Mar 26 2011

grocery shopping update [day 304]

I’ve gotten a few questions on my new grocery shopping plan.  I shop more frequently, but buying less, limiting myself to 25 items or less.  You can read the story about the downsizing and new shopping plan that was published in early February 2011.  Take a look.

Here’s the before and after photos of my pantry.  The after was taken a couple of weeks ago and even has less in there today.  I don’t have photos of the refrigerator or freezer, but they are sparse as well.  Here’s some of the results or the new way of shopping.

Money savings.

I started shopping at Aldi versus Kroger, Tom Thumb, WalMart or Target.  That, coupled with the 25 items or less, has produced the following monetary results.  These amount reflect groceries, the occasional toiletry items and some wine.

February 2011: $268.95

March 2011 (so far, 1 week left): $149.89

I started this in mid January, so I didn’t look at that month.  Here’s what I spent the 2 months prior.  Continue reading


Dec 11 2010

AWESOME dumpster diving video! [day 199]

This video was created for a school project by a student at the Clarion University of Pennsylvania for a Physics of Energy and the Environment class.  It’s a wonderful video on the how-to’s of dumpster diving with some alarming statistics.  Check it out.  It’s well worth 8 minutes of your time.


Jul 25 2010

do you grow your own food? [day 59]

I have a small contain spice garden in my very small backyard.  I had every intention of making a garden this year, but I ran out of time, money and space.  Time, I could make time if I really wanted to.  Money?  Probably would have paid for itself many times over.  The space issue would require some really creative backyard reworking and possibly having to get rid of our trampoline.  It would be a small garden, and more container gardens, but I could make it work.  Next year…

In the mean time, here’s a family that did a garden in their (also small) backyard.  The Jacobs family has so much fresh produce, they’re having to get creative in the kitchen.  They’ve been in the area for over two years now.  When they bought their house, they put in a $16 peach tree, purchased at WalMart.  After a short amount of time, the tree is producing so much fruit, they can’t eat it all.  They are using jars and also making lots of chutney.  They also have lots of cucumbers and have made many jars of pickles.

I asked them, “Why?  What made you decide to have a garden?”  Warren said he and Sonya both grew up in homes that had gardens, and at one point, they said they would not have one, but changed their mind.  I remember Sonya trying to decide what to do with the “big empty square” in the back when they first moved into their house.  The new areas of Frisco have no trees, or tiny Charlie Brown trees, and I’m thinking she put the space to good use.

Sonya said she wanted to show her kids more about where food comes from and how much work it is to make it.  She said the kids have been ‘Walmartized’ and she doesn’t want them to think the food just shows up in cans at the store.  My kids are definitely Walmartized and I will have a garden next year.  For now, I’ll have to teach my kids with the rosemary and oregano plants.

The Jacobs family is setting a good example of what we should all be doing.  Even a small garden will help save money on groceries and make the world a greener place.  Here’s some more photos from their garden:

Here’s a few tips I found on the internet to help in your garden planning:

  • Find out what grows best in your area.
  • If you’re limited on space, research some container gardening.
  • Plant only stuff you like and will eat.
  • If you have neighbors doing the same thing, plant different stuff and do a veggie trade.
  • Start from seeds, low cost way to start a garden.

Happy gardening!!!