Sunday, July 17, 2011

CSA Subscription

So moving to Austin and only having one of us work meant we needed to have a budget and stick to it if we were going to have a comfortable life on one income.    We I sat down and created our new monthly budget.  This budget includes everything from costs associated with renting our property in Florida, to utilities, food, entertainment, transportation, debt, pets, investments/savings, etc.  One place you can really tighten up your budget with a little bit of organization is your food.  This includes the groceries you buy and the money you spend going out to eat.  We have noticed that there are two things in our month-to-month expenses that can kill our budget if we don't pay attention---Travel and Eating Out.
Double Whammy! Eating out in Austria!!! Sorry for the random photo....We took this trip in September 2010

In an effort to reduce food expenses we limit eating out to once or twice a month.  I'm not saying we won't stop and get an icecream cone and count that as one of our eat outs, but full on eating a meal out we limit.  We budget $100/month for such occasions.  The other thing we are really trying to tighten up is groceries.  With all the amazing grocery stores in Austin, it's really difficult to stay on budget.  With Whole Foods, Central Market, HEB, and farmers markets everywhere, we went a little crazy the first month.   In Gainesville, we were able to keep our grocery budget to about 70-80 dollars a week.  Now that is how much we spend to feed two adults, 1 toddler, and a dog.  We buy some products organic (milk, yogurt, apple products, tomato products, some fruits), and other non-organic.  We also only eat meat 1-2 times per week, dont' eat many processed foods, and don't drink soda or use paper towels.

We have been going to a few different farmers markets over the last 3 weeks and were spending ~$25-30/trip for a weeks's worth of produce (mostly organic fruit and veggies).  We found one specific farmer that had GREAT organic produce for a GREAT price.  They just started a CSA program and we grabbed their brochure.  We decided we would try it for a month and see if we actually can consume one portion each week without wasting produce AND do we mind not picking our selections.    The program costs $30/week, but if you buy more months in advance, you get significant discounts.  We asked the women to show us how much you get for $30 (which is what we were spending anyway on average) and it was MUCH more than we had thought.  So, we paid our first month and we're going to give it a whirl.  This leaves us $50/week to spend on non produce items such as dairy, eggs, meat, dried goods, and miscellaneous stuff like coffee and juice.

So each week we get a half-bushel box with a variety of 8-12 seasonal, organically-grown vegetables, fruits and herbs.  We are also getting locally grown food and supporting a local company.  Good warm and fuzzies all around right?

The only thing I'm scared of  is all of the winter greens.  My husband LOVES them, I HATE them lol.

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