THE SOCIAL EXPERIMENT, WEEK THREE WRAP UP
It just keeps getting better and better! Look to the left to see how much (or should I say, little?) I spent this week. You might look at those numbers and think that I am intentionally skimping on our groceries to make the numbers unnaturally low. I promise you, I am not! You may remember that last week I bought 7 different bars of chocolate! I didn't do that this week...not b/c I wanted to keep the spending low, but because I didn't lose any weight last week! :)
Also, other than spending a lot less money on our groceries, and a lot less time buying them...our lifestyle has not changed. We have had friends over for dinner 3 times since I began the experiment. I have taken food to a church potluck. I have made cookies and shared them with my brothers. I have purchased two gifts. Eating out of our freezer, not making impulse purchases or buying junk food, and shopping at the discount food store have all made the biggest impacts on our grocery spending.
Today I purchased green beans, wheat bread, eggs, apples, and grapes from our produce stand. Here is what I bought today at the Discount Food store (for $26).
-Gallon of Milk
-56 Pampers Diapers
-3 bottles of Method Handsoap (no I am not a germaphobic...two of these were for a friend!)
-1 bag of chopped Walnuts
-1 jar of tomato sauce
-2 boxes of cereal
-1 jar of marinara
-1 box of penne
-1 box of orzo
-2 packets of dry italian dressing (I make balsamic vinagrette w/ this)
-1 pizza crust mix
This experiment has definitely opened my eyes to a new way of shopping and I am going to continue to shop this way after the experiment officially ends. The question is...what am I going to do with all this money I'm not spending on groceries? :)
There are a few things that I will eventually either have to 1. learn to make 2. not have anymore 3. buy in bulk from the hubby, or 4. go to a conventional grocery store. A few things I have thought of are
-Yogurt. We ran out this on week one. Although we miss it a little, it isn't a big deal. I need to ask the Saulsy how much I would have to buy at a time to get it from him.
-Hotdogs. We don't eat these that often but C has requested them at his birthday party. I can get turkey dogs from Saulsy ($15 for 60!)
-Mayo. We don't eat much of this. I would personally rather have hummus or pesto on my sandwiches. But every once in awhile, I need it to make chicken salad or such.
-Whipping cream. I love homemade whipping cream to go with cake or pie. Or to use in making ice cream. If I can freeze this, it won't be a big deal to get it in bulk.
-Lunch meats. I can cook a roast or chicken and cut up the meat for sandwiches but it isn't quite the same. Sometimes it is better!
-Cheese. I can buy some cheese at the produce stand and bakery but not everything I typically use.
There are a few other things I thought of the other day (but can't remember now). For now, when I have run out of something I typically use, I have either substituted something else, made it, or just done without.
I was really nervous about committing to this experiment. I expected it to be much more expensive, time consuming, and all around frustrating than it has been. This has been so positive all the way around, I just can't say it enough. Because I am not in stores anymore, my desires/wants/perceived needs decrease with each passing week while my desire for simplicity and living with the "essentials" (though lets be honest, our idea of essential is pretty skewed) continues to increase. I am really enjoying eating foods that are in season, making more of our food, cooking out of the freezer, and becoming more creative in our food preparation.
If this isn't something that you are doing already, I highly recommend trying it for your family. If you already are, I would love for you to leave a comment and share your experience.