Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Reigning in the Budget, part 3

I am overwhelmed.

You know how I know this? Because I haven't spent one ounce of my time procrastinating!!! :) I missed work yesterday (sick) and now that I'm back I have a pile of stuff on my desk and deadlines are looming. How did that happen? I was only out for one day!!

Seriously though, I think I need to scale back my posting a bit. I'm running low on motivation (in just about everything, not just blogging) and I need to recharge the batteries a bit. I've been trying to post every day during the week, but I think the quality of my posts are suffering because of it. I know it's been drilled into my head:


not quantity!

Anywho, I hope you don't mind if I reduce my posting frequency a bit. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

Now, onto today's regularly scheduled programming...

This installation of my Reigning in the Budget posts is going to look at the differences in cost of shopping at the farmer's market versus in the grocery store, as well as the pro's and con's of both. Although, this post might be a little biased because I LOVE the farmer's market. Especially after this weekend, where there was a free outdoor yoga class at the market. Definitely took advantage of that!

Over the past couple of months, I've been saving receipts and doing some analysis on them. It turns out that I spend an average of $65 per trip to the grocery store! So, I had a chat with a colleague of mine about budgeting...he said they take out a set amount of cash every month to spend on food (based on their spending/cost trends).

Well, my friends, that is (essentially) what I do when I go to the farmer's market. We only bring cash and spend what we have. In general, that amount is about $50 per trip to the farmer's market. We don't always spend the whole amount, but sometimes we spend more (like when I want to buy a beautiful tie-dye dress).

Ok, so assuming I go to the farmer's market and the grocery store once a week (that's being conservative, they don't always happen in tandem like that), I'm spending $115 on groceries every week. My goal is to get that number down to $50/week. Feasible? I think so.

In general:
  • it's easier for me to spend less at the farmer's market, because I can't use my credit card and I bring a set amount of money
  • I try to go to the farmer's market as much as possible and the grocery store as little as possible...but neither is ALWAYS possible
  • It's harder to plan meals in advance when shopping primarily at the farmer's market, because there are limited and seasonal options there
  • I need to find a better balance of farmer's market and grocery store
Maybe a venn diagram is more appropriate in this comparison, but I'm just going to stick to a pros/cons list:

Even though one of my life goals is to sever my ties to grocery stores, I think the key point I'm trying to make here is to find a good balance between shopping at the farmer's market and shopping at the grocery store. Farmer's market pickins start getting pretty slim after the summer, so that "balance" might shift seasonally, but I'm totally okay with that. 

I'm giving myself an action item for the next month (well, let's say, until the end of August) - only go to the grocery store OR the farmer's market for the week, not both. One small step for Becca, one giant leap for saving money. Hopefully. 

P.S. We officially have our first batch of home-brewed beer brewing, so it's almost time to cross beer off of our grocery list for good! I'll definitely post about this later!

Peace + love,
Did you miss my other budgeting posts? Check them out:

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