Carrboro, North Carolina
Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim
South Royalton, Vermont
I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren
We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara
Wallace, West Virginia
My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn
My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April
Last night a friend raised a very simple point that I have failed to address in my blog entries. He said "when I go to the supermarket and I compare a local, organic item to a none-local one... the local, organic one is always more expensive. How can you not be spending more money?"
Thanks, Tariq. I'm going to think about that while I jot down our numbers for March. If you haven't been following the Number muncher$ entries click here for some background.
In March 2008, we spent 8% more on grocery store items than we did in March 2007. And we spent a whopping 80% less eating out in M08 than in M07. This all adds up to a 33% decrease in food costs in M08 compared to M07. Looking back through the '07 numbers it looks like we did a staggering amount of eating out - can't remember why (maybe we were trying to impress visiting parents with fancy dinners on the credit card). And so - our running total for the year shows that we are spending about 11% less in '08 than we did in '07.
So Tariq - it seems clear that eating out less is saving us money, but I think this is only part of the issue. Indeed local cabbage is more expensive than cheapo cabbage but I've noticed that our fridge isn't nearly as full as it used to be.
We are spending more time preparing food (home-made brownie ice-cream sandwich hearts take time, my man!), we are wasting less food, the food we are eating is filling us up for longer, and we simply can't put that many items in our basket when we go to the store. These things are making up for the more expensive local items.
So - to boil all the complexity down to a single sentence: Eating a couple of local things may be more costly but committing to a local diet can save you some greenbacks.
Filling up on local food... next blog entry? Tastes Great... More Filling!?