Well, folks, the most recent numbers are in for the Cheap Eat Challenge this month. After adjusting for the vitamin credit ($20) and the entertaining credit ($25--you can have a look at the rules here), we spent $225.22, which comes up to $7.26/day. We tend to hover around there, don't we?
The breakdown is as follows:
If you long for obsessive compulsive info about what we spent or what we ate, check out the links.
What we wasted:
A bit more than normal actually, though still very little.
-Several hard-boiled eggs--they just got too old after Easter. Sigh.
-a serving of bean dip that wasn't that good, but that I intended to eat anyway, but then it just got too old. I was a little relieved.
-Several mostly uneaten pieces of naan--we had kids over and they didn't like the dal. I knew I should have started people out with half pieces
-Oodles of bread crusts, though the geese that come to our backyard have gotten lots this month too.
-Crackers with PB--bits here and there. it drives me a little crazy, but what to do.
-A little bit of applesauce from kids' lunches.
How we cheated:
-I didn't count foods I bought specifically for my birthday. It was a gift to me.
-I'm not counting full milk share or CSA costs, as at this time of year there's not a whole lot of food coming in from these sources. The cows milk supply is quite low right now and the CSA just barely started getting a crop (naturally). I counted $8.00 from our milk share and $6 from our CSA. This, of course, is total cheating, but by way of making excuses for myself, part of the reason I do these things is to be involved in my local food scene, not just to be a cheapskate. However, the cheapskate within is expecting that they will also prove to be financially beneficial as well.
A realization and a change:
A realization: When I began this blog, I really wanted to do the whole $6/day thing by using some local sources and by eating humanely raised meats. I think we've done pretty darn well in this department, but we have not yet been able to hit $6/day or even get in the $6 range (even with our cheating ways as noted above). I still believe that this is humanly possible to do while eating nutritiously and perhaps even including a little bit of meat. We could cut out at least $10 of chocolate/chocolate chip costs in the month, for example. And we could probably reduce our milk intake somewhat without ill effect. However, I don't think it's something my family is willing to do.
A change: However, I'm still curious to see if we can do the $6/day thing (or at least hit the $6/range). I've put some thought into it. For the month of June I'm going to be buying regular old meat from the regular old grocery store. I can't, at this point, get rid of my CSA (nor do I wish to), but I'm going to count the produce I get from it at grocery store costs--meaning that if I get 3 lb of peaches in June, I'm simply going to see how much they're costing at the regular grocery store that week and count them for that price. Same thing with milk. My purpose in this is to see how much our food each month would cost us if we were just regular old Joes buying regular old food from the regular old Walmart (or Aldi as it were).
And from there on: In July, we'll go back to our humanely raised meat. Also, I'll start counting the full milk share cost (regardless of how much milk I get from it) and the full CSA cost (regardless of how much produce we get from it). And see how much we end up spending while using and supporting these local resources. I believe that this is how we'll do it for the rest of the year. It won't be $6/day, but I expect it will be well under $10.
Here's to good food that doesn't break the bank!