Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Eating on less than $3/day

After hearing about my friend’s challenge to eat on less than $3/day, I decided to keep my grocery receipts in February and see exactly how much we spend to eat. As I spent extra on organic milk, meat, cheese and a few other items, I worried that my total would be more than I anticipated. But yesterday I totaled all of those receipts and here’s what I found: in February we ate on $2.82/day per person.

I would like to be able to say that proves what I’ve long suspected about eating a diet of whole foods rather than convenience foods. I’ve heard people say that fresh produce is too expensive and that’s why so many people go for the boxes, bags and cans of foods. Since we eat very few foods that would fall into that latter category, I don’t think it’s true. However, if I were being totally scientific in my study I’m sure I would need to take a different approach to truly prove my point.

I also realize that my February tally isn’t a totally accurate accounting of what we ate for a few reasons:
• We ate foods that we had purchased or grown previously and frozen or canned.
• We bought foods that we didn’t eat during February.
• To be more accurate we would need to figure in the cost of our garden inputs and divide that over 12 months.

So how much does it cost to garden? I’ll look at that question tomorrow. In the meantime, I would love to hear about how much you think you spend on food per day.

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