July 17, 2007

Cost Effective

While organic foods frequently cost more than their non-organic counterparts, eating a local, sustainable, organic diet can end up costing less.

Along the way, as we integrate more local foods in to our meals, I want to document the costs for all to see. I pulled some old grocery receipts to see what we were spending pre-produce CSA. It turns out that on produce, we were spending roughly $45 a week, give or take a few dollars. That entailed prewashed, packaged salads, garlic and onions and a host of usual suspects: broccoli, spinach, kale, red bell peppers. Those vegetables all might be nutritional powerhouses, but lack of variety is not good for the diet. We also purchased fruit, mostly what was in season, and a standby bunch of bananas.

Now, we get a box of produce each week from Eatwell Farm that costs $24.50. We spend roughly $10 on fruit at the Temescal Farmer's Market each week, and my husband still gets his $1.19 worth of bananas, but I'll wear him down on that one yet. Our weekly total on produce is now $35.69.

That's a savings of almost $10 week on what turns out to be a larger quantity of much higher quality produce. Higher quality because everything comes to us, directly from the farm, at its peak, within a day of being picked. The quantity we now receive - which used to seem prohibitive in terms of cost when I shopped at a certain pricey, natural food chain store - means more of our meals center on vegetables. That creates a savings in terms of other food purchases, of which, I'll maybe someday bore you with the details.

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