So has anyone been participating in the Sustainable Food Budget Challenge? Here’s an update on how our family has done for the last two weeks.
The week of Easter, we did really well. It helped that we were only hosting dessert for my mom and Manuel, and that they brought the carrot cake. I did make a ham with an orange glaze, but the ham was from the hog we bought in November. It was probably around 5 pounds, so it was pretty inexpensive. That week we ate, Super Spaghetti (spaghetti with spinach, cheese and egg all added to the sauce), pork chops with summer squash & potatoes (veggies from the freezer), antelope steak with green beans and corn bread, tilapia with escarole and tomato pasta, leek, spinach & mushroom quiche, and that Friday we also had a pizza night with a couple of friends (I made sausage and mushroom pizza on whole wheat crust). Rick also made some zucchini bread from frozen zucchini.
So, the grocery receipt was $69.02, plus the stuff from the freezer (squash, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, ham and antelope). It’s SO hard for me to estimate the cost of those stock-piled items. We’ll put the pork at $2/pound. So that’s $10. The antelope… we paid $59 for the whole animal… I think there was about 40 pounds of meat total, so that’s $1.48/pound. Including the left overs for Rick’s lunch, we probably ate about a pound, before cooking, give or take. Also, $1.97 for the sausage for the pizza. For the veggies, probably a pound of potatoes, two big tomatoes, a whole squash and 4 cups shredded zucchini. Geeze. I can’t remember what those seeds cost, or how to figure the cost of those in. Maybe they’re freebies??? Is that cheating?
Well, for the groceries and meat, my total for week two is about: $82.47
Week two’s sustainability? Well, the meat is, of course, and the veggies from the freezer. Rick went to the store that week, so I can’t testify to everything he bought. But I know he got local milk and eggs, and probably about half the veggies he bought were organic. We got sparkling lemonade as a treat for Easter, and that was made locally. And the non-organic mushrooms were locally grown as well. Otherwise, I think we’re not so sustainable on the juices, tilapia and pasta.
For week three, we spent quite a bit more. $92.76 at the store and another $4.76 at Chick-Fil-A (Rick just couldn’t resist, and I don’t blame him). So, that’s $97.52. We ate ham & egg fried rice (the ham was left over from Easter) with bok choy (not organic), Glorious Mac & Cheese (from Glorius One Pot Meals: it has tons of veggies), spinach & pinto bean salad with biscuits, and antelope chili. Tonight we’re supposed to have pork scalopinni with mushrooms, tomorrow is tortilla soup with black beans, and Wednesday is supposed to be a spinach & cheddar omelet. But I’ll probably nix the omelet, since we have lots of left over chili. The only things coming from the freezer for week three is the pork for the scalopinni, pork from yesterday’s biscuits and gravy for breakfast, the antelope meat, and some corn and green chiles. So that’s another $6.90.
Provided Rick doesn’t eat lunch out until Wednesday, week three’s total is $104.42. Most everything made it into one sustainable category or another, except the pineapple, pasta, lemons, and cherry tomatoes I bought (I know… tomatoes!). A vast improvement, but the bill was higher. Though I did buy two boxes of cereal (we usually don’t eat cereal), and some snacky foods at Rick’s request. So that contributed to the higher price as well.
In week one, I originally reported us at spending $88.63, but we ended up with another $11 on misc. things (a trip to Einstein’s and I ran to Whole Foods for pizza dough and a bottle of Naked Juice on Friday, since the day got away from me and I didn’t make my dough ahead of time). So that brings week one up to $99.63.
For the month so far we’re at $286.52. I expect two more trips to the store this month, though I might try to make just one instead if I can. We’re still within budget, but as I shared on the first update from the Crunchy Chicken, I am finding the hardest part of the challenge is the sustainability part… I thought I had that down, but when I look at some of the things that end up in my cart, I am surprised.
I was really wanted to make the trek up to the Boulder Farmer’s market this past Saturday, but with all the snow, I chickened out. Hopefully we can get up there this weekend, and nail the sustainability portion of this challenge in the last week.