One area where I have pretty much committed is eating local as much as possible. Yup, I'm a locavore.
Here's this past weekend's farmer's market haul:
I wound up roasting a lot of those veggies for dinner on Tuesday and served them with some gnocchi. There were basically no leftovers. I think I need to make more time for those kinds of meals, because they are easy to prepare (I was able to quickly clean and chop up the veggies while Amelia amused herself in her high chair), and they are actually quite inexpensive.
That's the neat thing about shopping at the farmer's market: When you're buying produce, it's often both fresher and cheaper than the grocery store stuff, and quite frequently it's organically grown as well.
The budget busters at the farmers market tend to be the pre-made foods. $6 for jam, $4 for black bean hummus... I could certainly get those things cheaper at the grocery store, but the truth is that the local stuff truly tastes better. Those are our splurges, which we justify because overall we're still saving money. And when I get the chance, I make my own hummus, which is even cheaper than buying it at the grocery store.
Have you seen the USDA Food Plan charts? They're updated monthly. For June, the "thrifty plan" for 2 adults aged 19-50 is $378.90/month. I'm pretty sure we did go over that a bit this month, but most of the time our food budget is in the $350-ish range. That includes non-food groceries and my extra 500 calories a day. As long as you don't live in a food desert, it's definitely possible to eat well on a budget. And for the record, we found ourselves relying on convenience foods more than usual this month, in part because I went back to work full-time and was working off-site a bunch. We went over budget by something like $100. Time to start menu planning!
So, which plan do you fall under on the USDA charts? Is it just me or do those numbers seem kind of high? Or do I just have our farmers market and mostly cooking from scratch to thank for our comparatively low budget?
And here's some fun stuff that's been going on with Amelia lately:
Not even 6 months old and the kid can already stand while supporting herself on furniture! Time to start baby-proofing??
Elvis was kind of wary of this new little person at first, but yesterday he jumped up on our bed and laid down next to her. He was letting her hold his paws and touch his face, and it was adorable.
Here's a picture Glen took of the two of them:
Amelia's face in that picture is pretty much the greatest thing I've ever seen!