Saturday, May 29, 2010

$30 Challenge

Today I took a trip to the Amherst Farmers' Market as part of my quest for feeding us healthy, fresh, minimally processed food.  Lately, I have been internet surfing about the cost of eating organic foods and I have been paying closer attention to the cost difference between organic and non-organic products.  I'll be honest here- it's hard not to pay attention to the difference when you try to eat this way as much as possible because the grocery bill does go up.  That said, I do believe that the costs of basing our diets on unhealthy foods may not show up in the grocery bill but they will show up eventually in health problems and quality of life issues.  My goal is to find a balance that allows us to eat the freshest, healthy food without spending unnecessary money.  I'm confident that there is a happy medium there somewhere.  Perfection isn't necessary- I think every small effort for a healthy lifestyle pays big.

So today's shopping trip was for produce and I came up with the idea to set a limit of $30 and see how far it took me.  We're a hungry bunch.  We're active and we eat.  Here are the goods:

- 1/2 lb spinach
-1 head romaine lettuce
-shitake mushrooms
-2 large tomatoes
-1 small tomato
-1 pint sugar snap peas
-1 quart strawberries
-1 pint raspberries
-1 loaf multigrain bread

All of the vendors I bought from were organic and I'm happy with my purchases.  I do have one confession: I did go over budget by $1.  I had $4 left in the budget challenge I set and the pint of raspberries was staring at me.  Yes, they cost $5.  Yes, they taste amazing.  I considered hiding them from my husband before he polishes them off in one sitting, but I guess that would be mean. 

Overall, I felt good about buying from local vendors and farmers.  Amherst isn't a location that's convenient for me to go to every week, but it certainly is worth a trip once in a while and it's motivated me to keep an eye out for other farmers' markets.  If you have any recommendations in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire areas, send them my way! I'm off to eat :)

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