As more people are getting involved with Bountiful Basket in our area, we are seeing an increase in the amount of vegetables and fruits in our basket. It is wonderful to see this co-op growing.
What did we get this week?
2 Romaine lettuce
5 1/2 lbs. potatoes
8 Yellow Carrots
I also upgraded my basket to include 5 loaves of French-Sourdough bread.
We are seeing such a change in our shopping habits as well as the amount we are paying for groceries now. Our Bountiful Basket donation is $15.00 for the regular basket full of all the Vegetables and Fruits. There is enough vegetables to easily fix a fresh vegetable meal the entire week, as well as for snacks and Papa’s lunches.
Twice now I have upgraded to add bread. We paid $12.00 one week for 5 loaves of whole grain bread. Think about the savings in just bread, this was a very good quality bread, which we would normally pay upward from $4.00 to $5.00 per loaf easily. We averaged $2.20 per loaf. We easily go through 1 1/2 loaves of bread in a week. We have easily cut out bread bill down to more then half what we were spending.
For an alternative for the whole grain bread this week I upgraded to include 5 loaves of French/sourdough bread for $10.00. That is $2.00 per loaf, again it is of very good quality and I could easily spend upward from $5.00 to $5.79 per loaf of bread. This type of bread we go through one loaf a week depending on what type of meal I am fixing, so again I am saving more then half on my bread bill.
We all know that vegetables and fruit is very expensive in the stores and sometimes you can’t even get what you are looking for. The other day in the store I passed by through the produce isle, while I have never been one to buy leeks, I glanced at the price at WOW they wanted $2.19 per leek, I get 2 in my basket that is saving me over $4.00 if I were to buy 2 leeks every week.
As for the rest of our shopping, Papa is a huge meat eater, while I am not. This is changing so much in our home. With all these fresh vegetables we do still eat meat, but in smaller amounts. I use to fix 2 to 3 chicken breasts for just one meal, now I am able to get away with only 1 to 2 depending on the meal. I’ve always purchased the huge family pack hamburger then packaged them into 1 1/2 lbs. to 2 lbs. packages for freezing. I am now discovering these packages are too large for many of the meals I am making so I will be buying less hamburger and packaging them up into 1/2 lb. packages. In place of meat I am finding many more recipes that call for legumes, which all of us like, so that in itself is cutting my average $150.00 per month meat bill again in half.
Most of the other ingredients I need for any given recipe I usually have on hand already or it goes on my weekly shopping list. I do not see where I am spending anymore for these foods, in fact I think it is about the same if not less, since we are not eating so much quick processed meals.
As for our health, I know there is a benefit over all to this healthier eating. Papa will probably be able to lower if not completely stop his cholesterol medication, we will see when he goes back in a few months down the road to have this retested. He is also taking off a little extra weight, which is in his benefit. For me, I struggle to keep weight on, after going through my cancer I fell below 90 lbs. I was excited when I tipped the scale to 104 lbs. the other day when I was at the doctor. I know to some of you this is like WOW your that small and your worried about your weight? Well, ideally I feel my best at 115 to 120 lbs. I am on my way and it feels good.
Selena is still learning to eat many of these foods, so we have had to accommodate her a little bit more at meal time. We do however see her more willing to try foods, and even asking if I will make some meals again, such as cabbage rolls, spaghetti squash, and spinach soup, We know over time she will acquire the taste for the vegetables and more fruit being served but in the meantime she is having fun trying these foods, finding ones she truly loves, and working towards healthier choices.
While I haven’t taken the time to actually add up our new grocery bill I would say that we are cutting our normal $400.00 per month at least in third if not more. It’s been a great feeling to find a way to save money on something we need to survive, FOOD, without all the hassles of couponing, which I have never been good at, usually clip them out only to forget I have them, or leave them at home. I am not feeling the need to drive to many different stores to buy my groceries looking for the best buy, while I still look for the cheaper prices, I find much of what I need now in one location. That means a lot when it comes to gas prices.
What am I going to do with the savings? Well, first of all rebuild all my canning supplies. Yep, that is right I use to maintain at least 500 mason jars for canning, both a granite pot and a pressure cooker. When it became just Papa and I much of this life style changed. Now I will be busy rebuilding this part of my kitchen must haves. I might not need to maintain 500 jars for the three of us, but I will definitely need more then I have. I look forward as I rebuild these supplies to saving money by upgrading weekly for specific fruits and vegetables just to can and put in my still in the process growing pantry. Again saving so much money on our purchase of yet more processed food.