I have been on a tight budget and I am going to have to put a new hole in my belt and tighten things up even more. The best way to do this is to look at what I am spending on individual grocery items. This will help me be more accountable for what I bring in the house (packaging included) as well as keep a record of the prices of items at various stores that I purchase from.
I found a spiral bound notepad in my belongings and am writing down the new purchase, the amount purchased, the date, the location bought and most important the price.
Example: Dozen eggs from the farm 15/10/22 $4
It is really that easy. I figure this is the start of tracking my spending.
I used to have a food budget that was simply the amount of money allocated each month for groceries. I had to keep my spending below that amount. For the most part it worked great. I actually put the money physically in an envelope and when the envelope was empty I was not allowed to spend any more money until the next pay period.
This time I figured I would really look at what I was purchasing. If I know I can make better choices. Maybe I will be inspired to make certain things from scratch again or eliminate items because they are not healthy choices (like that chocolate bar I regret from today). I will also be able to remember how items are packaged and find zero waste alternatives. I can also see how quickly I need to buy an item again so that I will know if maybe buying bulk quantities would be more beneficial.
Being mindful during my shopping experience will help guide my decisions.
Do I want to find a local alternative? Do I want to find this item with little or no packaging? Do I really want to put that item in my body? Do I want to spend more to get better quality or have this item meet more of my requirements? Is it ethical? Is it sustainable? Is it environmentally friendly? Do I know what the ingredients are?
I am really hoping this will help me be even more accountable.
I am still producing way more garbage than I should be. I am still sneaking refined white sugar in naughty little disposable plastic bags. I am really not doing what I need to move forward to the next step. That is okay though. This is a journey and I will get there!
Take today for instance. I bought smoked oysters. I paid $1.25 for a package. They come in a cardboard box and metal tin; both which are recyclable. Oysters have the potential to be a sustainable seafood item although these come from China, so who knows. The ingredients are smoked oysters, sunflower oil and salt. Hooray for knowing what all the ingredients are and having less that five ingredients listed! Sunflower oil is a naughty oil though so booo. Oysters are a quick, portion controlled, protein I can take anywhere. So what is the end verdict on this item? Well because of starting to look at what I eat, I have been researching local suppliers of sustainable seafood. I am still going to buy this item a bit longer but I know it is something that I want to improve upon for my health and the environment.
I fault myself often for not living off grid somewhere, catching my rainwater and growing all my own food but I am realistic. Little changes make a difference and I am making little changes.