honestly $1.29 today is still awesome... but when those are our 'quick foods' and they cost that much more... well you can imagine how our other food costs look.

We started with this great organic distributing co two months ago, and I think we are going to have to cancel. It isn't that it is that spendy, but they give us things for our $25 a week that I wouldn't buy. I would not buy an organic pineapple from Hawaii. I wouldn't buy organic Kiwi. And the things I would buy are easy to find at the Fred Meyers down the street. Organic oranges, organic apples and pears from WA. Yes... I can find them around here. I am dedicated to organic dairy and organic free range chicken and beef.... which I can find at TJ's and I only eat about twice a week now for prices sake.

I keep thinking about skimping on the good stuff. Just buy the BGH2 free milk instead of organic... it saves you $2.50 per gallon. Why not? But I just can't. We only use milk to eat cereal and cook with... none of us just have a glass of milk. But honestly, if we did that would make the organic MORE important... not less. I stocked up on meat when we got our tax return and I am SO glad. It is helping our grocery bill quite a bit right now... but not enough.

Sometimes I wish I was ignorant.

10 comments:

Sarah said...

I hear you, especially around the milk and dairy, but you know.. you are doing the right thing. When I look at my daughter and think about things like pre-mature development, it makes those extra dollars for Organic milk worth it. Hard times for sure. We are resourceful ladies though. I know we can make it work!

Sarah said...

Forgot to mention how much I love your new quote. I have it for sure! I'm all scattered wanting to do everything at once and the air feels different outside and the SUN! the SUN is back! Stronger everyday. It makes me very very glad.

Sadie said...

I force my-self to be ignorant sometimes...we simply don't have the funds. I wish I lived in a more organic/local friendly area....

Jody said...

I can so , so relate. So many say, "Oh, yes, it is possible to eat real foods on a budget," but, you know what? It's becoming less possible.

I have a friend who, when they say their blessing over their food, she adds a prayer that whatever it is they are eating (that she's completely lowered her standards on) blesses and nurtures their bodies.

Katie said...

Totally understand and relate, and I am feeding less people. I agree that dairy & meat need to be organic....I have to believe that things are going to get better for all of us...hang in there!

Beth said...

I guess Im one of the ignorant ones. I dont buy organic milk. We dont drink enough of it to make that make sense. We get very little of it and we're all living fine with no unhealthy kids. As a matter of fact, none of us, aside from Seth's allergies, has gotten sick at all this entire winter! I just eat healthier when we can but not organic. I grow my own veggies in the Spring/Summer and I shop at the Farmers Market when its in season and I buy Turkey instead of hamburger, but I dont break the bank with our food when the less good-for-us foods are out there and cheaper. Because 'regular' milk that we dont drink alot of anyway isnt going to kill us. Thats my thinking anyway.

Nessa said...

I am having the hardest time as well. I joined thegrocerygame.com to help as well as the blog fiddledeedeeblog.blogspot.com to help match deals with stacking coupons. Needless to say I now have a huge coupon binder and it takes a lot of time to sit and plan what to buy at the best price, menu and meal planning etc. I like to shop at the local farmer's market for produce, I have some veggies I'm growing and I do my best to get grass fed/organic meats but there are times I have to get the regular cereal, regular chicken, regular dressings etc. I can't go organic on all of it anymore like I would like to. I still get organic milk because I have a 15 month old. Plus, I can't no get organic milk.

The catch is, more people have to buy organic in order for the prices to go down. I don't see that happening right now. I hope times get better soon for all of us.

Nessa

Heather said...

I hear you on this. So hard.

Val in the Rose Garden said...

I have decided to bite the bullet and get a crock pot with savings money. If we were making a pot of beans every week and a stew in the crock pot once a week that could cut our bill significantly. Alex broke mine about a month ago and I didn't think I needed to replace it right away... but I used a friends yesterday, and it was wonderful... so that is my plan. I have more plans. I will post later. :)

Val

willowluna said...

Val-you could do beans without a crock pot and keep that money in savings. I usually cook either black beans or chick peas. I soak them overnight, then cook them for a minimum of 1.5 hours. I make a bunch at once, use some right away for that evening's dinner, then I freeze the rest. It works really well and is a fraction of the cost of the canned beans.

Good luck with this. The coming growing season is sure to help your food bill. Best wishes on the house saving.