December Food Cost-Revised

Here’s the new sheet for December. That took longer than it should have. First, I found a discrepancy in the ending balance on the sheet; it didn’t match what carried over on the account. I eventually managed to log in to the web page for our account, where I could corroborate the data. It turns out I had one total wrong, plus two missed references in the worksheet itself. Thank heaven for check-sums. Then came the actual google-doc posting, which I seem to have forgotten how to do for a while. It seems all right now, though.

We are still doing the majority of our shopping at WinCo, at least by dollar volume; more than at all the others combined. (Look at the “Total by Store” chart in the spreadsheet.) Given that it’s a regional, employee-owned company, that’s good. The trouble is that many of the products we buy there are “house brand” items with a Chicago home address. That’s problematic if we really want to reduce our food-mile footprint.

I’m not really surprised at how many trips we made to Safeway, considering the weather, our transportation troubles, and so on. Again, there is the tension between going to a nearby store with products from far away, or a more distant store with a greater stock of locally-sourced products. Then again, it was only this past week that we finally got The Little Red Wagon running right again, one new catalytic converter later, so there were times when we didn’t go for a more distant shopping trip because we literally weren’t sure we could make it there and back.

We have found a few items that compare favorably on price at The Co-Op, and the experience of going there is certainly enjoyable, but we haven’t been able to turn the corner yet on really doing large-scale shopping there. I’m still concerned about staying under budget, which was a close call this month-maybe $25 under, with that being half of our carryover from the previous month. And yes, another wheel of Cougar Gold resides in our fridge, although it was slated to be a gift for relatives we wound up not seeing. Speaking of which, it’s time to make another menu and list…

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About poorlocavore

Welcome to one family's journey towards a smaller food-mile footprint on a small food budget. How do our choices affect the environment, and what influences our choices? Read on and find out what I'm learning.
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2 Responses to December Food Cost-Revised

  1. Momof5 says:

    I love the way you plan a reward for coming in under budget. Maybe that would help on the nights when I think, “Oh, this is a boring menu. Maybe I’ll just make a quick trip to the store for . . . ” But it’s never just the one thing, and then by the end of the month the budget’s really gone.

    • poorlocavore says:

      It’s been working so far; of course, there has to be enough surplus to cover the reward! although if I were just a few dollars under, the co-op has some incredible caramels that fit the bill nicely too. I’m actually having more trouble with the regular budget than the food budget, as we’re going through the student loan money far too quickly. I’m going to work on-and write about-that as well. Those quick little “odds-and-ends” trips are dangerous indeed.

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