I did a grocery shop today to get ready for my “Beyond Mr. Noodles” project. Knowing I only have $140 for the entire month of November resulted in an entirely different shopping experience from my usual. Everything seemed SO EXPENSIVE to me.
One of the first things that struck me is that you need money to save money. For instance, I wanted a package of frozen peas. If I bought two packages of them, I could get them for $2.00 a piece. But if I wanted to buy only one package, it would set me back about $2.29. I ran into a friend in the store who suggested I go shopping with someone else…they could take one bag of peas and I could take the other and we would pay $2.00 each. I’m trying to decide if that’s cheating. I think it kind of is.
The second thing that hit me was how expensive spices are. I ended up only buying iodized salt (the sea salt was more expensive) and ground pepper (as opposed to peppercorns, that again were more costly). I also purchased a can of sardines in spicy sauce, thinking I could use that sauce as a seasoning in other dishes I make. Other items I bought include:
1 bag brown rice – $2.27
1 bag black beans – $2.99
1 bag red lentils – $2.99
1 bag onions – $1.77
1 bulb of garlic – $0.72
5 carrots – Yukon grown – $1.29
1 box whole wheat spaghetti – $1.48
2 cans of sardines – $2.00 for both
1 green cabbage – $1.21
1 bunch cilantro – $0.97
Package of salt and pepper – $3.29
1 5-pound organic chicken raised locally from Aurora Mountain Farm – $34
Yes I know. This last item is scary and it may totally backfire on me and stop me from completing the month. But I feel good about eating these lovely birds, and I did set out to learn if I can, by shopping strategically, have at least some organic foods in my diet. I figure I am going to have to get at least 14 meals out of this one chicken to make it affordable. Let’s see how I do.
Total spent so far: $54.98
Total left for the month: $95.02
I am trying to figure out if I can afford to buy flour and baking powder so I can make tortillas. Other things on my wish list include salsa, apples, local free range eggs, and seeds for sprouting.
What craziness have I taken on here?